Author Archives: Rob Walker

Yamaha Announces Off to a Great Start Grant Applications

Yamaha Music Australia is looking to help Australia’s children start the new school year on a positive note with the launch of its second Great Start Grant – a nationwide initiative that will see one school awarded a $50,000 music grant, plus an exclusive performance from Dami Im, Australia’s X-Factor winner and most successful Eurovision entrant. For all the details and how schools can apply READ MORE

With the potential to help foster creativity and build social connections, Yamaha is searching for Australian schools in need of a helping hand to get their Music Performance Program off the ground. All they have to do is explain why they deserve it the most!

The $50,000 Great Start Grant includes:

  • $45,000 worth of Yamaha instruments — equivalent to 42 brand new Yamaha instruments/equipment
  • 1 day of training from Peter Wardrobe —Yamaha’s Education Specialist
  • A launch concert at the winning school from Dami Im
  • PLUS: Consolation prizes worth $2,000 in value shared between another two schools

Schools wishing to apply must complete the online application by March 16th. For full details please visit

Make Music Day 2018 Web and Social Media Sites Launched

In partnership with the NAMM Foundation, the AMA has been laying the foundation to launch Make Music Day in Australia on June 21, 2018. Much preparation work has been completed, including NAMM’s representative, Aaron Friedman coming to Australia to meet with the industry and many government and community music organisations.

The initial Make Music Australia website is now launched and seeks ideas from the community and businesses to create Make Music Day events. The Make Music Day toolkit is also available online and includes ideas and guidance on creating Make Music Day events.

Possibilities exist for both retail and wholesale members to be involved in Make Music Day and lead a charge to creating more active music makers. Make Music Australia will see Australians creating their own music performance events.

To celebrate Make Music Day 2018 the AMA will coordinate the development of a program of events, run the social media and help people and businesses get involved and then promote it.

Go to the new site and register your interest and we’ll get back to you.

Music Stores can check out the suggestions by downloading the Make Music Day Tool Kit or call the AMA Office and we’ll discuss how members can be involved.

More details can be had at the AMA’s Make Music Day Event Page

2018 Melbourne Guitar Show Prospectus Issued to Members

Members have received the new floorplan and proposal for the 2018 Melbourne Guitar Show, and initial bookings have been brisk. To get first option on their 2017 positions, members are encouraged to book now to ensure their location. Members returning or new to exhibiting at the show should contact Rob Walker to investigate stand options and availabilities.

Members should book before February 15 to ensure they get the space they need and can do so online HERE


The NAMM Show 2018

There seemed to be a positive buzz at NAMM Show 2018, reflected in a bigger show with more of the entertainment technology and support services incorporated into the musical instruments on display.

The new section of the trade show sees NAMM embracing the pro audio and technology market, as well as presenting education sessions sponsored by AES Lighting & Sound America/PLASA and ESTA

Increasingly a global gathering place for the entertainment business, NAMM has embraced the many elements that make up the live and recorded music industry, and it is now presenting it in one place. A strategic move which acknowledges the breadth of the music industry from the traditional musical instrument base to audio and lighting technology.

The expansion of the show into the new Anaheim Convention Centre North building saw increased pro audio and event technology participation contributing to a 9% overall growth of exhibitors at the show.

A whole new trade show floor design created product specific areas which appeared to be met with an enthusiastic response for ease in getting from location to location, and for the sound quality control, that was also better-balanced.

In welcoming the Australasian contingent to NAMM, at the now annual ANZAC Reception, President and CEO Joe Lamond referred to the NAMM Show as being a big family reunion and he made a point of thanking the hundreds of people from the antipodes who attend NAMM to conduct their business of bringing music to the world.

AMA president, Craig Johnston, in thanking Joe and NAMM for hosting the reception, acknowledged the strong partnership that existed between our associations and the NAMM Foundation.

