Category Archives: News

Federal Government Announces Extension of JobKeeper and JobSeeker Programs to March 2021 With Changes

The Federal Government has announced an extension of the JobKeeper scheme until March 2021. There will be a two-tiered payment in place with a lower rate for casuals and part-time workers which more closely aligned with hours worked.

The Morrison government will cut the JobKeeper wage subsidy at the end of September to $1200 a fortnight for full-time workers and to $750 for part-time workers, down from the current single rate of $1500.

The scheme is being extended until March 28 next year, but will be revised down further at the start of January to $1000 for full-time workers and $650 for part-time employees working 20 hours a week or less.

Businesses will be reassessed with a turnover test in early October and early January to ensure the level of support is still required.

The ARA’s Paul Zahra said “payments will be more closely aligned with the wages of part-time and casual employees, which will foster greater workplace cooperation and provide greater incentive to return to work”.

Any further information will be distributed when it comes to hand.

Businesses must respect consumers’ right to unsubscribe from marketing messages

The ACMA is reminding all businesses to comply with Australia’s spam laws by allowing consumers to opt-out of receiving marketing messages.

Recent ACMA investigations have identified repeat failures by Australian businesses to comply with the Spam Act.

Investigations into complaints from the public about Woolworths Group Limited and Singtel Optus Pty Limited, both large well-known entities in Australia, resulted in over $1.5 million in penalties.

The ACMA found that these businesses continued to send messages after consumers had withdrawn consent. In some cases, people had attempted to withdraw many times.

These investigations highlight how even large businesses can fail to have effective systems and processes in place so that consumers can unsubscribe from e-marketing campaigns.

ACMA enforcement action for breaching the Spam Act 2003 can include formal warnings, infringement notices or even action in the Federal Court.

Respecting customer’s wishes also makes good commercial sense.

Remember:

  • E-marketers need to allow people to unsubscribe from their electronic mailing lists.
  • Businesses cannot ‘set and forget’ their compliance systems or outsource their risk to third parties.

Commercial electronic messages must generally contain an ‘unsubscribe’ option that:

presents unsubscribe instructions clearly

honours a request to unsubscribe within 5 working days

does not require the payment of a fee

does not cost more than the usual amount for using the address (such as a standard text charge)

is functional for at least 30 days after the message is sent

Read more about how to comply with the Spam Act (or how to make a complaint) on the ACMA website.

Stage 3 Restrictions Reintroduced to Melbourne Metro Area & Mitchell Shire to stem the spread of COVID19 – Most Music Retail to remain open

The association is notifying all members operating in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire that Stage 3 restrictions are due to be reinstated from 11.59pm on Wednesday, 8 July.

The state government has announced that to stop the spread of the COVID19 virus, Stage 3 “Stay at Home” restrictions will be reimposed for six weeks, restricting Victorians from leaving their homes except for four reasons:

  • Shopping for food or essentials 
  • Care and caregiving
  • Work and education (if you can’t from home)
  • Daily exercise

Businesses will also return to stage 3 restrictions, including work from home where possible.

Please find Premier’s statement with full details of what Stage 3 restrictions here.

Freight from Victoria will be permitted according to the permit structure being developed for border crossing by the NSW government, and freight and logistics from Melbourne metro will continue to operate as in the previous restrictions period. Freight companies will be obtaining permits to overcome the Victorian border issues – freight times may be extended as a result of this.

Most retail is permitted to open, including music retail, subject to the density quotient, but people can only visit for necessary goods and services. i.e. No browsing policy should apply.

Members should re-assert their previous Stage 3 restrictions planning regarding numbers in store, hand and other sanitation procedures including strict physical distancing in store, instrument and other products handling practices.

A summary of the Stage 3 restrictions can be accessed here 

Premier Daniel Andrews says the state government will soon announce additional fiscal stimulus for businesses and individuals as lockdown measures affect businesses, if federal help is not being accessed. The association will update members and assist as we go forward from here.

