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PMC Adapts to COVID-19, Virtually Connecting with New Drummers  

Christian Wissmuller • Upfront • July 24, 2020

Daniel Jimenez, from Milbank, SD, one of the PMC’s International Drum Month winners, gives the thumbs up to Rick Latham, internationally recognized celebrity drummer instructor, after virtual “Lesson with a Master” session.

While the entire music products industry has faced changes associated with the global coronavirus pandemic, the Percussion Marketing Council (PMC) doesn’t view these challenges as obstacles. As great drummers know, it’s all about timing and adapting! Celebrating its 25th Anniversary in 2020, Percussion Marketing Council’s leaders and members combined efforts, synergy, and creativity to not miss-a-beat when it comes to growing the market with newly created players and drummers.

Making a direct impact with drummers through promotional opportunities and keeping the PMC’s educational programs moving forward was essential. This spring, the GET YOUR STICKS TOGETHER promotion, providing monthly winners with 12 half-hour free drums lessons at a music retailer’s teaching studio, was quickly expanded to include online drum lessons if the music store was closed because of Coronavirus mandates.

As the COVID-19 pandemic escalated nationwide, the PMC kicked off a new International Drum Month promotion in May offering drummers a chance to win an online LESSON WITH A MASTER with internationally recognized celebrity drummers Gorden Campbell, Rick Latham, Rich Redmond, and David Stanoch. In light of the many COVID-19 restrictions across the country, this year’s reimagined International Drum Month virtual drum lessons worked perfectly with social distancing guidelines.

Both online lesson promotions have been tremendously successful with an unprecedented number of new drummers visiting the PlayDrums.com website for contest entry, featured drumming news, webinars with professional drummers, and connections to PMC member websites.

“This year, we’ve seen a significant increase in junior-size drum set sales as a result of the stay-at-home circumstances. Parents recognize the value of their kids playing drums and view it as a positive educational experience. These self-starting drummers will be a tremendous new crop of young players and students for private lessons as we evolve back to normal instructional lessons,” commented PMC’s special counsel representative Brad Smith.

As for the PMC’s in-school educational presentations (DRUM SET IN THE CLASSROOM) and hands-on drumming presentations (PERCUSSION IN THE SCHOOLS/LIBRARIES), the obstacle faced were how to sanitize and disinfect drum sticks that are shared by hundreds of students in an all-school assembly. The PMC received a huge product donation from a member allowing the PMC to create 30-40 individual “Personal Percussion Packs” for each in-school workshop or drumming class. The PPP consists of a pair of drum sticks, an 8” tunable practice pad and instructional CD/book packet which the participating student drummer uses and can keep permanently, as a gift from the PMC. As soon as schools reopen, the previously delayed in-school presentations will be rescheduled, offering schools these PMC Personal Percussion Packs as a connection and hosting incentive.

PMC’s Co-Executive Director Karl Dustman explained, “Our leadership team and membership stepped up to the COVID-19 challenges, seizing every opportunity available to continue new player-drummer market development growth for retailers. Now more than ever the PMC is working with its membership and all percussion retailers to make certain we come together to support drummers of all ages. We cannot lose sight of the potential to create new customers as a result of increased time and interest in trying new things like drumming. Once the Coronavirus is under control, we’re optimistic that drums and drumming will see significant increases in interest, product demand, and more new drum lesson students in the retailer’s teaching studios.”

For complete program details about all Percussion Marketing Council’s market development programs, campaigns and advocacy visit www.PlayDrums.com

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