For the 12th consecutive year, a group of Chadron State College students has attended the prestigious National Association of Music Merchants four-day trade show and conference.
Dr. Sandy Schaefer, CSC music professor, led a group of nine students to the NAMM show in Anaheim, Calif. last week.
The CSC students, along with students from over 100 other colleges, are part of an organization called NAMM Generation Next. The College Music Society held a joint conference with NAMM this year as well.
“It can be a life-changing event,” Schaefer said of attending the NAMM show.
CSC alumnus Alex Keller is now working for Audience AV in Southern California following a successful internship with NAMM from February to July of 2013. He helped coordinate the summer NAMM show in Nashville during his internship.
Keller, who works Saturdays at the NAMM museum in Carlsbad, Calif., made numerous career contacts at NAMM shows he attended.
Current CSC senior Kaleb Britton was granted a preliminary interview with Yamaha while attending the NAMM show. The Yamaha Corporation comprises more than half of the music instrument business in the U.S. according to Schaefer. Britton said he also has leads with two custom drum companies.
Britton has attended NAMM for four years and said even though he went in wide-eyed at first, he has become more comfortable with the professional musicians at the shows. This year, some of them even saw him before he saw them.
“You can walk right up to a CEO of a company and talk to them at NAMM. Everyone is friendly and open. It’s a really great experience. You can’t get this in the classroom,” Britton said.
Being able to attend the show alongside thousands of professionals gives students a “great inside look in to the music business industry. You get out of it what you put into it. You learn how to network and present yourself,” he said.
Student participants were provided endless networking opportunities with over 1,400 exhibiting companies and over 90,000 professional musicians. In addition, professional development sessions provided tools and guidance for careers in the music industry.
Composer and arranger Ben Folds of the “Ben Folds Five" served as the keynote speaker of the event.
NAMM CEO Joe Lamond moderated two of the panel discussions the CSC students attended. Presenter Carl Dustman, well-known in the percussion industry, is a musician Schaefer has known “for generations."
Schaefer said students heard advice at the conference which reiterates what CSC faculty members suggest: take a graphics class, a class in web development and at least one class in e-commerce. Even though these courses aren’t required, they are important in seeking a music business career.
—Tena L. Cook, Interim Marketing Coordinator