For the first time in Augusta University history, a student attended a National Music Dealers Association show to represent the Department of Music and its new online music industry studies program.

Michael Mahoney is pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration from Hull College of Business along with a Certificate of Music Industry Studies from Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. He recently had the opportunity to travel to sunny California and spend three days immersed in all things musical.

The NAMM Show, held each spring in Southern California, brings together over 115,000 attendees from 130 countries and regions at the global crossroads of music, sound and entertainment technology. Founded in 1901, NAMM has a mission to strengthen the music products industry and promote the joys and benefits of making music.

“It was quite a good experience to attend the show for the first time. It absolutely exceeded my expectations,” said Mahoney. “It was completely inspiring to see all the music products on display and demonstrations of the new technology. One of my personal favorites was watching all the many musical acts perform. They they had so many genres from jazz to rock to DJ, with multiple stages throughout the conference.”

student sitting in a music conference
Michael Mahoney at the NAMM show.

Mahoney learned about the trade show through his music industry instructor, April Brumfield, who teaches Augusta University’s online music industry courses.

“She really encouraged me to participate so that I could experience many aspects of the music business firsthand. We learn about music product marketing and retail in the courses, but it’s a different perspective when we see it in action,” said Mahoney.

“She arranged for me to meet with a former student of hers who is now director of customer relationship management for Fender Musical Instruments. As a first-time attendee, it was nice to meet someone at the show and get some personalized insight. The networking at the show was incredible and I have already received internship opportunities.”

NAMM fosters a supportive business culture that connects all aspects of the music industry with its membership and reinvests trade show and membership revenues to grow the industry through charitable outreach, congressional and international lobbying, and funding for research on the benefits of the arts. education.

Mahoney said two of his favorite demonstrations showed how new technologies are changing the music industry.

“The first showed how Unreal Engine 5, a 3D computer graphics game engine, is being used to implement VR in webcasting for events and music videos. The head of the company did the demonstration,” he said. “The second one I liked discussed how artificial intelligence is being applied to the production of electronic dance music. It was really interesting to see how AI could be used to produce whole songs.”

Mahoney said he left the show feeling inspired to work in the music industry.

“The conference actually expanded my interests into more careers within the music industry and I am extremely excited to dive into different career opportunities and see what works best for me.”

He would like to return to the conference in the future.

“Whether as a student or as a music industry professional, I definitely plan to return.”

All music industry courses are open to any student looking to learn more about the music business. The certificate program is offered entirely online and can be completed alongside any degree. Learn more about the Music Department.



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