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The Institute of Musical Traditions
Local Recording Studios
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Since 1972, the House of Musical Traditions has specialized in instruments from the U.S. and around the world. In addition to our collection of exotic, unusual, and vintage instruments, we also feature fun folk instruments for music lovers of all ages and abilities. We also have instructional and song books, and recordings of traditional music from around the country and the world.
Located in the heart of Old Town Takoma Park, we're open seven days a week: 11 am - 7 pm Tuesday through Saturday and 11 am - 5 pm Sunday and Monday. Visiting for the first time? Get maps and directions here. Can't make it to the neighborhood today? Take a virtual tour now!
Have booth, will travel: HMT can also be found at many festivals and events. Look for our booth at the Maryland Renaissance Festival, the Washington Folk Festival, the Washington Irish Festival, the Virginia Scottish Games, and many other local and regional events. We also underwrite a folk music radio program, Traditions with Mary Cliff on WAMU 88.5 FM in the Washington, DC area 11 pm to 1 am every Saturday night.
Music lessons and workshops: If you live in the D.C. or Baltimore area you may want to take advantage of our lessons programs. We offer private lessons and public workshops for many of the instruments that we sell: guitar, banjo, mandolin, lap dulcimer, hammered dulcimer, flute, harp, autoharp, fiddle, accordion, concertina, tinwhistle and more. Click here for more information or stop by and pick up our lessons flyer.
We sponsor the IMT Monday Night Concert Series: The Institute of Musical Traditions offers a wide variety of local and national music acts. You can visit the IMT web site for schedules and more information or visit us to purchase tickets or pick up a free flyer.
Above all, we at the House of Musical Traditions like to help you enjoy music; whether you play, sing, dance or listen! If there is something you want but don't see in our online catalog, please call, email or write us, we can probably answer your questions.
Keep in touch with us! We're on Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter, and we have a blog.
INSTRUMENT DEMO VIDEOS on YouTube -- We've added more than 20 videos of our best guitars and mandolins being played by teacher Mark Sylvester. Click here to discover how wonderful a Yairi, Bourgeois, Breedlove, or Weber can sound... anytime you want!
Rubbing elbows with famous people: Owner David Eisner meets comedian Lewis Black and Tipper Gore.
Dave's on tv! HMT owner David Eisner hosts the Musical Traditions segment on the cable access TV show The Coffee House. Watch this clip.
Spreading fun and goodwill abroad: Nose Flutes Go International.
How good is your musical ear? Test it here: www.jakemandell.com/tonedeaf
Want to get to know the local drumming community? Come to the Friday night drum circle hosted by Dragon Studio.
We've Gone GREEN
Our staff had a great time meeting and greeting with the music community's finest at the 2007 NAMM Show Check out our photo scrapbook.
Most of us are musicians, and we're happy to discuss and demonstrate the instruments and music that interest you.
David Eisner -- Owner
"I still maintain my Yankee fan loyalty amidst a sea of Orioles fans in this town." Read more here
Brennan Kuhns -- General Manager
Brennan is a musical instrument aficionado, from guitars and stringed instruments to percussion, brass, and woodwinds. He plays occasionally as a solo artist or with a number of bands, as well as being a sound designer for local theater companies and a practiced live sound engineer.
Kristen Jones -- Manager
Kristen Jones has been at HMT since 1999, and was general manager for several years until life got too busy with performing! She answers our main email, runs our lessons & workshop program, and does our eBay and Reverb store listings. She plays cello (acoustic and electric) and steel pans with several groups in the DC and Baltimore areas, including ilyAIMY, 50 Man Machine, and Lulu's Fate. For more information on Kristen's musical endeavors, visit kristenjonesmusic.com.
Rob Hinkal is a guitarist, bassist and songwriter, and is a founding member of the band ilyAIMY. Rob also hosts open mics in the area. (Rob's Open Mics on Facebook)
Guen Spilsbury can be seen performing with various vocal and theater groups in the area, notably the Washington Revels. Guen is also our store's Spanish-speaker.
Stream Ohrstrom is our resident drum and flute expert. He does it all: playing, making, repairing and teaching.
Justin Brown plays guitar and is also a sign language interpreter. You may have seen him interpreting at the Takoma Park Folk Festival!
Justin Heath manages our print music department. He plays guitar, banjo, and fiddle, and tinkers on a number of other instruments.
Juliette Bell plays guitar and bass, and performs with Juliette & The Thunderballs.
Zach Parkman is a singer-songwriter and also plays with The Darkest Timeline. He hosts a few open mics and songwriter showcases in the DC area. reverbnation.com/zachparkman
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