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Downing 'Jake' Jacobs, proprietor of Troubadour Music

Jake Jacobs and ensemble
Jake Jacobs and ensemble

Downing “Jake” Jacobs, the owner of Troubadour Music in Wayne, PA, is a man of many talents. In addition to playing an array of string instruments, Jacobs also does expert repair work.

‘Hand-held string instruments are my specialty,’ he says. This includes servicing violins, bridge and peg adjustments, and crack repair.

After graduating from Cheltenham High School in Wyncote, PA, Jacobs attended the University of Miami where he earned a degree in English with a minor in economics: ‘I was going to study science but I discovered I was better at liberal arts than biology.’

Jacobs first got into the music business as a guitar teacher at the original Troubadour Music in King of Prussia. By the early 1970’s, Jacobs had purchased the store and become the proprietor. He moved the business to Wayne in 1993 and then to its current location at 380 West Lancaster Avenue.

To those who feel that music is superfluous to society, Jacobs believes the arts are as important as the sciences, as important for the mind as athletics is for the body.

‘Test after test has proven that musically literate students excel at math and science, both require the same kind of discipline.’

Music, Jacobs adds, is also something that is attainable for certain children, those who might be physically unable to do athletics, or if they have disabilities: ‘Children with Asperger’s or autism take to music. Music therapy treats learning disabilities.’

Ultimately, music does not exist in a vacuum: ‘Music’ Jacobs insists, ‘is not a cult, it is an art.’

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