Author Archives: Rob Walker

Barossa Music Centre Closes after nearly 30 years

Peter and Kath Koch, proprietors of Barossa Music Centre have closed the doors for the last time. For nearly 30 years BMC has provided music lessons and the best instruments to the local Barossa Valley community. They have run a significant regional music school which will also close.

Peter and Kath were recognised at the recent Amp Conference for their industry service. The business closing is sad news. “Peter and Kath have always been welcome attendees at numerous industry functions over the years and it is indeed a great loss to the community” said the AMA’s Rob Walker.

Peter and Kath Koch (at left) with Mick Morello and Sandra Lindsay at the recent Amp Conference


Port Mac Guitars instals first PLEK Machine

Port Mac Guitars has installed its first PLEK Machine at the Port Macquarie location. The
unique abilities that the PLEK Machine offers together with their widely acclaimed GEniuS™
Guitar Enhancement System will provide customers an unparalleled guitar experience from early
“We have been working on this project for over 12 months and are extremely excited to
offer this great improvement in quality to our customers as part of our all new GEniuS™
Guitar Enhancement System with PLEK. And just like our original GEniuS™ Guitar
Enhancement System, PLEK will be included free with every eligible new or used guitar
purchased through our store” says CEO and Founder, Rob Mestric. For more information click here  Port Mac Guitars Press Release 051017

Dynamic Music New Ludwig Distributor

Dynamic Music has recently been announced as the new distributor of Ludwig Drums in Australia. Adding to an already impressive line-up in perscussion which includes Dixon, Instanbul Mehmet, Big Bang Distribution range of accessories, Armor bags & Cases, Dream Cymbals, Los Cabos drumsticks and Tycoon percussion, Ludwig adds testimonial to Dynamic’s increasing level of representation in the drum and percussion category.

Mark Trask Percussion Category manager at Dynamic Music said “Adding a prestigious brand like Ludwig to our already extensive catalogue, is an exciting development for us. Ludwig is considered “the most famous name on drums”. From its humble beginnings in Chicago, Illinois in the early 1900’s to its present place at the centre of the drumming world, no other brand has been as influential and singularly pivotal as the famous Ludwig drum company. Ludwig’s relentless innovation became the benchmark changing the world of drumming and later, the face of music in itself. We are delighted to bring the most famous name of drums to the Australian drumming community”.

Make Music Day! Join the worldwide celebration of music on June 21!

The president of the Global Make Music Alliance, Aaron Friedman launched the Make Music Day at the Amp Conference. For those who missed the presentation the pdf can be viewed here.

From there Aaron took a flying visit over the following 10 days, having face-to-face meetings with our executive officer with 30 government and industry organisations.

There was excitement at the prospect of a celebratory day for music on the Australian calendar. This was expressed at state & local government level, by education departments and private providers and industry organisations. Aaron’s trip has given us confidence that the AMA will be the initiator of a significant event promoting music in partnership with, and funding from, the NAMM Foundation.

Music stores and suppliers alike can support and benefit from Make Music Day in many different ways, and we look forward to exploring the possibilities with our members.

Make Music Day is a free celebration of music around the world on June 21st each year. Launched in 1982 in France as the Fête de la Musique, it is now held on the same day in more than 750 cities in 120 countries.

Completely different from a typical music festival, Make Music is open to anyone who wants to take part. Every kind of musician — young and old, amateur and professional of every musical persuasion — pours onto streets, parks, plazas, and porches to share their music with friends, neighbours, and strangers. All of it is free and open to the public.

Last year over 750 cities around the world threw citywide music celebrations on June 21.
It all started 35 years ago in France.

In 1982, Jack Lang and his staff at the Ministry of Culture dreamed up an idea for a new kind of musical holiday. They imagined a day where free, live music would be everywhere: street corners and parks, rooftops and gardens, store fronts and mountaintops.
And, unlike a typical music festival, anyone and everyone would be invited to join and play music, or host performances. The event would take place on the summer solstice, June 21, and would be called Fête De La Musique. (In French, the name means both “festival of music” and “make music!”)

Amazingly enough, this dream has come true. The Fête has turned into a true national holiday: France shuts down on the summer solstice and musicians take over. Almost 8% of the country (5 million people) have played an instrument or sung in public for the Fête de la Musique.
Three decades later, the holiday has spread throughout the world and is now celebrated in more than 120 countries. In the U.S., the presenting sponsor is the NAMM Foundation.

Sounds of Summer Catalogue – AMA Retail Member Offer

Create your own Summer Sale Catalogue for a fraction of the cost! Not only that, all AMA retail member’s get 25% off!!

Produced by For the first time, over twenty different musical instrument Wholesalers and Manufacturers have joined forces to bring you the Sounds of Summer Sale, Musical Instrument Catalogue. This gives retailers the opportunity to choose from well over 100 pages of content from the biggest brands in the industry.

Produced by Digital Music Media, this catalogue opportunity is another in the list of member benefits offered to AMA members under its partner offers.

Branded with your logo, store name and contact details on each and every page, this catalogue gives you the opportunity to market all the brands you sell, (and none of the ones you don’t) in one professionally designed, print ready, digital catalogue.

You’re in control, you know what you sell and you choose what brands you want to put in your very own Catalogue for this Christmas/ Summer 2017/ 2018!

For more information go to

AMP Conference Gets Good Reviews

The Inaugural Amp Conference at SeaWorld Resort last week has been met with very positive feedback. The quality of the presenters and the insights imparted have been roundly applauded by attendees as addressing important issues. “The quality and diversity of presenters was bang on” wrote one member.