From a national perspective restrictions and regulations including border control are different from state to state. Courtesy of the Australian Retailers Association you can view a summary of each state and territories’ current regulations – click here

Make Music Day Australia | Sunday JUNE 21

MAKE MUSIC DAY 2020 | COUNTDOWN TO JUNE 21
Make Music Day is back in 2020! Make Music Day is a global celebration of music which takes place every year on June 21, in over 1000 cities across 120 countries. Beginning as the Fete de la Musique in France in 1982, it has now grown into a worldwide event, with Australia celebrating its third year of participation in 2020. It is a day of free-for-all music making, in which anyone and everyone is invited to participate in or organise their own activities for making and sharing music. Make Music Day is open for musicians and enthusiasts of all capabilities, young and old, professional and amateur, presenting self-organised programs of activities ranging from flash-mob choirs in train stations to lunch time school band performances, balcony jam sessions, community ukulele get-togethers and professional performances alike.
This year has been one of the most challenging for the music industry, and Make Music Day is no exception. Due to the impacts of COVID19 social distancing measures, the Make Music Day international alliance decided to focus more on music-making activities within the digital and online space in 2020. This move now presents exciting new opportunities and a renewed enthusiasm for celebrating music-making by exploring new and innovative ways of sharing music through digital and online activities while adhering to the health guidelines of each state and territory.
Rob Walker, CEO of the Australian Music Association says, “The challenge thrown Make Music Day Australia by the 2020 pandemic has provided all sorts of creative opportunities for people to make music online, on top of the live opportunities that now exist in public places, said AMA CEO Rob Walker – this combination has revealed a treasure trove of innovation. You can’t keep a musician from making music. There will be hours of ‘live’ musicians online and maybe in your world, you’ll see some in the park or on a verandah somewhere”
This year will see exciting activities across the country including:
• and Josh Pyke kicking off the #livefromhome challenge
o Participants film and upload a video of themselves performing their favourite song to social media, and tag three other mates to do the same
• Make Music Day at the Art Gallery of NSW
o As part of the AGNSW’s #TogetherInArt project and in celebration of Make Music Day 2020, ARIA award-winning, art pop singer-songwriter Montaigne will share a special live-streamed musical performance from the Gallery on Sunday 21 June, 7.30pm AEST.
• Creative Arts Alliance Young Mic Online, QLD
o Young musicians, singers, bands, rappers and beat makers are invited to participate in an online version of the popular Caboolture Club open mic event series

• Parramatta Riverside Theatre presents Ngaiire: Take Down
o After Covid-19 forced the cancellation of her March Australian tour, Ngaiire is back and bringing her new music to a one off event, streamed live on YouTube from the Riverside stage for Make Music Day.
• Adelaide UNESCO City of Music Program, SA
o On Make Music Day, the Cities of Music of UNESCO Creative Cities Network have prepared a musical feast with a special broadcast of over 20 music cities from five different continents. Adelaide, the first and only City of Music in Australia, will curate a program of talented musicians from across South Australia including Adam Page, Nancy Bates, Emily Tulloch, Belinda Gehlert, Ross McHenry, Josh Baldwin, Django Rowe and Brenton Foster to showcase the rich and diverse city of music. Join us for this global celebration of music!
• Melbourne Guitar Show Online
o Some of Australia’s finest exponents of the guitar and other fretted instruments will perform in isolation for Make Music Day Australia. This two hour plus Facebook Fest features live performances by some of Australia’s finest musicians including Phil Manning, James Ryan, Fiona Boyes, Nick Charles, Jeremy Barnes, Alison Ferrier, Jeff Lang, Lloyd Spiegel, Anna Scionti, Joshua Batten, Opal Ocean, Mike Elrington, Simon Gardiner, The Thin White Ukes, Lucas Michailidis, and Ben Kelly, with more names to come
• AIM and Sydney Improvised Music Association Present Jazz Masterclass + Q&A Session
o ARIA-Award winning bassist Jonathan Zwartz and legendary drummer Hamish Stuart form one of Australia’s great jazz rhythm sections. In this special Make Music Day event, they join forces with luminary pianist and Bell Hall of Fame inductee Mike Nock ONZM for a fascinating masterclass that captures the excitement and immediacy of improvised music and showcases the brilliance and creative dexterity of this exceptional ensemble.
• Music ACT Make Music Day Program, ACT
o Music ACT invites All participating musicians from across the Canberra region can “play on their patio”, “do a banger on their balcony”, “sing on their sidewalk” or “rock out on their driveway” to aid a speedy recovery from the COVID19 crisis
• Zoom Zingalong, VIC
o Melbourne based Elwood Community Choir and ZING! Choir are combining for two hours of song sharing, singalongs, musical games and vocal frolics on Zoom.
• Sydney Youth Orchestra’s Classical Karaoke, NSW
o Tuning in LIVE on Facebook, Classical Karaoke will connect musicians of all levels and ages from across the globe, tuning in to play an arrangement of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, conducted live by world renowned conductor Brian Buggy OAM, all in the comfort of their own homes
• Make Music Day ADL (Livestream Mini Festival), SA
o Based in Adelaide but open for anyone to register, this mini online music festival presents a curated program of short performances livestreamed via social media.
Make Music Australia has been made possible by the Australian Music Association, The NAMM Foundation and Live Music Office and many of these activities have been made possible by key project partners and supporters such as CreateNSW, APRA AMCOS, Australian Music Industry Network and Community Broadcasting Association of Australia.
Lucy Joseph, Projects and Engagement Manager for the Live Music Office said, “We encourage everyone to get involved in some way or other in the years to come with Make Music Day. Now more than ever, Make Music Day presents an important opportunity to elevate music making in the recovery process from COVID19. Music plays a vital role in bring communities back together, rebuilding and restoring the joy of making music no matter who you are or where you’re from.”
This year Make Music Day also supports the work being done by the incredible team at Support Act and encourages everyone to donate to this organisation that helps music industry workers navigate through challenging times.
For more information on Make Music Day and activities happening in 2020, visit: https://makemusicaustralia.org.au/
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About the Australian Music Association
The Australian Music Association’s is a not-for-profit organisation whose mission is to be the voice of the music products industry and grow music making in Australia. For more information please visit: https://australianmusic.asn.au/
About the Live Music Office
The Live Music Office works to support the growth of the venue-based live music sector in Australia to increase live music performance opportunities and support live music audience and sector development. For more information please visit: https://livemusicoffice.com.au/

