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About Us

Compass Music is a real brick and mortar retail store in Madeira Beach, Florida. Our goal is to offer instruments that are fun, easy to play at an affordable price and provide service that is second to none.

The founder, Chris Rooney, has spent most of his life involved in music and the music business in one way or another. He played professionally for 10 years or so in the 70s and 80s traveling the United States and Caribbean in various bands. As family responsibilities became more demanding, he took a job in a retail music store and although primarily a guitarist, found he had a knack for the technical aspects of sound reinforcement and the new burgeoning synthesizer market. Also, his business education proved to be helpful and was quickly promoted to general manager. As the store grew to be the premier music store in the area, he garnered the attention of the distributor of Korg Keyboards and Marshall Amplifiers and was hired as the Midwest regional sales manager. Chris has also worked for Gibson Guitars and Washburn International in a similar capacity.

Having found a love for sailing in 2000, but hampered by the short sailing season in Ohio, Chris decided to move to Florida in 2006 to enjoy the beautiful gulf waters, the beach and improve his sailing skills. 

A business partner introduced Chris to the ukulele and the simple, little four stringed instrument had a new convert. One day while he was playing his uke on the beach, an idea came to him. While Chris had spent years and years learning and becoming proficient at voice, guitar and keyboards, he realized playing music purely for fun didnt require years of practice. The simple little ukulele could be enjoyed by almost anyone, almost immediately. Then he started looking for other instruments that a person could start playing and having fun with right away such as, hand drums, dulcimers, Native American flutes, autoharps, guitars, harmonicas and so on. With this idea and numerous studies conducted by NAMM, Chris came to understand that while less than 10% of the general population actively play a musical instrument, 85% of those polled that didnt play, wanted to. The reasons cited that kept people from attempting to play were usually the following: too expensive, requires talent, requires too much time or just too hard.

We would like to challenge those misconceptions and help others to see how playing music can have a wonderful impact on their overall well being, happiness, health both physiologically and mentally and in the process have an incredible amount of fun.

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