student standing in front of a convention center
Augusta University student Michael Mahoney stands in front of the NAMM Show banner.

Augusta University music student attends international conference

For the first time in Augusta University’s history, a student attended a National Association of Music Merchants 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 everything music.

The NAMM Show, held each spring in Southern California, unites over 115,000 participants 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 pleasures and benefits of making music.

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

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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 attend so that I could experience firsthand the many aspects of the music business. We learn about music product marketing and retailing in the courses, but it’s a different perspective seeing it in action,” said Mahoney.

“She arranged for me to meet with a former student of hers who now is the director of customer relationship management for Fender Musical Instruments. As a first-timer, it was great to meet someone at the show and get a personalized overview. The networking at the show was tremendous and I’ve already gotten internship possibilities.”

NAMM fosters a supportive business culture that connects all aspects of the music industry with its membership, and reinvests the proceeds from the trade shows and membership to grow the industry through charitable outreach, Congressional and international lobbying, and funds for research on the benefits of arts education.

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

“The first one demonstrated how Unreal Engine 5, a 3D computer graphics game engine, is being used to implement VR into online streaming for music events and videos. The head of the company gave the demonstration,” he said. “The second one I loved discussed how artificial intelligence is being implemented into electronic dance music production. It was really cool to see how AI can be used to produce entire songs.”

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

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

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

“Whether as a student or as a music industry professional, I definitely plan on returning.”

All music industry courses are open to any student seeking to learn more about the music business. The certificate program is offered fully online, and can be completed in tandem with any degree. Learn more about the Department of Music.

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Morgan Hayes

Morgan Hayes is the Communication Specialist for the Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. Please contact her about design inquiries, and media and event promotion.

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Morgan Hayes portrait Written by Morgan Hayes

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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