MAKE MUSIC DAY – A GIFT TO OUR INDUSTRY

AMA Members can be pivotal to the success of Make Music Day June 21 2020. In 2020 our apple cart has been upset by
Covid-19 but it has given us all sorts of new and innovative ways to participate online as well as out in the stores. Music Retailers all over the world have benfitted by the growth of Make Music Day.
The AMA is committed to Joining the Celebration of Making Music Around the World on June 21.

We are working with NAMM Foundation and countries all over the world as a member of the Make Music Alliance to join over 1000 cities and places globally celebrating Make Music Day Australia.
How can our industry be involved in promoting it, and benefitting from the extra activity it will bring this year and into the future?

Checkout the 2020 DIGITAL GUIDE and the GENERAL ACTIVITIES GUIDE and this one sheet containing suggestions and ideas on how to be involved – MakeMusicDay2020 Activities Guide

AMA Announces VIRTUAL 2020 Make Music Day Australia

We Imagined Something Like This for Australia – WATCH THE SHORT VIDEO!

We did this last year CLICK HERE for the 2019 program CLICK HERE for a highlights video and lots of other info. And in 2020 we were getting closer to our objective and along comes COVID19. So,

In 2020 by necessity Make Music Day 2020 is Going Virtual

Make Music Day is a global celebration of music making that takes place on June 21 every year in over 1000 places in 120 countries. Unlike traditional music festivals Make Music Day is an open invitation for everyone to make music anywhere and anywhere and register their events, so that they are part of a giant global program. In this COVID19 Year we go online.

It is a DIY music festival. And Australia because of time zones can lead the world on June 21.
We’re encouraging any one and all to come up with innovative ways to make music online and share it from home or any place they can film themselves doing it. Register their performance on the website and add the Tags #makemusicdayoz and #makemusicday and we start the build of a giant database of music from around the world.

We had spent a year organising 2020 Make Music Day only to be stopped in our tracks like the rest of the music industry – but we can go online and that’s what our brothers (including the US, UK, Germany, China, Brazil, Italy, and others, ) in the global Make Music Alliance agreed. Let’s do it together.

We have CreateNSW right behind us to lead NSW in this endeavour, and many other councils and organisations all over Australia and we are calling on our Music Stores to get involved too. It’s been quiet in stores, use the isolation to create a music performance by you and/or your staff – filming themselves and posting – there’d be Australian Musicians all over the world, promoted and exposed. Australia can lead the global event.