Post conference research has overwhelmingly endorsed the conference format and the value it provided. Read the Full Conference wrap up here.

Priming the conference pump, keynote presenter, Craig Scroggie, alerted the audience of just on one hundred retailers and wholesalers of the exponential growth of the influence of technology and connectivity, including the fact that more data has been created in the last two years than in all of human history and that data has become the world’s most valuable resource. His presentation contended that data would drive the 4th Industrial Revolution. Mobile is growing faster than any technology ever before – the numbers were staggering. We heard about Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Robotics, Synthetic Biology and more into the near future disruptives. You can hear some insights from Craig here

The NAMM Financial Boot Camp sessions ‘Fuelling profitability through inventory and financial management’ were presented by Alan Friedman over two sessions of fairly intensive training on margin retention, buying, stock turns and so on. The sessions were punctuated by ‘real life’ retail clips at Tommy Gun Music  😊

Tom Folenta presented two practical sessions on firstly building The Ultimate Music Dealer website and secondly, how to have people find it and the how to have people help it be found by the use of SEO and social media.

Last, but not least, on our list of guest speakers was Richard Harris, MD of IQ (Education) at the Association for Data Driven Marketing and Advertising. He referred to the rapid growth in the use of data driven & digital marketing practices, however we have not been investing in developing our skills to keep pace with these developments. He gave insights into Privacy and the collection and use of data, misleading conduct in marketing and other regulations, prize Giveaways & competitions, intellectual property, copyright, use of photography, testimonials, trade mark infringement and international boundaries and more.

The conference came to a compelling conclusion with short presentations from Nick Smethurst of, Mark Smith from Roland gave his insights on digital marketing and an elephant in the room, Amazon was discussed by Yamaha’s Michael Shade, Roland’s Brendan Callinan and our international guests, Alan Friedman and Tom Folenta. The skills gap particularly was discussed by Richard Harris.

Oh, and we all had a great time catching up with each other over several happy hours, lunch breaks and dinner.

If you didn’t make it you can tell us why and at the same time help us serve you as members better in the future – it’s a short survey which you can link to here.


Michael Shade, Nathan Biggin, Les Brazil and wife Karen at the pre- conference Happy Hour

Cath Koch, Mark Barratt, Ian Wright and Peter Koch enjoy and after dinnery at the Amp Bar

Damon McMahon and Paul Noble of Shriro with Michelle Conway of Ellaways

Graham Hoskins and Michael Shade with Ross Cole, inducted to the Honour Roll in 2017

Old colleagues Graham Hoskins and Brendan Callinan congratulate Margaret O’Loughlin on being inducted to the AMA Honour Roll

Meg & Trevor Morrow with Brendan Callinan at Seaworld

Beth & Alan Friedman with Dan and Suzanne Del Fiorentino

Dan Del Fiorentino presenting the AMA a NAMM Milestone Award in recognition of 40 years industry service






AGM Elects New Committee

The association’s AGM was held at Seaworld on September 5, and resulted in the election of a new executive committee.

A new retail member was welcomed in Rob Mestric of Port Mac Guitars. and a new wholesale member, Matt Walsham from Roland. Returning retailers were Craig Johnston Keyboard Corner/KC’s Shop, Daryl Horwood, Musicorp and Graham Hoskins of Concept Music with Wholesalers represented by Tony Burn, The Resource Corporation, Michael Shade, Yamaha Music, Mark Amory, Fender, Damon McMahon, Shriro, Richard Snape, Hal Leonard, Warrick Baker, Kawai.

Craig Johnston

Officer bearers will be confirmed at the next meeting of the committee on October 31, but with its succession planning, Vice-president Craig Johnston, of Keyboard Corner/KC’s Rock Shop will likely succeed Brendan Callinan as president.



Brendan Callinan

Retiring president, Brendan Callinan, in presenting his 2017 Report, announced his intention to stand down from the committee for the time being, mainly due to work commitments. The meeting acknowledged the significant contribution of made by Brendan over many years to the association.

Likewise other retiring members, Dom Disisto, Michael Jongebloed and Mark Trask were acknowledged for their service to the association.

Byron Music Announces New Byron Bay Guitar Festival

Byron Bay Music will present the inaugural Byron Bay Guitar Festival on November 11 and 12. The Festival aims to bring together guitar enthusiasts and music lovers together in the iconic location. Already hosting internationally renowned festivals, Byron Bay is a destination on the music and culture map.

Performers include Phil Emmanuel, Kevin Borich and Fiona Boyes. The Festival will also feature a Car Park Market, Local makers, workshops, demos and supplier product displays and lots of live music.

The BBGF is also partnering with charities, Musicians Making a Difference and the Underage Drinking and Drug Initiative.

Check out the full details BBGF Program 2017


Cranbourne Music Supports School Rock Bands with Growing Festival

Ten Years ago Cranbourne Music started RockFest with 8 Bands and about 30 Students involved. By the next year it had nearly doubled that number to now involving 400 students playing and 100 involved in staging and sound – with junior and senior divisions. The events are held at schools that have a decent Theatre and that will support the event on the day. Some schools have Coffee vans/Catering come in for the crew and parents and arrange for classes from the Host school to make up the Audience on the day which makes for a great and exciting atmosphere.

Cranbourne’s head of Education Luc Travers, is now looking to expand the event into NSW in 2018.

D’Addario have been involved since inception with prizes and Fender has got involved this year as well and provided prizes and the backline for the event.

RockFest Poster 2017 State Final