Summer NAMM Provides More Business-Enhancing Opportunities

As a platform to develop new business strategies, connect with industry peers and to springboard into a successful second-half of the year and the all-important holiday sales season, 2017 Summer NAMM welcomed a plethora of buyers, exhibitors, artists, industry veterans and music professionals last week at Music City Center in Nashville (July 13-15). The annual show drew crowds of industry pros seeking to invest in their businesses and gain a competitive advantage in today’s dynamic marketplace.

“The pace of change is accelerating, and with it, never has it been more critical to long-term business success to work on your business rather than in it,” said Joe Lamond, NAMM president and CEO. “The three days of Summer NAMM offered our valued members the tools needed to nurture and grow their businesses through opportunities to cultivate new relationships, reaffirm existing ones and invest in their businesses through high-value educational opportunities.”

An abundance of professional education sessions and leading manufacturers welcomed 14,284 industry members to the show, a 2 % increase from 2016. Of note, international attendees accounted for a growth of 14% over 2016, and nearly 28% growth over 2015; a trend which continues to demonstrate the international opportunities available to both buyers and exhibiting members alike. Buyers from around-the-world found their way to Summer NAMM in a comparable count to 2016, but with the diversity of location and store product mix and needs as differentiating factors. This year’s event welcomed a slight increase of 1% buying firms to the show; an increase attributed to multi-line carriers from the U.S. and Europe, and large ecommerce and click and mortar warehouse retailers populating the show floor with buying power.

The show counted 1,650 brands presented by 505 total exhibitors, comparable to 2016, but representing a 2% increase over 2015. Exhibitors included a dynamic mix of top-name makers in traditional MI including Fender, Gibson, Sabian, Peavy, Fishman, Martin, Eventide, Gator Cases, Hal Leonard, Gretsch, Boss, Yamaha, D’Addario, and a variety of pro audio companies were also on-hand including Avid, IK Multimedia, CAD Audio, Casio, PreSonus, Neutrik, Rupert Neve Designs, and many more.

For established brands like Fender, Justin Norvell, Senior Vice President said that "Summer NAMM is the springboard for the back half of the year and a time where you create excitement and create energy with dealers, retailers, and partners in the industry, and set the table for Q3 and 4, which is when most of the business is done in the industry."

David Jahnke, Senior Vice President of Sales for Hal Leonard echoed the sentiment: "We come to meet with existing dealers, but also to make a lot of new connections. It's a great opportunity to connect with a lot of retailers we probably wouldn't see throughout the year. Summer NAMM really gives us the ability to have deeper conversations."

New and returning exhibitors accounted for 235 of the exhibitor count and included emerging brands like Audio Fusion, 3Dio, Devilcat Amplifiers, Locomotive Audio, Serek Basses, the Electric Harmonica Company and many others. For a variety of new exhibitors, the vibrancy and opportunity to exhibit at Summer NAMM is a “must have” for the growth of their business. Tim Barbour, co-founder of Strung, a custom guitar string accessory maker, explained: “We didn’t know what to expect for the first time coming here and we’ve met some amazing people,” he enthused. “Within the first hour of the show, we’ve opened up a few wholesale accounts and we’re already planning to come back.”

Another first-time exhibitor, 3Dio, a binaural microphone company, chose Summer NAMM to launch their products. Jeffrey Anderson, founder and CEO of the company shared, “Summer NAMM is our first show, and being in Nashville is the ideal location for us. There are retailers and manufacturers here to garner interest in our products and make connections, and artists are able to give it a try.”

More than 60 professional development sessions, designed to enhance skills and businesses across the industry, were presented by NAMM U and TEC Tracks. Hot topics included innovative store design, video marketing secrets, and differentiating your lesson program, as well as a variety of technology focused sessions including the art of music production, audio for VR and live sound essentials. Special guests, including country hit-makers Sheryl Crowe and Sara Evans delighted the crowd, making for a could-not-miss gathering for professionals involved in all areas of the industry.