In a 24-hour Make Music Day across the world, Australia is first in the program. We are reaching out to present a virtual Melbourne Guitar Show too on Make Music Day and promote Support Act.

And our overall activities are targeted at raising Support Act awareness.
With the NAMM Foundation’s support we have partnered with the Live Music Office and APRA/AMCOS to deliver the event nationally and partner in developing the event globally.

This is an event initiated by our music products industry – it is about anyone making music and being part of a huge global event.

 

An Up and Down March and April During COVID19 Restrictions

Recent data released by illion would suggest that discretionary spending has trended upward alongside the announcement of the government stimulus packages and continued on a steeper curve than essentials, through March but has eased back during April, with spending on essentials being mostly driving retail figures.
Sales of musical instruments have carried on strongly for some through April following a huge March.
For music products retail it’s been business ‘unusual’ but brisk all the same for many retailers, depending on the category. Some categories faring better than others in the circumstances.
Preliminary figures from the Bureau of Statistics show retail turnover had its biggest monthly rise on record in March. Supermarket and grocery store sales rose 22.4 per cent, while sales of alcohol and home office supplies were also strong. This continued in April, but discretionary spending pulled back.
Economists expect a pullback in retail sales as stockpiling subsides and major retailers including Myer extend shutdowns.
Those who were set up well for e-commerce pre-Covid-19 are flourishing, those who lagged behind are learning quickly to get their online services up to scratch to deal with demand and the new trading conditions.
Australian Musician online has reported about music retail being open and doing business, and letting the consumer know. There’s plenty of positive messages coming out of the article from our member retailers. March was akin to Christmas for many retailers we have spoken to and April has continued on that way. Many dealers are naturally giving their focus to their online channels.
When posing the question of “what impacts do you think Self-isolation and social distancing will have on you?” Some interesting responses, were reported by illion too.
More time to do what I enjoy – 36% |Beneficial impacts from reading, creative pursuits, etc – 32% |
Increased opportunity to learn – 26% | all into these music making sits pretty well.
Acoustic piano specialist stores, while seeing more than double their usual digital piano sales, have seen un unprecedented drop-off in floor traffic. On her ABC interview Jenny Ko of Gospel Pianos said she was seeing only a couple of customers during the week at the moment. Online business in digitals had more than doubled, but not close to making up for lost acoustic sales.
Michael Cleves told us that his group of stores, which includes the Australian Piano Warehouses has seen a similar rush for home, with loads of digital pianos selling to go with some softness in the mid range upright acoustic piano market with Grand pianos holding up. “As always with acoustic pianos, you’ve got to do the extra.” “In general MI, entry level gear has been huge in March, we’ve been very busy at Billy Hydes (Vic) and Winston Music (SA) as well as in the Dale Cleves stores. “we are seeing a lot of product sold to new customers during this period, and that’s a positive”
It’s a similar story with Bernies Musicland in Ringwood, Victoria. “Acoustics are quieter but digital pianos are quite busy and portable organs too, the little Hammonds, we’ve been busy with those,” says store owner Bernie Capicchiano. “Most are looking for home entertainment, so we are getting comments like … we always wanted to have the time to play, now we do or we are locked up and need our music.”
Acoustics have seen significant disruption, which is traditional during times of uncertainty. Brass and woodwind sales have also hit the wall, with schools disrupted and complicated by the fact that these instruments cannot be tried out instore by those wanting to trade up or get themselves a better instrument. Fine Music’s Michael Jongebloed saying there was not much selling in his world, besides accessories and print. Michael was enthused however by the online Bands Festival he was doing online as reported last week.
Fears that people are bringing forward purchases they were planning to make down the track were countered with the numbers of new customers taking up music. One supplier saying “we up 300% on entry level guitars, drum kits are up too”. Entry level guitar and amp packs are also struggling to keep up with demand.
Some suppliers and retailers have seen drops in business levels sufficient to apply for JobKeeper wage subsidies despite all the talk of boom times. Although welcome, businesses have been burdened with a cash flow crisis as the lag time between receiving the credits and paying staff salaries widens.
Those dealers that have been working in the online space for while have been able to capitalise.
Macron Music invested its time wisely by improving its online service, not just for the current conditions for into the future. Anthony Ursino said. “Because it has been less busy instore, we have been able to catch up on things that we were putting in place anyway with our online service.”
So, with restrictions at Stage 3, retail has been able to operate. As have logistics. Supplying musical instruments has been somewhat of an essential service during a ‘lock down period’ judging by the level of business. We appear to be in a similar situation with the emergency as New Zealand with its businesses only opening again this week. It has been in complete shut down, but fortunately for our industry, we have been able to continue to trade.
Retailers report that the people issues are a big challenge, the safety of customers and staff. But those with well-developed online infrastructure prospered and so did stores with not such a good online infrastructure! They found ways. Home deliveries, kerb side click and collect, uber, etc!
Marcello Grassi, co-owner at Eastgate Music in Kew is taking the health advice very seriously.
Despite the increased measures to produce a safe environment for customers to shop in, almost universally people are shopping via phone or online and stores are doing whatever it takes to deliver the goods and keep their loyal lientele satisfied. “We do encourage online sales,” says Eastgate’s Marcello. “You are very welcome to call us and we can greet you outside, we can load your car. We can do whatever you want that is required. If you want us to wear mask and gloves, not a problem.”
Suppliers are now experiencing stock shortages, and retailers may be wondering where their sales may come from in the months to come, while supply gets back to normal. But to the end of April suppliers were reporting a big couple of months as people got their music needs stocked up.
“It wasn’t exactly panic buying” said Concept Music’s Graham Hoskins, but [there has been] a huge increase in demand for instruments like keyboards and guitars, even drums, where people are looking for something that’s going to help them get through the situation,” he said.
Craig Johnston too (Keyboard Corner/KC’s Rock Shop) has been one of those to be surprisingly busy and profitable over the March – April months. “Business in acoustic pianos was almost nothing for March but the last 3 weeks we have seen a return to normal sales levels, everywhere else has been way up” Craig said. “What I anticipated could have been the end of many businesses in the industry, mine included, has turned out to be a once in a lifetime opportunity”.
We can only trust that as schools return to some normal and protocols for contact and use of instruments that pent up demand returns in categories like band and orchestral.
The AMA is conducting industry surveys to establish a benchmark for the industry as of now and another in the coming months. Rob Walker said “without a lot of foresight in the current situation, if we take out temperature at the end of April and do it again in three months, we can get a perspective of what the impact has been and is likely to be in the future”.

