Strong School Band and Orchestra Sales Driving Retail into NAMM Show
—School band and orchestra sales remain strong this fall as the music product and instrument industry prepares for the 2013 NAMM Show’s return to Anaheim, CA from January 24-27. Brands that make products for school music programs are among the thousands of music industry companies putting final touches on new instruments and products that will debut at the NAMM Show. Retailers are looking to the NAMM Show as an opportunity to restock shelves following an uptick in school music sales this fall. Fall is traditionally school music recruitment season, when families around the country decide to start kids on the path toward making music.
“West Music is having a great fall with more students signing up and getting involved in school music. We feel that part of this is due to demographic growth and an increased number of students eligible to play, but also a continued focus on recruitment efforts both by us as a music retailer and by school music directors,” said Ryan West, senior vice president, West Music Company, a music retail chain with six locations in Iowa and Illinois. “At the NAMM Show, in addition to instruments we’ll be looking for products such as cases, popular music for band and orchestra instruments, accessories, and step up instruments that will not only engage new students, but also ways to keep them involved with music making. By working with our vendor partners at the NAMM Show we can all benefit with more enthusiastic music makers playing for the long term and helping the entire industry grow.”
While the school music segment of the music product industry was fairly recession resistant over the last five years, the 2012 numbers show an increase over 2011. Imports of school music products are up 28 percent for the quarter with sales at retail up 4.5 percent compared to the same period last year, according to Music Trades. More than 350 manufacturers and print music publishers from around the world are planning to preview the latest woodwind, brasswind, educational percussion and string instruments, and the related gear and products to help start kids and teens making music.
“Student band and orchestra rentals are still strong and have stayed so over the course of the last four years. This resilience has also been proven in the past recessions. Parents still look favorably on their child learning to play an instrument and we have a constant replenishment of students every year,” said Rick Young, senior vice president, Yamaha Corporation of America. “Yamaha has been strongly focused on both music educators and school service dealers for many years and not just with our band and orchestra division, but also with keyboard, audio-video, commercial and pro audio and combo divisions.”
No school music program is complete without committed music educators. NAMM Foundation will host Music Education Days during the NAMM Show to offer music educators and administrators an opportunity to preview the latest instruments, products and tools relevant to today’s music classrooms and attend educational sessions designed to strengthen school music programs.
The NAMM Show gathers 90,000 members of the music product industry from around the world to preview new product debuts from thousands of brands across every category. Registration is now open for qualified members of the music instrument, product and pro-light and sound industries. Exhibit space is still available for the 2013 event. Learn more about the 2013 NAMM Show at http://www.namm.org/thenammshow/2013.
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