Category Archives: E-COMMUNICATIONS

Australian Musician

Special Notice

Breaking News! Our much loved magazine Australian Musician will be back in 2014 in a new online format. We’ll be focusing on our Australian industry and our fantastic Australian Musicians. There’ll be the usual features including lessons, articles, interviews, featured products and the latest gear available in Australia. Greg Phillips will be back as Editor. Watch out for coming your way in 2014.
We established Australian Musician in 1995 – so we’re glad she’s home. We will have tons of archive material too.
Australian Musician magazine – developed by musicians for musicians.

Read the press release about the relaunch in March 2014 here

Another Day In The Life – Tribute concert for George Kristy

Proudly supporting beyondblue

Tragically on December 18th 2013, the Melbourne music community sadly lost one of its great rock drummers. A consummate entertainer, the phenomenon that was George Kristy is described by audiences and fellow musicians as a powerhouse drummer with great groove and a master of stick tricks.

In honour of George’s memory a group of talented, well known Melbourne musicians have come together to put on a concert on Wednesday, March 5th 2014 and raise funds for a wonderful cause, beyondblue. Full details are available by clicking here.

New magazine for music trade

The US has Music Trades, the UK has MI Pro and soon, Australasia will have its own dedicated publication for the music trade – musicBiz.The AMA is happy to announce its endorsement of a new online publication, to be launched in June for businesses in the music supply chain. musicBiz will be produced by ‘talking business’, a communication consultancy led by veteran business journalist Allan Leibowitz.Allan has edited a regional business newspaper, various business to business trade titles and currently publishes digitalDrummer, an online global magazine for the electronic percussion sector.A gigging musician, Allan will combine his publishing expertise, business journalism skills and music knowledge to produce a magazine tailored to the needs of operators in the Australasian music trade.The AMA is happy to throw its support behind a publication that shares its mission of professionalising the music industry and providing its members with access to leading-edge information, advice and expertise.AMA CEO Rob Walker welcomes the launch of the new publication, which he says is a perfect companion to the relaunched Australian Musician online. “A trade-only title will allow us all to target our messages and make sure we don’t confuse our trade and consumer messaging,” he says.

musicBiz will be published quarterly, starting in June, and distributed to businesses in the music industry – wholesalers, retailers, hire operators, production companies, studios, teachers – in short, anyone who sells musical products or services to the public or their suppliers.

To assist with planning, the editor and publisher is calling for expressions of interest from businesses eager to communicate with his target audience. He is particularly interested in hearing from potential advertisers (with special AMA member rates). He is also keen to start collecting editorial material, and anyone who currently distributes product announcements is asked to add musicBiz to its database.

The magazine will include business profiles, and anyone interested in sharing their experience with our audience is also asked to make contact with the magazine.

The door is open, and Allan welcomes any questions, comments or suggestions which will help ensure that we get the magazine which the industry needs.

The AMA is happy to be working with the professional and dedicated publisher and asks its members to throw their weight behind this venture to ensure its success. We want to talk about all that is good about our industry and our people.

Allan Leibowitz can be contacted at or by calling 0411 238 456.


The Australian Wireless Audio Group, the voice for wireless audio products in the changeover to digital spectrum has announced that according to the current government 4 out of 5 wireless microphones will no longer work after 31 December 2014. Most users are not aware of this. Read the facts here

Lower Value Threshold – Advocacy Kit

The association has prepared an Advocacy Kit for members who are willing to write a letter and/or request a meeting with their local Federal MP to champion the cause of reducing the threshold on low value items that are imported into Australia. The kit includes standard letters for your store letterhead which can be amended to suit, to Federal MP’s, as well as State Treasurers, Fact Sheets, and we can advise you of you parliamentary contacts if you require assistance.

Should you wish to join the effort to create a more level playing field for our industry. Please indicate your interest here – we will contact you.

Dominant Music to distribute Washburn and Randall in Australia

Dominant Music has announced that it will be the official distributor of Washburn Guitars and Randall Amplification in Australia from February 15, 2014.

Michael Zaccaria, General Manager of Dominant Music said, “We are very excited to have the opportunity to add Washburn and Randall to our family of brands. US Music has historic brands that are known all over the world. Their full line of Washburn acoustic and electric guitars, including the new Parallaxe electric guitar line, in addition to Randall’s new amplifier line aimed at the ‘Metal Market’ allows us to introduce exciting new products in our market. In addition, the US Music brands complement our current product lines and fill a void in our overall product offerings”.

This new arrangement adds to its catalogue which includes, Warwick, Rock Bass, Framus and NS Design.


