Music Authority Family Newsletter - February 5, 2019
The NAMM Wrap Up
Seeing the Forest
Sometimes, you need to get away from home to see the forest. Stuck in the daily grind of paying bills, managing students and personalities, and keeping the walls stocked, we forget to look at the big picture.
The big picture came into focus on Thursday morning when I presented my NAMM session. The room was packed. I mean, every seat was full, the overflow space where people could watch on a monitor was full, and people were lined up standing along the outside edges. I asked, is it normal to have this many people at a 10:30 session on Thursday? The reply: well, you're an expert.
Woah, let's not throw around that word. (Side note - shout out to Valencia School of Music, whom I know reads this newsletter, for bringing your people out to see the session!) Maybe instead of expert we should call it "too stubborn to give up."
A second surprise came later that day when I mentioned we'd completely recovered our student numbers from a situation over the summer that had caused something of a staffing and PR crisis. "Impossible," I was told. It should take eighteen months to recover from something like that. Well, I'm sorry to tell you, but it took six.
It's hard to see the miracles - the result of hard work by dedicated teachers, staff, parents, and students - when you're focused on solving the next crisis.
I bring back from California not a list of the new products you'll see on our shelves. (Those are coming, don't worry, watch our social media for the exciting arrivals and announcements.)
I come back with clearer vision, focus, and a drive to continue to innovate, improve, and inspire. I come back to keep working to give you, the Music Authority Family, the best in education, service, and product experiences.
And to the stores in Buffalo, Westfield, San Diego, Smyrna, Tampa, and Cincinnati who reached out to know more about the Music Authority programs and the Music Authority Family, thank you for keeping me inspired to do more, to keep improving, to continue to do better. Come for a visit if you're ever in Atlanta, I'd love to show you around.
One of the best parts of the show is the people. We met an amazing guitar manufacturer from France, case makers from China, talked to Santa Cruz guitars from California, and we got to see my Inside Sales Rep (Josh) from Taylor.
It's refreshing to talk about music lessons with different stores from around the country, to share stories and brainstorm new ideas. Stores in New Jersey, Florida, California, Ireland, and Australia, just to name a few, want to know more about the Music Authority program and Family. (And boy, are there some great new ideas coming soon to Music Authority!)
Yes, it's a bit embarrassing to almost cry all over the lessons guru who helped you out over the summer because you can't think of any words to say except, "Thank you." (See Pete Gamber in the photo. And yes, I almost cried.)
Whatever your industry, if it has a trade show - Go! Make friends, keep business cards, follow up. You never know what doors will open or what friendships you might find. You might even find yourself sharing a laugh with a sales rep you thought you'd always hate. Or inspiration in a field you've never thought about being a part of.
*Music Authority invites high school students who are part of the Rock Ensemble programs to apply to attend the Summer NAMM Show held each year in Nashville.
The Coolest Guitar at the Show
Melissa doesn't get excited about electric guitars. At least not until we stumbled upon a French company with only a handful of American dealers. Wild Custom Guitars. OMG, beautiful, well crafted, incredible design and visual look, and totally out of the price range of guitars we sell.
Ah, well, we can dream for now.
Meanwhile, we also looked at Santa Cruz, Collings, Larivee, TKL cases, visited with friends from Greer Amplification, Blue Ridge Guitars, BA Ferguson, and more. We'll have new arrivals soon from Taylor (we ordered two custom builds that are going to be AMAZING), ESP, Marshall, and a new line from Yamaha we're super excited about. (Unfortunately, the new Yamaha line is top secret for now...)
Keep your eyes open - new, cutting edge gear is coming soon! (And if anyone is in the market for an incredible electric, let's talk!)
Tecate, Mexico and Taylor Guitars
As a final stop on their west coast journey, the Music Authority travelers took advantage of an opportunity to visit both the Mexican and the American Taylor Guitar factories. The state of the art factory in Tecate, Mexico was spectacular. Their dedicated staff turns out top quality guitars with evident pride.
The American factory is equally impressive. The smell of the wood when you first arrive is worth the trip by itself. Two custom build guitars, one made from Blackwood and one sporting Black Limba back and sides, will be coming to Music Authority in the future months.
If you want to hear more about the Taylor Factories, stop in and see Andrew, Melissa, or Savannah to hear about the trip!
Since Melissa and Savannah didn't get any great celebrity photos (unless you count pictures of Andrew), here's a video from Andertons Music in UK. Andertons has the BEST YouTube Channel for music geeks (and a big store in Guildford, Surrey, UK). We DID see the line for this meet and greet (it was so long it was disrupting traffic into the ESP booth where we had a meeting), so does that mean we almost met John Mayer?
Check out Andertons channel. It's amazing.
The Music Authority Roadies would like to announce the addition of Gary Kerr to the Roadies Board of Directors. He will be taking over the position of Vice Chair. Alice Lopez, the previous Vice Chair, will be moving to the position of Social Director.
The Roadies Board meets on the second Tuesday of each month in The Backroom at Music Authority. Meetings are open to the public, we would love for you to join us!