The Move To Long & McQuade
July 27, 2020

Good news!  Our long-delayed transition to Long & McQuade’s Hunt Club location is now scheduled to take place on Monday, August 10, 2020. Sheilah will be working at that location and will be busy incorporating our remaining inventory with their in-store print music display for the first while.

The Leading Note’s online store will be back to full functionality as of that date and you may continue to use it to make orders that will be filled by L&M.  This means that:

  • All titles will be orderable (i.e. the current restrictions on ordering titles that are not in stock will be removed).
  • There will be the option to pick up your order at one of L&M’s three Ottawa locations: Hunt Club, Kanata, Orleans.

Sheilah will process your online orders and respond to your emails with the same wonderful service that you have come to expect from The Leading Note.

Clearance Sale

We still have hundreds of clearance titles that are 50-75% off. These are titles that will not be taken over by L&M and, as such, will disappear once the transition takes place. Also, all regular in-stock items will only be 20% off until the move. Last chance to take advantage of these great savings! 

Click on your instrument to see the corresponding clearance titles:

We hope that you will support Sheilah and her crew in her new home.  Drop in and say hi once the dust has settled!

Click here to see some fun photos from the move out of our Elgin Street store back at the end of April.

The End Of An Era!
July 22, 2020

On Thursday, April 30, 2020, The Leading Note moved out of it’s downtown Ottawa location at 370 Elgin St. The original plan was that the move to Long & McQuade’s Hunt Club location would take place during the last week of April. However, the COVID-19 situation threw a monkey wrench into all of that and the transition is on hold indefinitely. Many, many, many thanks to Kevin Burke and Wendy Berkelaar for sticking with us and helping us to make it through the month of April.

So, Tina and I ended up somehow finding a way to move the remaining inventory to our house. This blog documents the process…

(Read more…)

May 4, 2020

We may be in limbo, but our online store is still open! Read on…

The Leading Note’s Elgin Street store is now closed. After 20+ years at that location, the premises were vacated as of April 30, 2020. Once again, many thanks to our countless number of wonderful customers who made the last 20 years such an enjoyable adventure.

As most of you know, the intent was to transition to Long & McQuade’s Hunt Club location at the end of April. However, due to the COVID-19 situation, that plan has been put on hold until the situation improves. Hopefully, once things get back to more or less ‘normal’, the store will move to L&M along with our employees.

In the meantime, The Leading Note finds itself somewhat in limbo. We are now operating the on-line store out of our house at 115 Waverley St. (just two blocks from the store’s former Elgin St. location). However, since it is basically a one-man show, we are only selling inventory that we currently have in stock – we are not making any new orders to publishers/suppliers (some of which are still shut down). The only exception to this is the RCM material. We plan to continue to accept orders for these titles.

We are also pleased to offer contactless curb-side (or, more accurately, in-porch) pickup from our Waverley Street location.

So, we have a house full of great music that is still available to purchase. Virtually all of our regularly stocked titles are on sale at 20% off and we have hundreds of clearance titles that are 30-50% off! Visit our SALES page.

Please keep buying music and help us get our house back to normal!


COVID-19 Update #3
March 25, 2020


The Leading Note physical store remains closed for in-store shopping.

However, our online store is OPEN. Or feel free to e-mail or call us to make an order.

Please take advantage of our website for your browsing purposes. We have recently put hundreds of titles on sale for 20%-50% off in order to reduce our inventory for the store move! Simply visit our Sale Guide and select your instrument to see these titles. Please note that purchasing options are primarily limited to in-stock items, as we will not be able to make orders from a large number of publishers.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.

Thanks for your understanding and stay safe!

COVID-19 Update #2
March 18, 2020


The Leading Note will remain operational for our regular business hours (10:00 am – 5:00 pm Mon-Sat), but only to serve the following:

  • Pick up orders, and
  • Ship out orders.

Regrettably, in order to ensure the safety of both our employees and our customers, effective Thursday, March 19, we will be closing our doors to customers for the purpose of in-store browsing. However, all other aspects of our business will continue to operate as usual. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.

(Read more…)

COVID-19 Update
March 16, 2020

WE ARE OPEN! We are maintaining our regular business hours (10:00 am -5:00 pm Monday-Saturday) and are keeping an eye on all updates from Ottawa Public Health regarding COVID-19.

In the meantime, we are taking the following steps to help ensure the safety of our staff and customers:

  1. Increased cleaning – We are regularly disinfecting common surfaces in the store (including door handles, our credit card machine, phones, and keyboards [both kinds!]), as well as increased cleaning of our bathrooms and on the shop floor.
  2. New safety measures – You may notice our staff wearing gloves or keeping their distance when they talk to you. Rest assured that we are not being unfriendly! We’re just making sure that our staff and customers are as safe as possible.
  3. Disinfecting work surfaces – Our staff will be disinfecting shared work surfaces regularly, so we ask for your patience while we take this extra cleaning step.

How can you help? We recommend the following!

(Read more…)

FAQs About the Transition to Long & McQuade
March 11, 2020

The following is a list of commonly asked questions regarding the transition from the existing Leading Note music store to Long & McQuade at the end of April. If you have a question that is not addressed here, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


The COVID-19 Crisis

  1. How does the current situation affect your planned transition to Long & McQuade?
    • The current situation has led to a postponement in our transition to Long & McQuade. We have had good talks with L&M and they are still committed to the transition. However, no one really knows when things will be safe enough for this to take place. We will keep you informed of any developments.
  2. What will happen to your website in the interim?
    • Our website will remain active until L&M eventually takes it over. However, because our physical store will be shut down as of April 30, the online store will essentially be run out of the McMillen homestead. Due to this scaled-down operation, we will not be making any new orders to suppliers and will only be selling items that we have in stock.


March and April at The Leading Note

  1. When is your last day of business?
    • The Leading Note on Elgin Street will close its doors at the end of the day on Saturday, April 18, 2020. Immediately after that date, we will be working towards a smooth transition of our stock (and expertise!) to Long & McQuade on Hunt Club Road. Online, email and phone orders will be responded to on an ongoing basis, but it will take a bit of time before you will be able to browse our collection with Sheilah and her team at the new location.
  2. What about current orders I’ve placed with you?
    • If you have an order in with us that has been filled, we would appreciate it if it was picked up on or before April 18. However, feel free to reach out to us to work out alternate arrangements if you need to pick up the order at Long & McQuade after that date. Orders that have not arrived as of April 18 will need to be picked up at the Hunt Club location. Please refer to our ordering deadlines below for any new requests you may have.
  3. (Read more…)

IMPORTANT NEWS: Leading Note to Join Long & McQuade
February 25, 2020

BIG NEWS: Our Team Joins Long & McQuade to Continue Our Legacy!

In May of this year, our store will become part of Long & McQuade Musical Instruments, Canada’s nationwide music success story!

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the current COVID-19 crisis, this move will be postponed until the situation returns to normal. We will keep you posted.

Our physical store will be integrated into their Hunt Club location, in Ottawa. This move will bring Long & McQuade’s numerous resources and national reach to the next chapter of The Leading Note’s print music adventure. We are delighted to announce that Sheilah Craven, our remarkable store manager for the past 20 years will be joining the new team – as will our wonderful employees, Vicente García and Kevin Burke. They will be able to offer the same level of excellent service and expertise that you have come to expect from us.

We are certainly expecting that the transition with Long & McQuade will go smoothly and The Leading Note’s existing website will remain available until its functionality is integrated into Long & McQuade’s site. So, the expertise and personalized service that you have come to expect from us will continue.

(Read more…)