“The Summer NAMM Show goes leaps and bounds beyond the inventory selection process. I use this week as an opportunity to network and meet people, grow, be a sponge and soak up knowledge from other industry veterans,” offered Tim Spicer, owner of Spicer’s Music. “The Idea Center and the networking opportunities give you the opportunity to grow personally and professionally, and the wisdom gained will help your business for years to come.”

NAMM U and TEC Tracks were top-stop-spots for leading retailers, including Robert Christie, President of A&G Central Music (and 2017 Dealer of the Year), shared, “I come mostly to connect with my peers and attend the educational sessions. There are a lot of smart people here, so I take advantage to learn more. When you're surrounded by people who have the same passions for the things that you do, and are continuing to learn how to do it better, it can't help but rub off on you. We learn lessons at every NAMM Show.”

"We like coming to Summer NAMM for the classes. We've been in business 45 years, we know you always have to keep your eyes and ears open to what's attracting the customer, how we can make ourselves visible in ways we might not have thought of, how to approach a customer with a conversation they might not have thought about,” said Renee Farley, owner of Farley’s House of Pianos.

The show kicked off Thursday morning with a session from futurist and “Retail Prophet” Doug Stephens in a session titled “The Retail Store of the Future.” In the NAMM U Breakfast Session, Stephens shared his thoughts on what awaits retail and how the music products industry can begin to chart the future now. Friday’s Breakfast Session welcomed customer experience expert Doug Fleener as he presented “The Connected Consumer: Customer Experience in an Online World.” Fleener offered best practices for creating a valued customer experience in-store and online. Saturday morning offered perennial favorite “Best in Show.” Presented by moderator and Music Inc. Publisher Frank Alkyer, the panel of independent retailers discussed their top product picks from the show floor.

Networking and exciting NAMM at Night events could be found each day of the show, starting on Thursday with the 34th annual American Eagle Awards. The annual awards show honored country music legend Crystal Gayle; singer, songwriter and poet Patti Smith; and comic, actor, writer, musician and creators' rights activist Harry Shearer. Presented by the National Music Council, the highly prestigious awards are presented each year in recognition of long-term contributions to American musical culture and heritage, the importance of music education for all children, and the need to protect creators’ rights locally and internationally. NAMM members in attendance enjoyed performances from each artist, and the chance to witness Paul Shaffer and Richard Leigh present the awards.

Friday evening gathered the industry to honor their peers in the Top 100 Dealer awards. Now in its seventh year, the Top 100 applaud the excellence and innovation found in music products retailing and this year, recognized A&G Central Music with the prestigious “Dealer of the Year” award. The event was hosted by Country Music Television personality Cody Alan, complete with music from Tim Akers and The Smoking Section featuring "American Idol" finalist, Melinda Doolittle. A complete list of winners can be found here: https://www.namm.org/news/press-releases/namm-celebrates-world’s-top-1...

On Saturday - Music Industry Day - attendees and members welcomed country music legend Charley Pride. Pride treated the crowd to a rousing performance spanning his decades of hits, including “Kiss an Angel Good Morning,” “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone?” and a few songs off his recently released album, Music in My Heart.

As the 2017 Summer NAMM Show came to a close, the industry left armed and focused on bringing value back to their businesses for a successful second-half of the year. New exhibitor, Jake Serek, founder of Serek Basses said, “The feedback and connections I’ve made here will carry back with me to my shop and help me improve my business and my products. I’ve made lots of valuable connections at Summer NAMM which I’ll carry home with me.”

Next up for the music instrument, pro audio and live event tech industry will be The 2018 NAMM Show. Held January 25-28 in Anaheim, The 2018 NAMM Show campus will be expanded and reimagined with the addition of 100,000 square-foot building, new alliances with ESTA, AES and others, new exhibitors in the lighting, live sound and event technologies areas, as well as new networking opportunities and events, such as the Parnelli Awards, designed to serve the crossroads of the industry.