Fine Music Launches Online Competition for Brass and Woodwind Instrmentalists

Fine Music has launched a new online solo competition for Brass & Woodwind instrumentalists with the support of its industry partners. With the national band championships in Perth cancelled at Easter we wanted to keep people playing, said Fine Music’s Michael Jongebloed – we’ll have members of the MSO and QSO on the adjudicator’s panel.

It’s an event to keep people practicing while they’re at home. Competitors are asked to video a performance of the set repertoire and send in their link. A panel of expert adjudicators will critique each performance and decide on the winner of each section. Find out more at http://finemusiconlinechampionships.com.au/

 

Forte Supports Piano Teachers with ‘Q & A’ Webinars

Forte Music has launched a new online webinar series to assist piano teachers through the pandemic. Held each Thursday at 11am, owners Gillian Erskine and Paul Myatt felt that there was a real need to support our Piano Teaching community, a community that ranges from being not that techie to quite capable but needing a bit of inspiration and a few ideas on just what can be achieved with a good online set up.

The format was based on the popular ABC series QandA and wanted to produce an entertaining show where piano teachers could ask questions and get answers each week from a panel of expert teachers, some of whom are sharing the journey into this new world with them and others who are more experienced.

“We have become a bit of a lifeline for many piano teachers who are home alone battling to figure this all out. We’ve been swamped by feedback and questions and Teachers tell us they really look forward to each episode and week by week they are feeling more confident and getting better at it all even though sometimes they still feel a bit overwhelmed”. Gillian told us.

Here are links to Episode 1 & 2

https://www.pianoteachingsuccess.com/qanda-episode1

https://www.pianoteachingsuccess.com/qanda-episode2 

We’ve been delighted with the support we have received and the show is being promoted by AMEB, Hal Leonard and Kawaii to name a few.