About Mikes Music

Something About Our History

Locally Owned and Operated for Over 20 Years
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History of Mike's

How it all began

Customers often ask our staff about the history of the store. Mike’s Music began when Mike, then a local Anchorage School District orchestra student, decided to start renting and selling new and used musical instruments to help fund his own musical endeavors.

In 1993 Mike Dunckle, having acquired his first violin, began to dream about what the world of music had in store for him. A veteran Birchwood Elementary School orchestra member of about 3 months, he felt he needed an instrument worthy of the musician he hoped to become. After all, it is easier to learn to play on a good quality, well set up instrument.

He shared his dream with his parents. He informed them that he wanted a new professional quality instrument (expected to cost in excess of $10,000). His mother was stunned speechless (which was unusual for her). When she regained her ability to speak, she responded with the usual "we'll see." After all, what parent is willing to commit to that kind of request after a few months of playing? It became apparent, later in the school year, that Mike did possess some talent for violin and he was still insisting on an expensive instrument.

As you can probably imagine, Mike’s parents were unenthused at the idea of investing such a large sum of money in an instrument for a student who had barely reached 12 years of age. Instead they advised, as many parents do, that Mike should get a job and earn his own money.

This is usually enough to deter a child who is not serious about acquiring an item. The parents also felt that if Mike was willing to put in years of snow shoveling, lawn mowing, etc., he would certainly deserve and take good care of an expensive violin.

Mike’s idea of ‘earning your own money’ was significantly different. Enter now, Mike, with a whole different concept of work. Mike wanted to work in an area that interested him, something along the lines of music. He knew he didn't have the ability yet to command large sums of money for his performances.

His mother made an off hand comment about how students need instruments to play in the school program. Most students rent instruments until the parents can afford to buy or until the parents are fairly sure the student will continue in music. Mike figured, "AHA!!, I can open a store and rent instruments to other students."

He presented this idea to his parents, who realized (after the initial shock) it was a great idea. They felt it would be a good investment of his savings and would be willing to help him get started with some additional funds for instrument purchase. That summer, they purchased used instruments and (with the help of his violin teacher, Philip Burch) learned the basics of setting up instruments, instrument care, and found suppliers for parts.

Mike worked the business out of their home over the school year. By summer, it was evident that there was a need for a local music store and that the concept was worth pursuing. The family decided it was feasible to open a store for the fall season. If it worked out, then it would become a full time retail store. Mike's dad was willing to help him out at the store.

Mike’s mom arranged for a temporary store front rental while researching the best way to include band instruments in their rental fleet. They approached The Music Man of Anchorage, another family business. They were open to Mike's entrepreneurial spirit and worked out an agreement to provide Mike's customers with quality band instruments. This arrangement proved to be very successful for several years for both stores.

That fall and through Christmas, Eagle River customers responded so well to having a local music store that Mike was able to commit to a long term business. After the first year at the Eagle River location, Mike ordered his hand made violin from local maker John Osnes. Mike signed the check and received his violin in September of 1997.

The store has continued to expand product lines and has moved twice since the original location. When the store moved locations in 2004, Mike took on several new product lines and was able to secure dealerships that allowed him to offer his own band instruments. In 2008, growth spurred Mike’s Music to move again to their current location on the Old Glenn Highway just a short distance from their original location.

Mike’s Music is Alaska’s fastest growing full line music store, and has served tens of thousands of customers from all over the state. Mike’s Music continues to support and encourage music programs for students of all ages.


Meet our Staff

Jon McAlpin, Sales Staff..... Jon McAlpin is a fine musician and loves to share his knowledge to help customers find the right instrument or accessory for their needs, wants and pocketbook. His love of music is expanding into repair work.

Marsha Frederick, Sales and Repair Staff..... We are pleased to have Marsha back with us. As a retired band director, she is very experienced in helping customers find the right instruments and accessories and recommending what will work for specific needs.

