We All Share the Same Purpose

Thomas Palmatier • February 2024Perspective • February 19, 2024

Jay Wanamaker, Exec. VP for Global Sales at Roland, and SBO+ Editor-in-Chief Tom Palmatier

I just returned from the National Association of Music Merchants convention, known as the NAMM Show, and I am more optimistic and energized about the state of music education than ever before.

In our January 2024 issue, we listed all the music ed events at the NAMM Show. I attended quite a few of them, and they didn’t disappoint!

The show had nearly 60,000 attendees and was backed by the $70 billion dollar a year music industry. They have come to realize that YOU are the buyers, the innovators, and the thought leaders in our profession!

What was apparent in the many conversations I had with people who stopped by our booth is there is no single way of contributing to the world of music. There were lots of teachers but even more who have a passion for music but have found other ways to contribute. I had the opportunity to reunite with a college classmate, Jay Wanamaker. After graduating from the Crane School of Music, I pursued a military music career. Jay eventually found himself in the music industry and is now Executive Vice President for Global Sales at Roland Corporation. We started as teens gigging in bars in Upstate New York but as we chatted, it became apparent our music education roots had kept us grounded and guided us through our respective careers.

In this issue, Choral Corner features a great article on the value of festivals. Tom Merrill, a veteran music educator and travel planner, shares how to avoid some common mistakes as you plan student travel.

One of the sessions I attended at the NAMM Show was “Choose to Teach” by Marcia Neel of the Music Achievement Council. In this issue you can find an article titled “Inspiring the Next Generation of Music Educators.” Encourage your finest student musicians to be music educators (and to beware of those peddling music performance degrees of dubious value).

Col. (Ret.) Thomas Palmatier

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