Current Issue

Current Issue

One of today’s most passionate, effective advocates for music making and music education, Mary Luehrsen has directly impacted – for the better – the lives of so many who participate in, support, or simply appreciate the culture of music in contemporary American society. A former professional flutist, a veteran music teacher, and currently the executive director of the NAMM Foundation, hers has been a life shaped and defined by a love of the positive impact that music can have on individuals and communities.

Through her work as director of the NAMM Foundation, she and her team have helped support a number of music research initiatives that reinforce the importance of music education and inform policy decisions that impact the lives of students and parents across the country. Similarly, Mary spearheaded the now-annual NAMM Fly-In to Washington D.C. during which association members meet with members of Congress and directly advocate for support for music education. I’ve had the pleasure and honor of participating in a few Fly-Ins and, even from my limited vantage point, I was able to glean some perspective of the massive amount of work she handles juggling logistics, personalities, and budgets. It’s a huge undertaking that, due to her efforts, runs like clockwork 99% of the time – and any problems that do arise are attacked with ferocity and resolved in short time. The woman means business. I’m glad Mary’s on our side.

Read more: Spotlight: Mary Luehrsen – An Advocate For All >>>

Current Issue

The annual Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC), held November 19-22 in Indianapolis, Indiana, saw numbers consistent with recent years. While several more companies combined booth footprints at the 2014, the total number of exhibitors (106) was virtually identical to the previous year’s tally. The number of on-site $20 single-session and expo tickets, however, was noticeably less than in 2013, which represented the bulk of the difference between that year’s number of overall attendees (5,100) and the reported 4,700 in 2014.

PASIC’s marketing and communications director Matthew Altizer says, “We've seen a lot of the manufacturers and exhibitors joining together whether an actual merging of the companies or just joining together and sharing booths, so it's interesting. We're so excited to have so many exhibitors and they all seem to be very pleased with the numbers coming through the exhibit hall . We're hoping they'll all come back next year for our 40th anniversary of PASIC.

Read more: Show Report: PASIC 2014 >>>

Current Issue

As one of the premier names in cymbal design and production, Zildjian has long enjoyed success with players across a variety of musical genres. In a market segment once defined by only a small handful of brands, but now serviced by a growing number of suppliers across the globe, the nearly-400 year old Norwell, Massachusetts-based company isn’t simply basking in past glories.

MMR recently connected with Zildjian’s COO, Mark C. Sapienza, to get the scoop on what the organization accomplished in the recently concluded calendar year, what new products will be unveiled in Anaheim, as and what’s on the horizon for 2015.

Read more: Drums & Percussion: Avedis Zildjian Company in 2015 >>>

Current Issue

Dave Lewis Kluson, WD MusicFounded in 1925, the Kluson brand remains one of the most iconic names in fretted accessories. The company’s original equipment tuners became the choice of such storied American guitar suppliers as Gibson, Fender, Mosrite, Martin, and Epiphone and nowadays the organization offers a full line of replacement parts for fretted instruments.

Under the stewardship of WD Music since Larry Davis acquired the brand in 1994, Kluson is celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2015 and MMR caught up with Dave Lewis, head of sales and product development, to discuss the brand’s storied past, active present-day operations, and plans for the future.

Read more: Anniversary: Kluson at 90 >>>

Current Issue

Feeling used? Maybe it’s not such a bad thing. The world of “pre-owned” has been experiencing a renaissance in recent years. Sales of existing homes are back on track, exceeding the sales of new ones not only in numbers (duh, there’s way more of them) but also in terms of price-rate increases in many key markets. Then, the used car that once drew a supercilious eye has become the badge of enlightened frugality, with overall transaction prices for used cars up 15 percent in 2014, says USA Today. But the effect is especially pronounced when the “certified pre-owned” category is considered. That cohort in December posted a 21-percent increase in the amount that customers paid for the cars compared to the same month last year, reports CNW Research.

Read more: The Last Word: Used is More Useful Than Ever >>>

Current Issue

“Can anything elevate a middle school kid more than the experience of high quality music education?” asks the 2015 recipient of the Don Johnson Industry Service Award, Mary Luehrsen, in this month’s cover story, when talking about her own experiences as a junior high student musician. “It is priceless – now, we just have to convince every school administrator and school board member that high quality music education is vital for every child and that options for music education expand to reach every child.”

Read more: Editorial: Following Mary’s Lead >>>

Special Report


Guitars and More


Dustin Honeycutt, president

2014 vs. 2013? We’ve had an increase of 50 percent.

Hot new product line? PRS, Takamine, Peavey and Blackstar.

Technological advances? Facebook and Instagram have been great marketing tools.

Suppliers selling direct to consumers? People purchase what we, the seller, tell them is the best buy. If the product is not in my store, I'm going to sell them something comparable by another manufacturer, guaranteed.

Product of the year? Alvarez

Read more: 31st Annual Fifty Dealer/Fifty State Review & Forecast >>>

Special Report

As the majority of the dealers represented in this report are privately held, in most cases the data being presented in “America’s Top Chains” was supplied by the companies, themselves. In other instances, MMR made estimates based on data available to our research team.

Read more: 33rd Annual America’s Top Music Chains >>>

Last Word

Media and technology gadfly Eric Garland, co-founder of data-based metrics company Big Champagne, often converges music, technology, and retail in his thinking, once taking Guitar Center’s business model (and with it, the most recent Republican presidential nominee) to task, stating, “Retail in the 21st century will be centered around specialized knowledge, unique offerings and personal relationships, both local and digital. Any retailer – even one backed by Mitt Romney [–] is doomed if they defy those requirements.”

Read more: Instrument Repair Can Fix Customer Relationships >>>


In late October of this year, the U.S. government ceased qualitative easing (QE), a program which had involved the Federal Reserve purchasing government bonds to the tune of billions (you read that correctly – with a “b”) of dollars, in an effort to stimulate national fiscal health for the past few years. “The economy is doing well enough that the U.S. government is going to stop propping it up,” reported NPR’s Rachel Martin in a November 2 broadcast.

And many other numbers support the notion of a rebounding marketplace. “It’s good. It’s consistent solid growth,” said Rich Thompson, chief human resources officer at staffing firm Adecco Group North America in a November 7th article appearing in Forbes, noting that the economy has had 49 months in a row of job gains, the longest stretch since the 1930s. 

Read more: Succeed at That Which You Do Well >>>

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