The Future of Music: GenNext at The 2019 NAMM Show

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Photo caption: NAMM's President Innovation Award Winners with NAMM President and CEO, Joe Lamond.

Each January, college music students and faculty from across the U.S. gather in southern California for GenNext at The NAMM Show. This music industry event is the largest music products trade show in the U.S. and, as a result, has been the industry trendsetter in unveiling cutting-edge technologies.

GenNext programming at The 2019 NAMM Show included The Grand Rally for Music Education Featuring Eric Whitacre, The College Music Society Plenary Featuring a performance by Sugartone Brass Band, 18 GenNext Sessions presented by The College Music Society, and the Careers in Music Summit Featuring J.Dash and music industry professionals.

What Attendees, Speakers, and Press Had to Say About GenNext 

On Networking

“[Find] the people that are like-minded, that are doing the same things. Even if you’re from different cities, it still helps with your network. Your network is everything. It’s exposure and network, that’s the key to everything.” – J. Dash

“The best value for students is the opportunity to combine academic discussion of the industry (internships, job trajectories, etc.) and direct contact with industry professionals in an environment that reflects the industry community. Learning and networking occur in real time together in one high-energy weekend.”- Bill Pelto, Executive Director, The College Music Society

“The most valuable aspect of attending the NAMM Show through the GenNext program is the opportunity to network with students and faculty on a national level. The GenNext Sessions presented by industry leaders offer invaluable insight into the music industry and offers guidance in how best to make use of your time.” – Roxy DePue, Student

On Education

"As the semester grinds on you may feel intensely burnt-out. You may even consider dropping out of music altogether. If that happens, go back and listen to your favorite recordings, make music with your friends, do anything you can to remind yourself why you loved music before you started studying it. An education in music can be a very good thing, but it can also squeeze the life out of any love you ever had for it. Don’t let it." - Eric Whitacre, quoted in College Magazine

“I found the most beneficial opportunities presented to me at NAMM were the GenNext classes. These classes provided me with exceptional insight into the music industry that I could not have learned in regular college classes.” - Lauren Frazier, GenNext Student and 2018 Innovation Award winner, quoted in College Magazine

“The most valuable aspect of attending the show through the GenNext program is education and access to speakers, resources and community. Being able to draw and gain from learning, conversation and  collaboration within the professional sphere of  music, goods and products as well as from the business and ecosystem which surround them is a value that cannot be understated!” - David De Cristofaro, Student, Berklee College of Music

On Entering the Work Place

“You need key skills: writing, public speaking, the ability to understand people.” - Heather Farr Edwards, Reverb

“Produce quality on a resume. If you can show that, we know you can produce quality when we bring you on board.” - Randy Shayler, Zeswitz Music

“Students should apply to go to The NAMM Show to…really [understand] the business around music, around the music equipment, around the programs that are out there that enable musicians to succeed.” – J. Dash

"It sounds so cliché, but what is that thing that burns you up, that makes you want to get up in the morning? That’s your thing. If you follow that, somehow, someway a path towards a career will open. It always does, and you’ll be so much happier for it." -Eric Whitacre, quoted in College Magazine

“GenNext seminars are perfect for college students. They [bring in] employers that want to hire you and they’re giving you tips on how to be hirable and successful in their companies.” - Madison Northouse, student, quoted in College Magazine

Photography by Jon Upson.

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