Author Archives: Rob Walker

2019 Melbourne Guitar Show! Another Big Show Coming Up

The Melbourne Guitar Centre approaches again for its 5th showing at the Caulfield Racecourse. The 2019 program is now online along with an again impressive list of industry suppliers, brands and retailers exhibiting the latest and best in guitars and gear.
The show continues to attract overseas guests as well as our own best players, and we’re expecting big crowds again for a great show.
There are a couple of stand spaces available, and we can accommodate a late entry or two. So get in touch if you want to take advantage of the opportunity the #MGS2019 provides.

Show organiser Rob Walker said, “the industry gets a bit excited with the show around the corner. It’s a time for new products, meeting our customers face to face and promoting our great industry” We have the bonus of presenting some of the finest talent in a fun weekend. It’s when the guitar community get together and we all look forward to it!”

The full list of 2019 EXHIBITORS can be seen HERE

Make Music Day 2019 Expands to National Event

As members will know, the AMA in partnership with NAMM Foundation, APRA AMCOS, and the Live Music Office has lead the establishment of Make Music Day Australia on the cultural calendar. In 2019 our participation increased by over 50% with significant alliances being forged and grown.

The beauty of Make Music Day is the whether you’re a professional musician, part of a community group, an avid music enthusiast or just a passer-by on the street, Make Music Day is free and open to one and all!

Launched in 1982 in France as the Fête de la Musique, Make Music Day is a day of community-led free musical expression now held annually on 21 June in more than 800 cities in 120 countries.

The AMA’s CEO Rob Walker said “we have are thrilled to have had such support in this second year. An event of this scope has been done on the smell of an oily rag these first two years and we are confident that people in high places are seeing the enormous cultural value of a celebratory event like Make Music Day”.

For our industry it provides inspiration and opportunities for the community. Aptly put by one supporter “I work more so in the community arts sector and think that Make Music Day is an incredible opportunity to mobilise and inspire people who may not be part of the ‘professional music industry’ and can be an accessible platform for these cohorts to connect with music in a more community friendly environment”.

Schools got involved too! here’s one very endearing example.

We are thrilled with the support of Create NSW one of our major communication partners in 2019. Create NSW is an exemplar in how government can be so influential in creating positive cultural initiatives such as Make Music Day. From feature international events like the live streaming project with Sydney Symphony Orchestra to music on trains and in Stations.

This video is a highlights reel of our involvement in the international streaming party.

One can imagine very easily what it would achieve if our whole country were united on one day to Make Music together. This is what Make Music Day is all about.




CITES Meeting of the Parties Scheduled in August | Hopes for Easing of Regulations in the Trade of Rosewood, Cedrela and Woolly Mammoth For Music Products

The 71st meeting of the CITES Standing Committee, the 18th meeting of the Conference of the Parties and the 72nd meeting of the CITES Standing Committee will be held in Geneva, Switzerland from 16 – 28 August 2019.

The association has advised our own agency the Department of Energy and Environment during this process, and hope that we have its support to the proposed industry exemptions.

This will be a meeting crucial for our industry as our coalition seeks an exemption for finished instruments from the regulations applying to Dalbergia, Cedrela and Woolly Mammoth. The Coalition’s submissions to the committee are as follows;

Cedrela and Musical Instruments ENG

CITES Musical Instrument Certificates ENG

Dalbergia and Musical Instruments ENG

Woolly Mammoth and Musical Instruments ENG

Roland Veteran Departs

After a career spanning 30 years, Mark Van der Sluis is departing Roland. MD, Nick Middleton’s announcement to dealers this week follows. The AMA’s Rob Walker said that along with the executive committee we send our best wishes. Sluis has been at AMA events since I can remember he added. Always with a great attitude on board. He will be missed no doubt.

It is with regret and sadness to announce that Mark van der Sluis has tendered his resignation, effective Friday 12th July.

‘Sluis’, as he is affectionately known, has been with Roland for close to 30 years, and spent the last 17 years at Roland Australia. During this time he has made a significant contribution to Roland digital piano sales and has had regular input into the global piano R&D team. He has made hundreds of dealer calls, done countless training sessions, produced dozens of videos and navigated numerous events, including product launches. Most importantly, thanks to his charismatic personality, he has made many, many friends along the way. He will be sorely missed by everyone at both Roland Australia and Roland internationally, and we are sure you will have the same sentiment.

Whilst it will be extremely difficult to replace Sluis, we will start the recruitment process for a new Piano Product Manager soon. In the meantime, please use the following contacts for all piano enquiries;

Product and Training:
Mark Watson
0410 635 881

Sales and Orders:
02 9982 8266

Dave Whitehead
02 9982 8266

GH Music Acquired by Macron Music

As of June 1, 2019, the owners of Macron Music will take control of the GH Music store and website, to further grow Macron Music as an Australian leader in musical instrument sales.

