The History

A seed planted in 1974 that is a flourishing and thriving tree to this day. 
“Music is the grinding of the universe. There’s nothing else like it. It’s a different language. You don’t invent music. It comes to you…bombarding the heart all the time,” so says owner, founder, heart, and soul of Shiloh Music, George Hedges. 
His understanding and appreciation of all that music is and can be has guided his life and helped him create a music store that’s more than a store. It’s a haven for all ages, all experience levels to discover, refine and rediscover music for the first time or the thousandth. 
Founded in 19?? Shiloh Music has always been owned and operated by the Hedges family. After leaving the Navy, George asked his brother if we wanted to open a store. 
“Sure,” was the monumental response that set it all in motion. 
“We had no clue what we were doing,” George says with his signature self-self-deprecating humor. 
Yes and no. 
While they hadn’t run a music store per se, the family knew music.
His father was an accomplished musician, and George was surrounded by expert players, guitar makers and luthiers from childhood. He picked up the craft early, honed it over the years and passed it down to his own sons, both of whom also work at and help run the store. 
James, an in-demand guitar luthier, and tech, who has traveled with the likes of Paramore, Relient K, Lady Antebellum, among others, oversees the service department, which takes pride in delivering expert repairs on a range of instruments.
Paul, the older Hedges brother, oversees the management and operation of the store, from inventory to rentals to sound-system installation and repair. It’s a rare day not to find Paul behind the counter. Chances are, however, if you don’t see Paul, you’ll probably see at least one of his sons hard at work in the family store. That makes four generations of Hedges to have a hand, and their heart involved somehow, someway with Shiloh. 
Though if George is the heart and soul of the operation, his wife, Karen, is the heartbeat and at the very center of what makes Shiloh an indelible, integral part of the Mount Juliet community—the school.
When Karen met George at the store over 40 years ago, the two had an instant connection, married just a few months later, Karen started teaching piano lessons at the store and has been doing so ever since.
Today, over 450 children from Mount Juliet and the surrounding areas receive high-quality lessons from over 17 of the most accomplished music teachers in the Nashville area. At Shiloh, they don’t merely hire good musicians—they look for people who know how to teach technique, theory and performance skills while fostering the natural curiosity of young minds and instilling a love of music that will last a lifetime. 
“It gives kids something positive and life skills they will have forever,” says Karen. “Whether it’s choral music, piano, guitar, band if they can get plugged in with music it gives them a place to belong.”
Over the years, as the numbers of students have grown, the building has followed suit with a major renovation several years ago. 
“I wanted people to walk in and say, ‘Wow!’” George says. 
They do. 
The store, which initially had just four teaching rooms divided the space to accommodate more teaching rooms, each one constructed for optimal sound-quality and sound-proofing, and all residing in an area separated from the main store. 
The time, effort and commitment to the quality of each room reflects that of the overall store and its owners. As is the music that flows in and out of the hallways, the store, and teaching area always in flux, ever-changing and improving. 
“We’re always looking for ways to be better,” says George. “It’s kind of like a big studio.” 
Acoustically, technically, logistically the store and teaching area are indeed like a high-quality studio. But they are so much more.
“This store is more than a job,” says George, choking up a bit. “It’s not about the money. It’s the feeling of seeing all these kids. If you just stop and listen…what would they do if we weren’t here?”
Fortunately, it’s a question no one has to answer anytime soon. Shiloh Music is a legendary, historic place. Yet, it’s also relevant, cutting-edge and agile, moving with ease as one generation rolls into the next. 
As the music of the universe continues to fall upon this earth, the heart of this store will continue to beat strong inviting all who are near to step inside, tap their foot and learn to make music of their own.