Photo links for editorial use: Please credit Jason Davis/Getty Images for NAMM

Summer NAMM Show Opening

American Eagle Awards, Honoring Crystal Gayle, Patti Smith and Harry Shearer

Top 100 Dealer Awards

Summer NAMM Music Industry Day Featuring Charley Pride

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The NAMM Foundation Announces $675,000 in Grants to Music Education Programs

The NAMM Foundation has announced that the organization will benefit 24 different music education programs with $675,000 in grants, an increase made possible by NAMM Foundation donors. The beneficiaries, located both domestically and abroad, provide access and instruction to a variety of different communities and demographics. While unique in instrumentation and location, each organization’s mission underscores the Foundation’s commitment to creating and supporting access to quality music education programs to inspire a life-long love of music making.

“From France to Brazil, to Canada and Great Britain and beyond, the recipients of our grants are working to create access and opportunities for all people to experience the joy of making music,” stated Mary Luehrsen, Executive Director of The NAMM Foundation. “It is through the transformative work of nonprofit music service organizations that thousands of people will discover their own musical talents.”

Since its inception in 1994, The NAMM Foundation’s annual grant program has donated more than $16 million in support to domestic and international music education programs, scientific research, advocacy and public service programs related to music making. The grants are funded in part by donations from the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) and its 10,300 member companies worldwide.

“We are grateful to the many new and existing donors who have so generously benefitted the NAMM Foundation this past year,” continued Luehrsen. “Their generosity has helped the Foundation expand its grant making efforts to benefit numerous opportunities for people of all ages to experience the joys and benefits of making music.”

The 2017 beneficiaries of The NAMM Foundation grants are as follows:

Anafima Associação Nacional dos Fabricantes de Instrumentos Musicais e Audio LTda (ANAFIMA)

The Brazilian Musical Instruments and Audio Industry Association is led by a mission of creating more musicians. The charity was formed by the ANAFIMA to channel resources directly into creating more music makers. The NAMM Foundation funding will support its efforts to expand National Play Day in 2018 offering free lessons through a network of music stores and companies. A grant will also support promotional efforts through an expanded website and PR outreach to promote the benefits of making music and National Play Day events and music learning opportunities.

Australian Music Association

The Australian Music Association is the trade body for the music products industry, representing wholesalers, manufacturers, retailers and associated services for musical instruments, pro audio, print music, lighting and computer music products. The NAMM Foundation funding supports the expansion of AMA’s commitment to Recreational Music Making and the organization’s Young Warriors program. This outreach and youth development effort is organized in collaboration with regional mental health professionals and youth workers who operate rock bands and hands-on music technology learning in store fronts and community centers. Funding will also support the 2018 Make Music Day Australia.

Coalition for Music Education in Canada

The Coalition for Music Education in Canada (CMEC)’s mission is to raise the awareness and understanding of the role that music education plays in Canadian culture, and to promote the benefits that music education brings to young people. The NAMM Foundation funding supports the expansion of its Music Monday program, a public awareness initiative that engages thousands of music makers and the media in the opportunity to celebrate music making's vital role in school and in life. The program has engaged national media, politicians and artists in promoting the importance of music education for all children in Canada. CMEC will also continue to advance its Youth4Music program engaging young people in their communities creating a network of youth promoting the benefits and importance of music education.

Dallas Wind Symphony

The Dallas Wind Symphony’s mission is to bring extraordinary musicians and enthusiastic audiences together to celebrate the performance, promotion, and preservation of the music and traditions of the American wind band through concerts, recordings, broadcasts, music education programs, commissions, and projects that nurture the professional development of musicians, composers, and conductors. The NAMM Foundation funding will support their School Band Education Enrichment for all Dallas Independent School District fifth grade students as an introduction to band. Funding also supports the Dallas Wind Symphony summer band camp that provides at-risk and underserved students from the Dallas Independent School District the chance to attend a unique summer band camp presented by the professional musicians of this world-class wind ensemble.