Located just outside Melbourne’s CBD, GH Music is an iconic Australian Music Shop that has a history starting all the way back in 1962 – when Billy Hyde created the beginning of his Music Store empire throughout Australia.

After selling the Billy Hyde name and business to investors in 2007, Garry couldn’t resist the opportunity to re-open this iconic music shop location in Flemington under his own name and continue the legacy his father left on the very same site.

Anthony Ursino of Macron Music has a systematic and cut-throat paced presence and his success with the online market here in Australia left Garry knowing his business was in good hands and ready to tackle the new generation of retail methodology.

This expansion gives customers around Australia more of what they love, organised in a way that saves time and frustration. Highly organised logistics are being setup so customers around Australia can have their experience streamlined, with more buying choice and more expertise across the massive range of instruments for every style and sized player.

Both Macron and GH Music will continue to trade as usual from their locations in NSW and VIC. “We are vastly expanding our range over the coming weeks and months, so we would love to see you and show you how we can be a part of your musical journey’. said Anthony Ursino

Garry Hyde & Anthony Ursino seal the deal

Steve Lincoln Smith Inducted onto AMA Honour Roll

The AMA on May 29, 2019 awarded Steve Lincoln Smith with induction onto the Industry Honour Roll for his outstanding service over 43 years in the industry. Steve was presented with his award by AMA President Craig Johnston, in the company of long-time colleague and AMA Vice President Michael Shade of Yamaha Music.

In his presentation speech, Craig said recipients could be musical products industry leaders, musicians who have made a significant contribution to the development of young musicians, international figures who have made a considerable difference to the Australian industry – and those that have made a significant contribution to the association.

Notable names in the history of our industry are on the Honour Roll. Names such as Geoff Brash, Glenn Dodson, Margaret O’Loughlin, Norm Lurie, John Morris Snr, Peter Hayward, John Egan, Frank & Tony Lamberti, Neville Chambers, Ross Cole, Bill May, Alan Rose and John Payton Snr. It is a culmination of over 40 years of these careers that has given us the industry we have today.

The good reputation of Australian music business people internationally has seen life-long relationships flourish and enable all the world’s finest musical instruments to be available in Australia.

Tonight we gather to pay tribute to another recently retired stalwart of our industry, Steve Lincoln-Smith.

Steve commenced employment in the music products industry at aged 17, retiring at 60 yoa. Over those 43 years he worked for Rose Music, Yamaha Australia, Yamaha Japan, Innovative Music, in Retail, Wholesale, as Importer, Sub-contractor, performed as Product Demonstrator, Product Specialist, International, Domestic, NAMM presenter, Session Musician, Producer, Music Director, Performer, Touring Artist, Jingle Writer, Husband, Father, Grand Father.

Craig Johnston, Steve Lincoln Smith and Michael Shade



Steve Lincoln Smith Accepting his Award











For further information see THIS LINK

2018 Market Report Released to Members – Market show 5% Uptick in Value Against 2017

AMA 2018 Market Report Released to Members sees 5% Value Increase over 2017
2018 saw an uplift in the overall music products market with a 5% value increase over 2017, while it dipped nearly 8% in volume. With the currency hovering around 70cents against the US dollar a continuing rise in value has been maintained. An Import value of $296m was the highest total recorded in dollar terms, but one of the lowest totals in respect of volume in some time falling 15% when comparing the nearly 2million units that were imported in 2016.

The full market summary for 2018 can be read AT THIS LINK

18th CITES Meeting of the Parties Postponed

The CITES 18th Meeting of the Parties Scheduled for May 28 – June3 in Colombo, Sri Lanka has been postponed to a date to be confirmed, possibly October, following the attacks last month in Sri Lanka.

The CITES secretariat said in a statement, “This decision has been taken out of respect for the victims of the recent attacks and the recognition by the Standing Committee, the Secretariat and the United Nations Department of Safety and Security of the time needed for the Government of Sri Lanka to address the current situation in the country”.

Melbourne Guitar Show Back in 2019 Bigger than ever

Guitar fans and afficienados are looking forward to August 3 & 4 at Caulfield Racecourse as the annual Melbourne Guitar Show sets to display and present all that’s new in guitars and guitar gear. The cream of Australia’s talent will again be on show too. All details will be announced in May.

Stand space has all but sold out according to the AMA’s CEO and show organiser, Rob Walker. “we think we got it right last year with the new layout and show rules around noise levels- we’re looking for more of the same in 2019, with happy exhibitors and punters” he said

Check out the highlights of 2018 to give you a glimpse of what is the follow this year