SUNY Oneonta music industry students got to rock out alongside the field’s finest last week at a global music products trade show in Anaheim, Calif.
From Jan. 24 to 27, the students attended The NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Show where, each year, leaders of the music products, pro audio and event technology industries gather for product introductions, business opportunities, networking and inspiration. There were more than 400 educational sessions, 7,000 brands represented and 115,301 registered industry professionals right at students’ fingertips.
“At NAMM, people came to connect with each other,” said Geoffrey Rosenthal, of Sharon, Mass. “This, alone, taught me so much about the art of networking. By the last day, I felt comfortable with approaching fellow musicians/attendees to engage in conversation.”
Students got to test new products, attend demonstrations and meet producers and musicians, including Michael Clifford, guitarist for 5 Seconds of Summer. Clifford appeared during the Gibson Experience and revealed his new signature guitar, the Melody Maker, which fans will soon be able to purchase.
“On the last day, I got to see Mike Dean speak,” said Alec Feldherr, of Merrick, NY. “Mike Dean is one of the in-house engineers for GOOD Music, Kanye West’s label. He mixed every Kanye album after “Late Registration” as well as Frank Ocean’s “Blonde,” which is one of my favorite albums ever made. Getting to meet him was an excellent moment.”
SUNY Oneonta students got a first-hand look at how music retail and music business go hand-in-hand, testing out the latest products, seeing lots of live performances, and attending cutting-edge demonstrations.
“It was so powerful to be surrounded by so many people who care about music and are driven to make the industry even better,” said Natalie Costanza, a music industry and mass communication major from Penfield, NY. “It was inspiring to hear advice and learn from industry leaders, some of whom have directly impacted my life.”
It was Rebecca Braun’s second year attending the NAMM Show. As a member of SUNY Oneonta’s drumline, Drag’n Rolls, she was on the lookout for exhibitors and products that would be helpful to the club, and she particularly enjoyed a lecture on the use of music in film, which is the field she wants to pursue after graduation.
The NAMM trip is a long-running SUNY Oneonta tradition. Music Department faculty have taken students to the event for 25 years. Lecturer Nancy Tarr, who has accompanied Oneonta students on the trip for the past four years, said experiential learning is key to one’s education.
“Whenever you can see people doing what you want to be doing someday, and you can talk to them about how they got there, that’s a wonderful opportunity,” she said.
Music industry student Miranda Bowers, of Guilford, Conn., said NAMM gave her confidence that she’ll be able to find a job in the industry after graduation.
“Overall, this trip very much made me realize that what I wanted to do was not impossible,” she said. “I think with the idea of a job in music, there comes a stigma of not being able to financially support yourself, and that idea scared me. During The NAMM Show, though, I learned that I could do exactly what I want without falling into debt.”
The trip was made possible, in part, by support from the Caroline (’67) and David D’Antonio Student Travel for Excellence Fund.