QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -- The Quincy School of Music may sit quietly at its spot on 9th and Maine, but its owner is anything but quiet.
It may not always be elegant, or graceful. But for Gus Rieckhoff, this is music to his ears.
"I can say there's nothing more rewarding in life than working with little fourth and fifth graders and see them succeed," Rieckhoff said.
For more than 50 years, Gus has been turning sounds that make most people cringe into music that demands an encore.
"They see in your eyes your interest in their well being and their success. If you generate that enthusiasm through your own personality, yougsters will use you as a model," Rieckhoff said.
So what does someone with more than five decades of musical knowledge charge for a private lesson? Absolutely nothing. If you bring an instrument, he'll teach you how to play it.
"I think it's just important that youngsters have an opportunity. It develops focus, develops personality, develops a lot of oppertunities later on," Rieckhoff siad.
To pay the bills, Gus uses his musical know-how in a different way. Tucked all the way back in his store, he's usually tinkering around with an instrument. If it's supposed to play music, he can fix it.
"I just felt this community needed a full service store where we had music, we had repair, we had good quality instruments for the boys and girls and professionals," Rieckhoff said.
But the store may be on its last song. The 84-year-old says he's getting ready to take his final bow and pass the baton off to someone else.
"I'm hoping I can find someone to take this over and I can make my exit, stay on as a consultant until the day and then it will continue in the future. That's my hope," Rieckhoff said.
And when it comes time for Gus to play his final note, a standing ovation is sure to follow.
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