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Hal Leonard Hosts Artist Virtual Sessions at Believe in Music Week

Victoria Wasylak • Supplier Scene • January 13, 2021

Mel Brooks, Steve Vai, Eric Whitacre, Randall Faber, Jake Shimabukuro, Elise Ecklund, Chris Johnson, Greg Koch and others will be featured in special sessions hosted by Hal Leonard from January 18 to 22 as part of the NAMM Believe in Music Week.

These sessions are open to any music retailer, educator, musician, or interested attendee who registers for Believe in Music Week at Registration is free, and all sessions will be recorded so they can be viewed at any time after the original air date. Sessions hosted by or affiliated with Hal Leonard are listed below. Participants must register for Believe in Music Week before they can pre-register or access these sessions.

Tuesday, January 19

John Mlynczak – “What the TECH Are You Talking About?”

12:20 pm CST/10:20 PST – Struggling to keep up with how to use all the technology in your music program? Wondering about MIDI devices, Bluetooth, recording, apps, DAWs, etc? Come learn the need-to-knows of using tech in music programs and see many examples of solutions at all levels in this NAMM Music Education Days session. Mlynczak is the managing director of Noteflight, a Hal Leonard company. Pre-register at


Wednesday, January 20

Eric Whitacre – “Diversity & Harmony: Ten Years of Virtual Music-Making”

12:30 pm CST/10:30 am PST – Join pioneer of the Virtual Choir Eric Whitacre and NAMM Foundation Executive Director Mary Luehrsen for a conversation about virtual music-making, its role during COVID-19 and in the years ahead. Sheet music for many of Whitacre’s compositions are available through Hal Leonard. Pre-register at


Thursday, January 21

Find or pre-register for these Thursday sessions at the Believe in Music Week Hal Leonard virtual booth at

Justin Sandercoe (Justinguitar) – “Guitar in Lockdown”

12:00 pm CST/10:00 am PST – Learn how to get better faster by maximizing your practice regimen and online learning habits; plus, an exclusive preview of Justin Guitar’s new Hal Leonard publication (The Justin Guitar Easy Guitar SongbookHL00299334 – $24.99).

Randall Faber – “The Adventure of Music-Making”

1:00 pm CST/11:00 am PST – Let creativity of the human spirit and learnings from neuroscience work in your favor. If you believe in music and your power to express it, attend this enlightening session with Randall Faber. He is the co-author of Faber Piano Adventures piano method books, available from Hal Leonard.

Jake Shimabukuro – “Play Ukulele with Jake Shimabukuro”

2:00 pm CST/12:00 pm PST – Uke master Jake Shimabukuro teaches and performs live from Hawaii, and discusses his brand new book/video for young beginners, Ukulele for Young Beginners (HL00326868 – $9.99).

Steve Vai – “Vaideology”

3:30 pm CST/1:30 pm PST – Legendary guitar virtuoso Steve Vai shares the musical knowledge and wisdom behind his bestselling music theory book (VaideologyHL00279217 – $24.99), and also talks about his new guitar tab anthology (Steve Vai Guitar AnthologyHL00156024 – $34.99).


Friday, January 22 

Find or pre-register for these Friday sessions at the Believe in Music Week Hal Leonard virtual booth at

Greg Koch – “Guitar Gristle with Greg Koch”

11:00 am CST/9:00 am PST – The inimitable Greg Koch discusses and demonstrates his twisted but tasty take on guitar histrionics, as served up in more than a dozen of his Hal Leonard publications.

Chris Johnson – “Pop, R&B and Gospel Drumming”

12:00 pm CST/10:00 am PST – Known for his recording and touring credits with Lady Gaga, Rhianna, Camila Cabello, Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, and more, join Chris Johnson for tips, techniques, and insights from one of today’s most in-demand drummers. Johnson is the author of the new Hal Leonard publication Pop R&B and Gospel Drumming (HL00288909 – $29.99).

Mel Brooks – “An Interview with Mel Brooks”

1:00 pm CST/11:00 am PST – Hal Leonard VP Rick Walters interviews Mel Brooks about his songs from Blazing Saddles, The History of the World Part 1, The Producers, and Young Frankenstein. Hal Leonard recently released The Mel Brooks Songbook (HL00324128 – $22.99), personally compiled by Mel Brooks, including some songs never before published.

Scott Burstein – “Exploring the Modern Band Method”

3:00 pm CST/1:00 pm PST – This session will explore the new Modern Band Method series (HL00325718-HL00325721 – $14.99 each) by Little Kids Rock and Hal Leonard, the first method for teaching full-class popular music ensembles.


On-Demand Events

These recorded sessions will be available online starting Monday, January 18th at the Believe in Music Week Hal Leonard MI Products Distribution virtual booth at

Brent Barnett – “Enhance Music Making with Drum Hardware”

Gibraltar Spotlight – Online drum gear guru and host of the YouTube channel Brent’s Hang, Barnett tours new releases and best-selling gadgets for every drummer.

Mario DeCiutiis & Dave Cywinski – “MalletKAT 8.5 & More”

KAT Percussion Spotlight – Discover the ease of use and innovative technology in the malletKAT 8.5 (HL00357676HL00357734 & HL00357735) and other new products scheduled for release in early 2021.

Elise Ecklund & Matt Taylor – “What’s the Buzz About Flight Ukuleles?”

Flight Spotlight – Flight is a company with a young, energetic vibe, and a distinct style. Hear their top endorsers demo and discuss why they love their instruments.

Andrew Shreve – “Full Range & The Return of the Renown 57”

Gretsch Drums Spotlight – Get the first demo and presentation on the Gretsch Renown 57 (HL00360176HL00360177) and Full Range series for 2021.

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