EngAge, Inc.

The EngAge mission is to empower people- intellectually, creatively and emotionally- to do what they do best for the rest of their lives. EngAGE is a national service program that is an outgrowth of NAMM-funded research on the impact of rigorous music and art making on the health and wellbeing of seniors. A first-ever NAMM Foundation grant will support “EngAGE in Music,” an expansion of ongoing EngAGE in Creativity programs, that transforms senior apartment communities into vibrant centers for teaching and learning, artistic exploration, creativity and engagement. Funding support for EngAGE in Music will offer a variety of music programs (taiko drumming, ukulele, choir and other ensemble music opportunities) for low-income seniors residing in Common Bond communities in Minneapolis, MN through a collaboration with the MacPhail Center for Music.

Guitars and Accessories Marketing Association

The Guitar and Accessories Marketing Association (GAMA) is a trade association comprising guitar products manufacturers and distributors with a mission to bring together and grow the guitar community by promoting greater access to learning and playing guitar. The NAMM Foundation funding supports the training of 250-300 school music educators in the coming year through workshops that occur across the country and provides tools to start school-based guitar programs. Through the grant, this long-running program has substantially influenced what is offered in music education curriculum programs in the U.S. today.

Guitars in the Classroom

Guitars in the Classroom (GITC) trains and equips classroom teachers to integrate singing and playing guitar into children’s daily school experiences. By providing instruction, access to instruments, resource materials, and program supervision, GITC empowers educators to transform classrooms into musical environments that bring out the best in all students by engaging them in studies across the curriculum. The NAMM Foundation funding will support the “Triangle Training Approach” – workshops and teacher training to support teachers as they integrate guitar and ukulele into the elementary curriculum.

John Lennon Educational Tour Bus

The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus is a non-profit 501(c)(3) state-of-the-art mobile audio and HD video recording and production facility. The NAMM Foundation funding supports a school and community residency in school year 2017-18 featuring student workshops on The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, a mobile recording studio that provides hands-on training in music technology. As part of the residency, The NAMM Foundation hosts a community-wide, town hall style SupportMusic Community Forum as a national webcast that celebrates the community’s commitment and support for music education for all students. A school district/community is selected based on a submission to a “What Makes Music Education Great in My District” video contest that is held each fall.

Little Kids Rock

The mission of Little Kids Rock is to restore and revitalize music education in U.S. public schools. It provides free musical instruments and music instruction to underserved schools across the country. The NAMM Foundation funding supports Little Kids Rocks’ Modern Band Rockfest 2017, its 5th annual national teacher training conference. This week-long teacher training event guides teachers and administrators in methods to develop “modern band” programs – guitar, drums, keyboard – as part of school music education offerings.

The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation

The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation (MHOF) expands and boosts music education in schools by providing durable, high-quality musical instruments to deserving, under-funded music programs nationwide. MHOF also helps schools advance best practices to ensure the longevity of these vital programs. The NAMM Foundation funds will assist MHOF in selecting and providing new instruments to supply two school music programs.

Music For All

Music For All/UK is the charity attached to the UK musical instrument industry. The organization serves to make more musicians. The charity will use The NAMM Foundation grant to align its Learn to Play Day in 2017 with the global Make Music Day UK music events and to expand the reach and ambition of the project. The Learn to Play Day annual event enables the public to have free lessons at UK music retail stores. The goal is to expand Learn to Play Day to a week-long event that culminates in UK-wide Make Music Day being developed with partners that include the BBC, musicians’ union and others. As part of an expanding NAMM-member-led network, Music for All will also share its community event resources with MI organizations in Brazil, Spain and Germany.

