Fewer kids are picking up the guitar, local business owners say.

“Guitar is something you have to work hard at; it’s not instant gratification like a video game,” Dwayne King, owner of The Guitar Corner, said.

King also attributes the decline in interest to the lack of a guitar icon in popular music today. While he says enrollment in classes among kids has decreased, he notes a drastic improvement in enrollment around retirement age.

Claude Belanger first picked up a guitar when he was a teenager, but like many others, he said, life got in the way. Since his retirement, he has had the time to take up the guitar once again, and has started lessons at Musical Lives in Cambridge.

In addition to returning to an old hobby, Belanger says playing the guitar provides cognitive benefits.

Many businesses are counting on the same thing.

Ying Jiang, the CEO of Musical Lives, is working on deals with alternative schools to get the guitar back in the classroom. “Music is a perfect way to de-stress yourself,” he said.

He stresses the importance for music in kids’ lives, echoing the cognitive and motor skill benefits attributed to learning an instrument.

“Is it because kids just inherently aren’t interested anymore, or is it because we’re not doing a good enough job to get the word out?” said Jiang.