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.

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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!

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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.
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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.

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Drop Off Service to Ottawa Pianos – Update
December 24, 2019

Our Delivery Service to Ottawa Pianos Has Ended

We would like to give a big thanks to our friends at Ottawa Pianos for their support over the past year during the Elgin Street reconstruction. Their kind offer to allow their store to be used as a drop-off point has made life much easier for a lot of our customers.

However, now that Elgin Street is open to traffic once again, this drop-off service will no longer be in operation. Everything is pretty much back to normal around here and we look forward to seeing you in the store!

Choral Newsletter November 2019
November 11, 2019

Dear choral friends,

The holidays are just around the corner! We hope you have had or are working on a successful first concert and are gearing up for December. This month we bring you features on choral titles on sale, accessories, and crucial information on choral orders.

Also, early bird registration for Podium 2020 – Canada’s National Choral Conference – is now open! Scroll down for details.

Order Now for January Rehearsals!

We always recommend ordering as early as possible for January rehearsals because many of our publisher partners close over the holidays, and this can cause delays. Order now and let us know when you need the music to arrive and we will do everything we can to meet your deadline.


Order Now!

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