Mid South Hill Neighborhood

by Karen Dunlap

……Four blocks west (of Rosauer’s & Joe’s) is a coffee spot with as different persona as it’s possible to imagine. Still small, but cozy and hip, the Rocket Bakeryat 14th and Adams sits on the same block as AMEND MUSIC CENTER, a neighborhood fixture and a hub of activity for the community. In addition to selling music, repairing instruments and doing a brisk business in rental instruments for local bands and orchestras, especially at the elementary and middle school level, AMEND’S is known for support of disabled musicians, to whom it provides adapted instruments. Robin Amend’s grandfather lost an arm in a lumbermill accident, and his framed patent certificate for a device that makes one handed piano playing possible, plus a number of amazing photos of the device in use, are on display at the store. Anyone who played in a high school marching band ought ot make a visit to AMEND’S; the collection of old uniforms on display is really something. Continue reading “Mid South Hill Neighborhood”

A Certain Grace

This article was printed in ‘Nostalgia Magazine’ in November of 2000 and gives a little insight into why we have a music store at all and why we think music is so important for all people.

What he remembered most was the smell. Not the heady, hard to breathe, muggy smell of cedars in the rainforest, but that of freshly cut cedar – the smell of a newly split shake roof.

When the accident happened, his life did not pass before his eyes. He didn’t think of his love of wood that had led him into an apprenticeship at the local lumber mill. An apprenticeship that paid wages in wood instead of dollars; wood that he had used to build his first house. And he didn’t think of his job in this shake mill in the forests of Washington. He thought of the pain, pain and the smell of cedar. Continue reading “A Certain Grace”

The Sound of Hope: Instrument of Change

For many years AMEND MUSIC CENTER has been working on ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGIES. We have developed many adaptive mechanisms that have been designed to help musicians that are disabled in any manner. This includes changing fingering mechanisms, adding braces, moving existing parts, building support systems and many other physical adaptations. Our crowning achievement was brought to life by means of a Small Business Innovation and Research Grant that we were awarded by the United States Department of Education. We manufactured and developed a device that successfully takes the place of a person’s disabled fingers and allows them to play a musical instrument that would normally require the use of a full set of fingers. Continue reading “The Sound of Hope: Instrument of Change”

About Agwa Taka


The Journey of Life

In many ways Agwa Taka is an average Spokanite. But that’s only half the story

March 12, 2013

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By all rights, Agwa Taka should be dead.

If starvation didn’t get him as a kid in Ethiopia, then disease, three wars, childhood slavery and a year in a hellhole prison certainly should have done the job.

But here he is, up at 1:30 every morning, drinking a cup of coffee, the snow melting outside his kitchen window and cars passing in the distance on Grand Boulevard. Agwa (“AWG-wah”) listens to the news on the radio. He pets his dog Rosco, filling his bowl with kibble as the mutt looks back at him with a tonguey grin. He pulls on a pair of jeans, hiking boots and a polo shirt. Continue reading “About Agwa Taka”