New Roland MD Nick Middleton and Dynamic’s Greg McNamara

Yamaha’s Steve Vranch and Fender MD Mark Amory

Innovative Music’s Steve Lincoln Smith and Jarred Finnigan of Sound Centre WA

NAMM Deputy Chairman Chris Martin and Zenith’s Dave Bray

At NAMM 2018 Australians were honoured with Awards, as was previously reported.


Past President, Bernie Capicchiano was the recipient of the 2018 NAMM Oral History Award to acknowledge him being instrumental in the recording of over 50 Oral History interviews during 2017 charting the history of the Australian music products industry which marked the AMA’s 40th anniversary.

NAMM Historian, Dan Del Fiorentino, Bernie Capicchiano and NAMM CEO Joe Lamond

AMA CEO Rob Walker was presented with a NAMM Believe in Music Award in recognition of his industry service over a 30 year period

Graham Hoskins, Rob Walker and AMA president, Criag Johnston at the presentation


A moving tribute was held for industry people that had passed in 2017 including our own Steve Legg

Rob Walker and Craig Johnston attended the International Coalition meeting, a morning devoted to development of events like Make Music Day, to NAMM Counsel talking about CITES and Rosewood issues to Bob Taylor on conservation and sustainability.

Rob also represented the AMA at the Industry CITES Forum. You can see a summary of this meeting here.

Rob Walker also attended the NAMM Foundation Grantees Summit, an afternoon in session with other NAMM Foundation partners, discussing our collective missions and exchanging ideas about growing the music making community globally. Along with other members he attended the Chairman’s International Reception.

Our association owned and operated end-user media Australian Musician was there with all the latest member product news. Active and live on social media. Check out the NAMM coverage on Australian Musician online. A great job by editor, Greg Phillips.


Check out the NAMM post show wrap produced by NAMM.

Bernie Capicchiano to Receive Oral History Award at NAMM

Bernie Capicchiano

The proprietor of Bernie’s Musicland, and past president Bernie Capicchiano will be recognized at the NAMM Show for his industry service, in particular to the NAMM Oral History program, with the 2018 NAMM Oral History Service Award. NAMM CEO and president, Joe Lamond and NAMM’s Music Historian, Dan Del Fiorentino, will present Bernie with his special award during the NAMM Show in Anaheim, California. Bernie was instrumental in researching and arranging interviews for this important archive that highlights the important history of the Australian Music Industry over the last 40 years. Dan Del Fiorentino said “Bernie’s devotion and passion for the Australian music industry has been key ingredient in the expansion of the NAMM Oral History collection.  Thanks to Bernie’s help we have been able to capture over 50 video interviews of Australian industry people and add their stories to our library. We couldn’t have done it without Bernie’s help.”

AMA CEO to Receive International Award at NAMM

Rob Walker

Rob Walker will be honoured at The Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, California next week receiving The Believe in Music Award. The Award nomination cited ‘Your career is a shining example of the passion and innovative thinking that makes our industry great!’ Awardees are recognized for their years of support and dedication to the music products industry.
AMA President, Craig Johnston said, “The executive committee of the AMA supports this well deserved accolade and congratulates Rob whose work over decades in many roles has helped grow and shape our industry”.

Rob will be presented the award at 10am on Saturday January 27th at the NAMM Ideas Centre in the ACC main lobby area, any member attending NAMM is invited to support Rob at this short presentation.

Promotions from Within as ROLAND Corporation MD Moves to International Role

Brendan Callinan

Roland Corporation Australia MD, Brendan Callinan has been appointed to a newly created position of Global Sales Operations Director. For the time being the role will be based in Australia. His acceptance of this role has also created some immediate promotions from within.Long time Sales and marketing manager,  Nick Middleton has been appointed as the new Managing Director, Roland Corporation Australia.Matt Walsham who joined the company in the last two years takes on the role of National Sales Manager. Matt was also nominated as Roland’s rep on the AMA executive committee in 2018.