In late 2012, Australian Musician finished its days as a colour, glossy, printed magazine. It was at the time, Australia’s longest running publication for the local musical instrument industry, with a devoted audience of musicians and enthusiasts at all levels. The Australian Music Association’s flagship title however was merely in hiatus and was always going to return. It was just a matter of when and in what format. The AMA is proud to announce that in early March 2014, Australian Musician will return as an online magazine ( continuing to service the local music industry and its talented musicians.
“This time around, we can focus our energies totally on Australian Musician’s web presence via quality interviews in both text and video form, keeping the public up to date with the gear that is actually available to them in stores locally (where they can see it) and most importantly concentrating on Australian artists,” said long-time editor Greg Phillips.

In fact, the original team which created the magazine, Rob Walker (Managing Editor and AMA CEO) and Greg Phillips will once again be steering the ship, totally independent and fiercely local. Australian Musician will still bring you coverage of the world’s finest musicians but as per its rich history, the Australian music community is what we are keen to service. Australian Musician also refuses to be a cooky-cutter, copycat site. As we’ve done in the past, we’ll bring you exclusive stories from soundcheck, backstage, in the studio and beyond. We’ll let Australian musicians tell their own stories, in their own words and we’ll give you honest opinions on the latest music gear.

For our local musician community, will be a valuable source of information and entertainment. For the local industry it will be a very affordable promotional option in a world where every dollar counts and every advertising campaign needs to hit its target audience.

“We’re excited about the next phase of Australian Musician,” said the AMA’s Rob Walker. “The Association looks forward to using new technologies and social media to grow our music making community. We’ve learned much about our industry and our readership and we look forward to being of service to the Australian music community once again.”

Music Education Forum Seeks Action on the Recommendations of the Victorian Government Music Education Inquiry

The school music education public forum held December 5, expressed much concern for the future of music of music education in Victoria. Organised by the School Music Action Group, the forum brought together academics, politicians and educators in a discussion about how the adoption of the 17 recommendations that came out of the Victorian Government Music Education Inquiry can be championed.

The audience heard that no improvements had been made to state school music education in 20 years. We are training less qualified music teachers. There were significant differences in the quality of music programs. Rural and regional Victoria significantly challenged with human and financial resources. Many primary schools do not employ a specialist music teacher.

Most secondary schools provide some optional instrumental program, but the schools with good programs already get the bulk of the funding. Under the current system it is difficult to start an instrumental program from scratch. The call was made to provide more funding for ‘start up’ programs – a music education guide to support schools to deliver a quality music education and increased education, training and support for teachers, particularly at the primary school level.

A strong music program is a valuable asset to state schools. There are few private schools without a comprehensive music program. The inequity in opportunity across our community to quality music education is something that should not be tolerated. “We’ve all heard about real estate values going up in zones with a strong music program” the forum heard.

The recommendations provide a sound framework for the future of music education said a number of speakers including Mrs Jan Kronberg MLC, Chair of the Parliamentary Committee. The forum called on Premier Napthine to act on his pre-election pledge – “When elected to government, the Liberal Party will require every primary student to be taught at least one lesson of music each week. The Liberal Party will also address the growing shortage of music teachers in Victoria.”

Prof Brian Caldwell was passionate in his belief that music and arts were diminishing in schools under the weight of a narrowing of the curriculum. Billions of dollars in investment in the national testing program has failed to stop Australia slipping in global education rankings according to the most recent PISA study. Putting music in all schools will cost less than these billions and have far greater impact. “There is an inequity of opportunity of access to the arts”, “State schools are leaving the standards model and moving to the accountability model” “An obsession with data has shoved aside the right goals for education” – these were powerful arguments delivered with passion.

The forum heard it was a political decision now – the Government needs to act. The report is excellent. It provides a solid framework, despite having no costing attached to the recommendations.

SMAG committed to coordinating a response. The need for sector, industry and community support has never been so crucial. “The real challenge, given that we already have a position for music within the Australian curriculum, is to democratise the delivery of music. That means taking action to ensure all students have access to music learning throughout their schooling, not just the privileged or the lucky few as is currently the case. To achieve this, the Government needs to make a clear statement of intent (accepting the Review findings would be a good start) and support that with improved resources including better support for teachers and schools and school leaders through professional development, funding and pre-service teacher education while encouraging innovative approaches to delivering the curriculum.

Note: Rob Walker, AMA and Ian Harvey, Music Futures Australia attended the Forum and contributed to this report.

Critical date passes on 1 January, 2014 regarding the sale of wireless devices.

From 1 January 2014, it is illegal for suppliers to import or manufacture wireless microphones that operate in the 694 – 820MHz frequency range. A fact sheet for suppliers (inc retailers) can be viewed here –

Any stock still held in the channel requires a label affixed to the box that says this devices is sold on the understanding that it cannot be used after December 31st 2014

Any one selling an uncompliant device must affix this label to the product – the wording of the label and regulations covering it can be found here.

AMA member’s and the industry’s attention is drawn to the above regulations.