NAMM GenNext

In this section:

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.

**Are you a College Music Society Fellows Award Applicant? Please note the review period has been extended and you will be notified about the committee's decision on or by May 10. 


The fee for college music faculty to attend Summer NAMM is $25. Use the code SN18CMS during registration to receive your $25 badge. Register here.


College music faculty are encouraged to see the Show floor and network with the music products industry. Special events for faculty include the following events:

Thursday, June 28

**Indicates Programming for Invited CMS Fellows only- all other college music faculty invited to tour show floor on their own or to attend sessions open to all. 

**GenNext/CMS Fellows Orientation
9-10 am
Music City Center, Room TBD

CMS Fellows meet with NAMM/CMS representatives for orientation to discuss The 2019 NAMM Show and the GenNext college music program.

**GenNext/CMS Fellows Exhibit Hall Tour
10 am
Music City Center, Show Floor

**GenNext/CMS Fellows Lunch
12 pm-1pm
Location: TBD

**GenNext/CMS Fellows Tour of Nashville 
1 pm
Tour of Nashville, on own

American Eagle Awards
5-7 pm
Music City Center, Room TBD

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

GenNext/College Music Faculty (CMS) and Music Industry Professionals Leadership Session
9-11 am
Music City Center, location TBD

CMS Faculty are encouraged to attend this session highlighting curriculum and industry updates. Speakers include CMS Faculty and NAMM members, TBD.

**Optional events

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

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
Music City Center, NAMM Member Center, Level 3

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
Music City Center, NAMM Member Center, Level 3

Why do many guitarists seem to have an insatiable need to collect multiple instruments? Join American Folklorist, former head of the National Endowment for the Arts and Author, (and a guitar collector in his own right!) Bill Ivey and The NAMM Foundation’s Executive Director, Mary Luehrsen, for a light-hearted discussion about this familiar phenomenon. While we may not arrive at an answer, the conversation is sure to be interesting, entertaining and may lead a path to your next guitar “find.” Presented by The NAMM Foundation.

Saturday, June 30

**Optional events:

Guitar Circle
11 am-12 pm
Music City Center, Location TBD

Join the guitar community at Summer NAMM! Attend the Guitar Circle where you’ll learn the basics; no experience required. Brought to you by NAMM in collaboration with The Guitar & Accessories Marketing Association (GAMA). Facilitated by Glen McCarthy.

Community Music Making (CMM) Forum
1-2 pm
Music City Center, Location TBD 

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
2-3 pm
Music City Center, Location TBD 

Join the uke community at Summer NAMM! Unleash your island spirit at our Ukulele Circle where you’ll learn the basics of the instrument known as the “jumping flea.” No experience required. Brought to you by NAMM in collaboration with Kala Brand Music. Facilitated by Ukulenny.

Check back for updates!


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 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. The Innovation Award seeks to support individuals who express commitment and aptitude for business leadership and innovation 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 to attend The NAMM Show, the annual global music products trade show in Anaheim, Calif. in January. Awardees will participate in professional development offerings and have access to more than 1,800 exhibits at this global music products trade show.


  • Must be enrolled for the summer or fall 2017 semester in a university-based music business, music education and/or music technology program
  • Must be able to prove with a spring 2017 college transcript-interest in and achievement in studying both music and business-related courses and have an overall 3.0 or higher grade point average
  • Must be scheduled to be enrolled full-time in college at the time of The 2018 NAMM Show and through the winter/spring semester.

Review the entire Guidelines here and congratulations to last year's recipients! 

Questions? Email Sharon Bryant.