Musical Futures Australia

Musical Futures, a program created in the UK and with NAMM support, will offer training to teachers in schools. The program is designed to extend the reach of music education into the local school systems across Asia using the Musical Futures approach to teaching and learning. A grant supports the project’s immediate goals to increase access to music making through: the development of a network of schools and highly skilled teachers who can facilitate and lead music education in their local cities and communities; creating an infrastructure and means to transfer the skills and approach to local teachers and school systems; broaden the base of music making opportunities to include recreational/community music making for young students; and address the barriers and impediments that restrict access to music making across school systems.

National Piano Foundation

The mission of the National Piano Foundation is to develop educational programs, activities and materials which educate the general public, parents and students about the value, benefit and enjoyment of playing the piano; contribute to the professional well-being of the teaching community; support the music study success of piano users; and promote the productive interaction and cooperation of all segments of the music industry. The NAMM Foundation funds will support the continuance of the National Piano Foundation’s (NPF) training for piano teachers in collaboration with Music Teachers National Association (MTNA). The grant also supports a new program, Keyboards in the Classroom, and the development and piloting of a new classroom curriculum and teacher training modeled after a high-impact program in a Texas public school. This “teaching the teacher” program seeks to reach thousands of more students through group keyboard lessons and compel piano and piano lab purchases as part of music education infrastructure needs in public schools.

National String Project Consortium

The National String Project Consortium (NSPC) is a coalition of String Project sites based at colleges and universities across the United States. The NSPC is dedicated to increasing the number of children playing stringed instruments, and addressing the critical shortage of string teachers in the United States. The NAMM Foundation funding support will provide teacher training for string music educators and offer training to teach strings in inner-city and under-served communities. Funding will support the emerging programs of four existing sites at Pacific University, Kennesaw State University, Southern Mississippi University, and University of Texas at El Paso, as well as a new site at Tennessee Tech University.

Notes for Change, Inc.

Notes for Change, Inc. seeks to empower students through the experience of musical study and increasing access to music education. The organization's goals are to promote life skills and community through musical training, and advocate for music education. The NAMM Foundation funding will expand the Ensemble Newsletter readership by distributing in formats that provide access through all means across the global Sistema. Support will also raise awareness through a social media campaign.

Orchestre a' L'Ecole

Orchestre A L’Ecole, a non-profit music trade association in France, aims to develop the musical abilities of young people in schools in disadvantaged areas. The NAMM Foundation funding will support the continued expansion and provide instruments for students regardless of the personal financial resources of schools and students. As of September 2016, this program of youth orchestra development in France has increased to include 1,200 orchestras throughout the country and hosts national and regional festivals.

Percussion Marketing Council

The Percussion Marketing Council’s mission is to provide professional marketing and advertising campaigns, programs and activities that bring increased public awareness to drumming, thus increasing the number of people playing all types of drums. The NAMM Foundation funding supports four key PMC program areas: Drum Set in the Classroom (DSC) that offers in-school drum set workshops with a goal to create more drummers and familiarity with drum set music making; expansion of Percussion in the Schools (PIS) to include more in-school events and cultivate more professional facilitators; Drums Across America based on PMC’s successful drum lesson lab tent at select Vans Warped Tour in the summer and increase the lesson lab activities in school and community settings; and International Drum Month, an annual promotion and percussion celebration effort.

Percussive Arts Society

Percussive Arts Society (PAS) is a non-profit, music service organization. Its mission is to promote percussion education, research, performance and appreciation throughout the world. The NAMM Foundation funding supports its expansion of the Indianapolis-based Find Your Rhythm! Community Outreach program. The grant will continue its work with Indianapolis-area school districts via tours and hands-on programs at Rhythm! Discovery Center that also serve the general public with exposure to music education and percussion in its Saturday programs.

San Diego Youth Symphony

The San Diego Youth Symphony (SDYS) and Conservatory instills excellence in the musical and personal development of students through rigorous and inspiring musical-training experiences. The NAMM Foundation funding supports SDYS Community Opus after-school programs in Chula Vista, CA (CVESD). As the district builds its district-wide music education program, the Opus after-school program fill a gap of access for students who do not yet have in-school music and students who want a more advanced music ensemble experience. The NAMM Foundation support for the SDYS Community Opus in Chula Vista has been a catalyst for the re-instatement of music education in the district including the hiring of over 70 fulltime certified music and arts educators.

