Myrna Sislen is the owner of Middle C Music. In 2002, under the store’s previous owner, sales were slow and the store was within one week of closing. Then, local classical guitarist and George Washington University professor Myrna Sislen entered the picture.
It was a Thursday and she was working out at the health club across the street. Leaving her kick boxing class, Sislen ran into another local musician who mentioned that the store was closing. He said, ‘Do you know what she’s asking for it?’
It had never occurred to Sislen to ask. He told her the figure, and she thought “man, I could write a check for that- that’s not very much.” She signed the papers the following Friday.
Sislen’s goal was to make the store into a community—the Middle C Family. Ten years later, it is more than that -- a draw for the region tucked into an office complex. Middle C Music now serves 400 students a week, 40 to 50 percent of whom are adults, and supports 16 teachers and numerous employees (another major contribution to the District in a recession-era economy).
Over her ten years as store owner, Myrna Sislen has doubled the size of the store, transforming Middle C Music into a comfortable, safe and nurturing neighborhood destination for musicians and music lovers of all stripes.
There was music in the DC Council Chamber on Tuesday, the sweet music of councilmembers heaping praise on Middle C Music. The council paused in their deliberations to pass a resolution honoring us on our 10th anniversary! Councilmember Mary Cheh praised Middle C and its owner Myrna Sislen for its community spirit. "You're not just a music store, you're a community anchor. So many of our residents come through your store to purchase something, take lessons, to hear music," said the councilmember from Ward 3.