NAMM GenNext

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About GenNext

Each January college music students and music faculty members are invited to attend the The NAMM Show in Anaheim, California. This music industry event is the largest music products trade show in the U.S. and, as a result, has been the industry trend-setter in unveiling cutting-edge technologies; creating household product names; showcasing emerging brands; and uniting every segment—large and small—in the music products industry.

While The NAMM Show is open to the music trade only, college music students and music faculty members are eligible to attend The NAMM Show by registering for The NAMM Foundation’s nationally renowned GenNext program. GenNext is a collaboration between The NAMM Foundation and The College Music Society (CMS) that brings college music students and music faculty members exclusive programming and access not available to the general public. If you are seeking a career in the music products industry, you won’t want to miss your opportunity to experience all that The NAMM Show has to offer those looking to have careers in the music or music products industry.

College music students and music faculty members are invited to connect with—and learn from—The NAMM Show’s global audience made up of the world’s most influential industry decision-makers, including independent music retailers, pro audio manufacturers, distributors, sales reps, engineers from recording studios, developers of gaming and apps, houses of worship, touring, theater and entertainment companies, as well as venue buyers looking for stage, lighting and event solutions.

In addition to Winter NAMM Shows, college music faculty are invited to attend Summer NAMM in Nashville Tennessee. Faculty are encouraged to attend to see the show floor and network with the music products industry.  Learn more, below.

Who Participates

To qualify for this exclusive NAMM Show opportunity, you must fit into one of the categories:

Current college music students studying music, music business, music technology or music education.
College-level music faculty members.


GenNext programming at winter NAMM Shows include:

  • Access to The 2018 NAMM Show floor, with more than 2,000 music products exhibitors, and 7,000 global product brands
  • GenNext/CMS educational sessions presented by experts in their fields
  • The NAMM Foundation’s Grand Rally for Music Education
  • The Sandy Feldstein Industry Roundtable where music industry professionals share pathways to career success
  • Other events to attend: concerts on the Grand Plaza, educational sessions at the Idea Center and TEC Tracks

GenNext programming at Summer NAMM Shows include:

  • Access to the 2018 Summer NAMM Show floor
  • CMS educational session presented by experts
  • And more! Stay tuned.

The 2019 NAMM Show

January 24-27, 2019
Anaheim Convention Center and the Hilton Anaheim
Anaheim, California

Don’t miss the opportunity to attend the world’s largest music products trade show and network with peers and industry leaders at The 2019 NAMM Show. Sign up (top right, on this page) to receive The NAMM Foundation’s monthly GenNext e-newsletter (Sept-Feb) which includes registration information, NAMM Show events and updates. 

2018 Summer NAMM

June 28-30, 2018
Music City Center
Nashville, Tennessee

Learn more about the show here, and use the hashtag #SummerNAMM to join the conversation.

Who Participates

College music faculty are invited to attend Summer NAMM.


The fee for college music faculty to attend Summer NAMM is $25. Use the code SN18CMS during registration to receive your $25 badge. After 6/13 @ 12:59 pm PT, badges increase to $50. Register here.


College music faculty are encouraged to attend the events listed below, see the Show floor and network with the music products industry. 

Thursday, June 28

Smart Women in Music (SWIM) Meet (Optional)
4:30-5:30 pm
Music City Center, Room 201, Level 2

Formerly known as Women @ NAMM, founders of the SWIM Fund will be hosting a “SWIM Meet” that will serve as an excellent opportunity to connect and network with leading women in the music products industry. Come ready to dive in and connect!

American Eagle Awards (Optional Event)
5:30-8 pm
Music City Center, Davidson Ballroom

The National Music Council has announced that jazz legends Chick Corea and The Manhattan Transfer will be honored at the organization’s 35th annual American Eagle Awards on Thursday, June 28 at the Summer NAMM Show in Nashville. The honors are presented each year in recognition of long-term contributions to American musical culture and heritage, the importance of music education and inspiration for all children, and the need to protect creators’ rights both locally and globally. We encourage college music faculty to purchase VIP tickets for the event. Learn more by visiting Proceeds from the event support the National Music Council’s music education advocacy efforts.

Friday, June 29

The NAMM Foundation-College Music Society Music Industry Leadership Forum
9-10 am
Music City Center, Room 201, Level 2

College music faculty and music industry leaders convene for a panel discussion on creating a public-private partnership between the GenNext program at The NAMM Show and colleges and universities. Our goal is to pave the way for a smooth college-to-career transition for future music industry leaders.

SupportMusic Coalition on Coalitions for Music Education Advocacy Forum (Optional Event)
12-1:30 pm
Music City Center, Room 202AB

Speakers: Lynn Tuttle, director of Public Policy, Research, and Professional Development, National Association for Music Education (NAfME); Mark Despotakis, director of Market Development at Progressive Music; and Mary Luehrsen, director of public affairs, NAMM.

The SupportMusic Coalition on Coalitions convenes NAMM members working to advocate for Music Education at the state and local level. In an informal work-group setting, the forum will feature education policy updates, peer-to-peer sharing of best practices and state team reports. Join with NAMM members and music education colleagues working on state and local advocacy efforts for music and arts education. All are welcome. Lunch is provided. Presented by The NAMM Foundation. RSVP here.