SongwritingWith: Soldiers

SongwritingWith: Soldiers (SW:S)’s mission is to transform lives by using collaborative songwriting to expand creativity, connections and strengths. Soldiers (SW:S) connects veterans with professional songwriters in retreat and workshop settings to craft songs about combat, the transition home and address issues of PTSD, connectedness and social isolation that can occur after military service. The program serves all branches of the military populations. Retreats are free to participants and their family/caregiver. The NAMM Foundation will support two SongwritingWith: Soldiers retreats.

The Sphinx Organization, Inc.

Founded in 1996, the Sphinx Organization is a Detroit-based national performing arts organization dedicated to transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts. The NAMM Foundation funding will support the organization’s summer academy that provides music education and a pathway to exemplary achievement in classical music for Black and Latino student musicians.

Technology Institute for Music Educators (TI:ME)

The Technology Institute for Music Educators (TI:ME) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to assist music educators in applying technology to improve teaching and learning in music. The NAMM Foundation grant will support the TI:ME Technology Leadership Academy for pre-service music education teachers. Selected through a competitive, national application process, 20 participants who are in the final years of preparation to be music teachers, will attend the academy to be held in conjunction with the TI:ME National Conference and learn various methods for using music technology as part of standards-based music education curriculum.

VH1 Save the Music Foundation

VH1 Save the Music Foundation develops long-term, sustainable instrumental music programs in high-need public schools. In 2014, they created the KEYS + Kids Piano Grant Program to respond to the demand for high-quality piano packages for music, drama and community programs in K-12 schools. The NAMM Foundation funding will provide two targeted KEYS + Kids grants to qualifying schools in the 2017-18 school year.

Young Audiences Arts for Learning

A grant to Young Audiences (YA), a national non-profit that connects educators to community music and arts education resources, continues a collaboration with The NAMM Foundation to strengthen the capacities of music service organizations. YA will organize a series of forums and roundtables at The NAMM Show 2018 along with online resources to strengthen music making service organizations around issues of non-profit management including board governance, fund raising, promotion and program evaluation and implementation that includes alignment with national fine arts standards.

About The NAMM Foundation

The NAMM Foundation is a non-profit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its 10,300 members around the world. The NAMM Foundation works to advance active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs. For more information about The NAMM Foundation, please visit http://www.nammfoundation.org

Professional Audio Leaves a Big Footprint

To understand how much the NAMM Show is evolving, you simply need to walk the show floor. Once, guitars and drums filled the halls, while the tools of professional audio were hard to find. Now, the rock and roll side of the show remains as healthy as ever, but alongside the instruments are portable loudspeakers, line arrays, mixing consoles and more. The business of professional audio is now a part of NAMM’s DNA.
 

This year, the growth of NAMM is clearer than ever. It says a great deal that one of the year’s most significant mixing console product launches – the arrival of DiGiCo’s SD12 – was hosted right here in Anaheim. A wall of visitors has surrounded the booth since it was unveiled on Thursday morning.
 

Elsewhere, visitors can experience a wide selection of professional audio solutions, from booths designed to mimic a full venue-style set-up, to the numerous line arrays waiting to be heard in Hall A, to new wireless microphone solutions, app-driven live sound ecosystems, world-class studio monitors and more.
 

It’s all part of a gradual expansion that has been taking place over the course of a number of years, and it’s not finished yet. As Saturday night comes into full swing with the ever-anticipated TEC Awards, it’s clear that the future of The NAMM Show really is about becoming the crossroads of many communities, all meeting in California to celebrate the business of music and sound.
 

See you on the floor for the final day of The 2017 NAMM Show!

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