About Us

Kidder Music Service, Inc. has been serving the music needs of Central Illinois since 1974. Our mission is to foster music education in the schools and communities of Central Illinois. We strive to be the best at providing quality instruments, sheet music, accessories, and top-quality repair service. We wish to continue our reputation as a leader in the music industry both locally and nationally.

Company History

Kidder Music Service, Inc. (originally named Byerly School Service) was founded in 1974 by James and Floride Kidder as a school band instrument service company located at 222 SW Adams St. in Peoria, IL. After having spent several years as a band director in the area, Jim worked as a road salesman for Byerly Music before founding his own company.

Since our inception, we have continued to grow, carrying a full line of band and orchestra instruments, accessories, sheet music and maintaining our repair services. By 1980 we had outgrown our original location and moved to 7623 N Crestline Drive in north Peoria. Here we were able to continue expansion of our print music services and accessories as well as to increase staff to accommodate our steady growth.

When a larger building on our street became available in 1994, we moved once again to the current location at 7728 N Crestline Drive. The unfinished warehouse was completely gutted and designed to reflect industry standards giving us a real showroom with display area enabling us to show more of our available products and add digital pianos and keyboards. Additionally, we were able to have a true shipping/receiving area as part of our warehouse section allowing for efficient processing of orders and convenience for road salesmen deliveries. We added four small lesson studios in another area of the building, and that part of our business grew as well. During this expansion period of the business, our management team expanded as well, when Beth Kidder Houlihan took over as president of the company, and Jim semi-retired to a consultant’s role.

In 2012, our lesson program in Peoria had outgrown our studio space, so we expanded into the adjacent building at 7722 N. Crestline Drive. We first rented one half of that building, and in 2019 we were able to acquire the entire building, remodel, and expand the studios once again.

We are still growing and hope to foster this growth into the future by continuing to offer excellent musical products supported with service and staff which is second to none.