Nick Middleton

Matt Walsham

Brendan Callinan, said in a letter to dealers, “While this does not end my Roland career, it does mark the end of an era, having Roland’s Australian business as my primary focus. I celebrated 25 years at RCA in September last year and am proud of our achievements through that period and know that I hand this business over to Nick in great shape. Nick has been a key member of the senior management team over recent years and has played a big part in our development, so there is every reason to expect us to continue to grow, develop and evolve under his leadership. Matt too brings a wealth of MI experience through almost 10 years with NZ Rockshop”.

And Roland is hiring as a result too, with opportunities opening up to a Guitar Product Manager, Digital Marketing Specialist and Video Product Manager. Check out the AMA Facebook site for details or Australian Musician online.

Roland and Boss Seek Guitar Product Manager

Sick of your routine job? Always had a passion for guitar equipment? Want a career in the music industry? An opportunity like this comes along once in a blue moon…

For more than 40 years, Roland and BOSS have produced innovative musical instruments that have inspired countless musicians – but we’re guessing you already knew that.

You would also be aware that Roland and BOSS sounds can be heard on numerous #1 hit songs and we’re sure you would have noticed the amount of Roland equipment being used – from the largest stadiums to the smallest garage band, from music schools and institutions to the best recording studios around the world.

In fact, like hundreds of millions of musicians around the world, we’re betting you have used Roland and BOSS gear at home, in the studio or live.

Based in Dee Why, Sydney, you will be surrounded by like-minded individuals who also have a passion for making music and get excited when Roland releases new products.

The job has the following key elements

• Work closely with established dealers (i.e. music stores), helping them produce and promote engaging content for their social media and website
• Have a thorough understanding of different marketing channels (eg website, blog, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram) and how to use them
• Provide product training and support for retail salespeople with hands-on ‘customer focused’ real world examples
• Work closely with artists, influencers and industry bodies
• Monitor market conditions, competitive products and consumer sentiment; producing reports and making suggestions
• A commercial understanding of the role, accompanied by a belief that providing application based ‘value’ marketing will lead to sales

The successful applicant will have the following skills and be able to demonstrate their experience in each area;

• Exceptional communication skills, verbal and written
• Thorough knowledge of guitar products and their market segments
• A good higher-level understanding of how to promote content on social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube etc.), the back-end structures of these platforms and the language appropriate for each channel
• Appreciation of a customer-centric marketing approach
• Reliable, proactive “whatever it takes” attitude that ensures deadlines and standards are met
• Outstanding organizational and time management skills combined
• The ability to take ownership and responsibility for projects – it is essential that you are self-motivated and can work unsupervised to meet strict deadlines

Applications close on 31st January 2018

Innovative Music Australia Announced As New Distributor of MOOG in Australia

Innovative Music has recently been announced as the new distributor of MOOG in Australia. Adding to an already impressive line-up in Electronic Music Product and Software which includes RME, Focusrite, Novation, Elektron, Teenage Engineering, AVID, Kemper, Mogami, MXL and Two Notes. Moog confirms Innovative Music’s deep involvement and commitment to the Electronic Music Category in Australia.

Steve Lincoln-Smith, Managing Director of Innovative Music said “Adding a brand like Moog to our already extensive catalogue, is an exciting development for us. Moog is considered “the most famous name in Synthesisers”. Moog is the brand that started the electronic music movement and was influential in inventing and pioneering the way many synthesiser components were placed together to create a system musicians could use in exciting and new ways. Moog is an amazing addition to our catalogue and we are very humbled to be appointed the keepers of the Bob Moog’s legacy in Australia.”

Along with the MOOG addition, Innovative also announced some key Staff changes too. Long-time staffer, Leigh Spahic has been appointed to the role of General Manager. Ehsan Gelsi takes up the position of brand Manager for Moog, Elektron and Teenage Engineering and Bill Barsby joined the Company in December 2017 in an Account Management Role.

Port Mac Guitars Seek Online Content Creator


We’re hiring! We are seeking an Online Content Creator for our award winning Port Macquarie NSW store. This is a full-time position and you will be responsible for maintaining our website and other online channels. If this sounds like an exciting opportunity to you, visit the link below for the full job description and how to apply.