Brett Lindsay, Sales Staff, Cello Lessons..... We are pleased to have Brett on staff. Not only is he an excellent musician, but he is also very knowledgeable about string instruments. He looks forward to helping our customers find the right instrument and accessories that they want and need.

Ken Churchill, Repair Staff..... A master craftsman in finish carpentry, Ken has recently turned his talents into non fretted and fretted instrument repair. Upon completion of guitar repair school, Ken started spring of 2015 with Mike's. He enjoys doing everything from basic setups to more complex finish repairs.

Sharon Dunckle (aka Mike's Mom).... Currently handling the back office, Sharon has been with the store since Mike first started it. She comes out of hiding as needed and during the busy back to school season.

Current Specials


Re-opening Monday the 17th 11 am!


EARTHQUAKE REPAIRS UPDATE SATURDAY 12/15: Temporary repairs are finishing up today with cleanup tomorrow. We are cleared to be open on Monday. We appreciate everyones' patience while we anxiously awaited being able to open the store. We wanted the building safe for our customers, it just took longer than we hoped. Please check with your teachers about lessons. They have been notified that we will be open on Monday.

Although the delays in opening were frustrating, we are thankful that our damage was no worse than it is. We hope our customers have experienced minimal damage to their homes and property as well. The phone recorder may not be updated with our regular hours message until later in the day on Monday 694-6453. PLEASE NOTE: Our open sign was destroyed, so until we can get another, just look for a paper sign on the door.

We had very minimal damage to merchandise, we are fully stocked for your shopping needs and wants. Thank you for your patience. We are excited to be open to help you with your musical shopping needs and we wish all a wonderful holiday season.



We reopen Monday the 17th, check back to see what last minute specials we post. We update as we add new specials and we also post them on facebook. 'Like' us on facebook.com/mikesmusicak to see our current promotions and some fun posts about music that we find and share.

Looking for a intermediate to pro level band or orchestra instrument or bow? We have several on closeout. Clarinets, flutes, trombones, trumpets, violins, violas, cellos. Some new, some refurbished. Extended payments are available on some upgrade instruments. Bring in your music, mouthpiece/bow and try them out! Need some help? Marsha is an retired band director and happy to make suggestions based on your playing abilities and preferred sound. Brett can also help with orchestra needs and wishes. Plan to spend some time so you can pick out the one that fits you best. Not sure how to pick out an instrument or bow? Call us, we can tell you what to bring with so for comparison you can make a good decision.

FREE MIKE'S MUSIC PIKCARD with any purchase You just have to ask. We are tracking to see how many people follow us on Facebook and check out specials on the webpage. If you've ever wanted a Roland Jazz Chorus amp (JC120), we've a floor model priced at $799 and no shipping costs! We also have some clearance guitars and basses to go with it. Stop in and browse, try them out, take one home!

Upcoming Events


Used Instrument Donations

Help us Help Local Music Programs

SUPPORT MUSIC IN OUR SCHOOLS! Mike’s Music instrument drive. The community donates used instruments, Mike’s refurbishes them, donates parts and labor, and gives to local schools.

What started as an anniversary celebration has become an ongoing community project for Mike’s Music. Mike's is giving back to the community that has supported them for over 20 years. Throughout the year, they collect used instruments to donate to the local schools for students who cannot afford to rent or purchase one. Instruments in all conditions are welcome and Mike’s Music donates parts and labor to insure they are in playable condition before giving to the local schools in the Anchorage School District for use in their music programs.

“We have students come in to purchase supplies for instruments they borrow from the schools; I have had so many of them tell me about the awful condition of the few instruments that are available. So, I thought, we can do something about that.” –Katrina Eldred
If you would like more information about this program, please call (694-6453), stop in us at mmusic@mikesmusicak.com



Time to start practicing

Don't forget your Christmas music. We currently have a large selection for all levels and almost all instruments, sorry no harpsichord music.

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This page was last updated: Saturday, 15-Dec-2018 15:43:03 PST