As a President’s Innovation Award Winner in 2015, Rebecca Scholldorf attended her first NAMM Show in Anaheim, where she was able to learn about and connect with the industry firsthand. We followed up with Rebecca to discuss her experience at The NAMM Show and life after college.
NF: What did you think when you attended your first NAMM show?
RS: Everything I thought I knew about the music products industry was shattered—in a good way. I was excited, slightly nervous, stimulated, but most importantly, inspired to find out what made these people and companies tick.
NF: What was your experience like as an award recipient?
RS: All of the events that surrounded the President’s Innovation Award not only added to my understanding of The NAMM show, but reinforced my courses in my music business degree.
For the Innovation Award events, it was incredible to see the NAMM President, Joe Lamond, at so many gatherings. Clearly the largest music industry convention was taking place, but he chose to speak to us. His words left the group with a lasting impression—like you belonged here. I would hope that all young professionals looking to get his or her start in the music industry to apply for this incredible opportunity with NAMM. I grew up big time during those four days.
NF: How did this shape your career path?
RS: After I attended NAMM, I got “hungrier.” I knew the products industry was a world I needed to explore. I got spoiled by going to the greatest music show of the year, but I fell head-first and deep in love with the atmosphere.
NF: What did you learn that makes you better prepared for a job in the industry?
RS: This is the time to trust everything you’ve learned and time to play in the sandbox. I knew if didn’t visit booths and lectures, emulate music business professionals by networking, I would not be getting those most out of the show. Understanding how to effectively communicate is what’s going to get you through the day.
NF: What got you initially interested in the music industry?
RS: My first passion is the bass clarinet. The second was how could I spread this rarely-known instrument in a way that makes more people want to play it? Build better products and create an instrument worth listening to. Someday I know these two interests will collide, but it just takes a lot of grit to get there. I’m fortunate to be working for a company that distributes the greatest reeds, mouthpieces and ligatures for the bass clarinet.
NF: What job do you have now and how did you get it?
RS: My job now is Vandoren Regional Artist Administrator for Dansr, Inc. At The NAMM Show, I met the CEO of Dansr, Michael Skinner, and had a great conversation about the products world. The contact eventually turned into an internship, and the internship turned into a position. I am so fortunate to have an incredible friend and to have actually met the CEO at the booth. It really is about networking and communicating.
NF: In addition to attending The NAMM show as a President’s Innovation Award winner, you also attended the show as an intern. How did this set you up for success?
RS: I learned that working as a team and communication every step of the way solved every minor issue much more efficiently.
I also learned it’s better to do things that aren’t asked of you. My parents always taught me to take the initiative and this environment was perfect for doing just that. The music industry is competitive and having a gritty and an adaptive personality will make you a lasting contender for the industry.