The Guitar Forever: The Next Wave of Guitar Instruction (Optional Event)
Music City Center, NAMM Member Center, Level 3

Speakers: Glen McCarthy, Guitar & Accessories Marketing Association (GAMA); Mary Keenan, Sr. product manager, Fender Play; students from Belmont University; Mary Luehrsen, executive director, The NAMM Foundation

For centuries, people have embarked on the life-long journey of learning to play the guitar. Join GAMA’s Glen McCarthy, guitar students from Belmont University, and The NAMM Foundation’s Executive Director, Mary Luehrsen for an interactive, cross-generational discussion on how guitar instruction has evolved over the past few decades, how it is contributing to music education in schools, and where it may be headed. Presented by The NAMM Foundation.

One Guitar is Never Enough (Optional Event)
Music City Center, NAMM Member Center, Level 3

Speakers: Bill Ivey, american folklorist and author; Mary Luehrsen, executive director, The NAMM Foundation

Join Executive Director of The NAMM Foundation Mary Luehrsen for a light-hearted discussion with American Folklorist and Author Bill Ivey as they explore the phenomenon of why guitarists seem to have an insatiable need to collect multiple instruments. While they may not arrive at just one answer, the conversation is sure to be entertaining and may even lead you to your next guitar “find.” A guitar collector in his own right, Ivey has an impressive resume, with highlights including: former head of the National Endowment for the Arts; former director of Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum; past chairman of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences; and a four-time Grammy Award nominee. Presented by The NAMM Foundation.

Top 100 After Party (Optional Event)
9 pm-close
Hard Rock Café
100 Broadway Street
Nashville, TN 37201

Support The NAMM Foundation and celebrate our Top 100 Dealers at an after-party featuring great music by Thomas Claxton and some surprise guests! Experience a one-of-a-kind Nashville venue on the second level of the legendary Hard Rock Cafe, complete with an outdoor patio overlooking the iconic Broadway Street. Come build relationships, hear amazing live music and help create music makers of the future. This event has limited capacity and will be first come, first served. Cash Bar.

Saturday, June 30

Guitar Circle (Optional Event)
11 am-12 pm
Music City Center, Lobby Level 3

Facilitator: Glen McCarthy, Guitar & Accessories Marketing Association (GAMA)

Brush up on your musical skills at the Summer NAMM guitar circle. This free group lesson taught by guitar-teaching legend, Glen McCarthy, will have you playing songs before you can say ‘EADGBE.’ Instruments supplied; no experience required. Presented by The NAMM Foundation in collaboration with the Guitar & Accessories Marketing Association (GAMA) and Fender Play.

Community Music Making (CMM) Forum
1-2 pm
Music City Center, NAMM Member Center

The Community Music Making (RMM) Forum at Summer NAMM is the place to be to get detailed information on how to host or support a successful Make Music Day event in your city. Hear first-hand how retailers and manufacturers with Make Music Day city organizers to maximize their participation in this world-wide celebration of music making.

Ukulele Circle (Optional Event)
2-3 pm
Music City Center, Lobby Level 3

Facilitator: Ukulenny, KALA Brand Music Co.

Join YouTube sensation, “Ukulenny” for a free group ukulele lesson. Learn the basics, add some new tunes to your repertoire and have a ton of fun. Instruments supplied; no experience required. Presented by The NAMM Foundation in collaboration with KALA Brand Music Co.


Questions about the college music faculty experience at Summer NAMM? Contact Claire Kreger-Boaz.

The 2018 NAMM Show

January 24-27, 2019
Anaheim Convention Center and the Hilton Anaheim
Anaheim, California


Looking for GenNext events at The 2018 NAMM Show? View here. You can also view a PDF of The NAMM Show Event Guide to see all NAMM Show events. 

Photos and Video Coverage

NAMM Foundation Events (highlights)
NAMM Show Events (All)

Watch: The Grand Rally for Music Education

More to be shared this week- stay tuned! 

Give us your Feedback!

Did you attend The NAMM Show? We hope your experience was informative, productive, inspiring and fun! Please take a moment to complete a one-minute survey.

Why Attend? Past Participants Share

“My experience at NAMM was life changing. Through NAMM I landed an internship with D'Addario.” - Jon Giroux

“Everything I knew about the music products industry was shattered—in a good way.” - Rebecca Scholldorf

"The experience is life changing for students, as they see firsthand the impact of the music products industry, music education and the health benefits of music-making in general." - Courtney Blankenship

For more information about GenNext, please contact Claire Kreger-Boaz.

NAMM President's Innovation Award

The NAMM President’s Innovation Award honors college students who demonstrate excellence in the field of music and are pursuing careers in music including the music products industry.

Recipients receive a one-time cash award of $600 to go toward travel expenses to attend The NAMM Show, the annual global music products trade show in Anaheim, CA January 24-27, 2019. Award winners attend professional development opportunities and receive access to more than 2,000 music products, pro audio and live event technology exhibits, in addition to concerts, special events and networking sessions.

Important Dates

Application Cycle opens: June 15, 2018
Application Cycle closes: September 30, 2018
Award Notications are sent: November 1, 2018


Before applying, please download and review the guidelines.
Apply here.


  • Supports individuals who are enrolled in college and university music and/or music business programs and are preparing for careers in the music products industry
  • Cash awards of $600 are given once a year and one-time-only to selected undergraduate and graduate students to support travel needs and expenses
  • Awardees participate in professional development offerings and have access to more than 2,000 exhibits, in addition to concerts, special events and networking sessions
  • Must be enrolled for the summer or fall 2018 semester in a university-based music business, music education and/or music technology program and prove—with a Spring 2018 college transcript
  • Have an overall 3.0 or higher grade point average
  • Applicants must be scheduled to be enrolled full-time in college at the time of The 2019 NAMM Show and through the winter/spring semester.

Congratulations to last year's recipients! 

Questions? Email Sharon Bryant.