June 6, 2020

Garage clean out: Music Tech Yard Sale

Yard sales are practically a cultural phenomenon in the Midwest. They provide sellers with a chance to de-clutter their homes, expose buyers to a wide range of products at low prices, and connect entire communities.

When the university’s music technology program was tossing around possibilities for a fall event, a yard sale seemed like a logical choice.

The yard sale is held in CMC 121, the building that holds music studios for students to use

“When the program expanded and we swapped pieces of gear in and out, we had a number of things that were left just sitting around,” Neal Schmitt, instructor of music, said. “The idea came: Let’s sell some of this and let’s invite other people to come.”

After a successful sale last year, the genre-based garage sale this fall is scheduled for Nov. 2.

Community members are invited to register and sell their unwanted items, or to just come to browse. 

Much like shoppers at suburban block sales, individuals in the music industry are always looking for inexpensive opportunities to add to their personal collections — here, Schmitt referenced a Wollensak tape recorder sitting on his bookshelf and a pillow speaker hanging by his desk, both of which he picked up at thrift stores.

The music community in Columbus is relatively tight-knit. 

Last year’s sale was attended by musicians, producers, and radio hosts, but Schmitt says that although he may not have known everyone directly, he was assured of having a common acquaintance.

For Schmitt, the yard sale is a chance to catch up with people he does not normally see; for music tech students, it offers a valuable networking opportunity. Many grads even make it a point to come back, hoping to get their hands on the equipment on which they spent years practicing.

Keyboards available to purchase at the Music Tech Yard Sale. Photo by Neal Schmitt.

As is customary for yard sales, prices are negotiable.

Last year, there were a number of keyboards for sale, some of which were not even functioning, Schmitt said. One buyer showed interest, threw out a number, and ended up purchasing the entire lot.

Any profit made from the sale is put toward the purchase of brand-new equipment for the program. While this is a benefit, it is not the main reason for the sale. Ultimately, Schmitt says, the community aspect is key.

This year’s Music Tech Yard Sale will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m Nov. 2 in CMC 121. Come prepared to mingle with musicians and (hopefully) score some bargains.

  • Emily is a sophomore English literature major at Capital, and a reporter and distribution manager for the Chimes. When she's not carting papers around campus, Emily enjoys watching Jeopardy, bothering her cats, and eating mac and cheese. edietz@capital.edu.

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