Below is the first installment of Best Ideas entries from the Best Ideas Session at the 2017 RPMDA Convention in Atlanta. Thanks to Tim Cose, of Hal Leonard for collecting and compiling the first installment.
Wine Club for Piano Music
Krista Hart, Alfred Music
Subscription box series are all the rage right now – you probably know Birchbox and Ipsy for discovering new makeup and skin care products, there are clothing services that deliver customized items to you monthly, and of course, the version I’m more familiar with, there are wine clubs that send you bottles through the year from one winery, or from various wineries across a state or region.
Start your own curated sheet music subscription service for piano music! Have your keyboard players in the store curate the selections, create a newsletter to provide additional expert content. Your customers can fill out a profile so you know what level of music to send. You could have various subscription levels so shipments could be only a couple of solo sheets, or for more buy-in, could include collections. You can include music from a variety of publishers, and I bet those publishers would partner with you to occasionally provide some SWAG items or marketing materials.
This subscription series model could appeal to your music teachers, hobbyists, or the parents of piano students who may want to keep their kids playing with new music but not have the time to get over to your store. It could also appeal to your bottomline because there would be nothing keeping you from including new issues, unclaimed special orders, or extra copies you may have in your store. And, don’t forget that New Issues offer some of the best discounts you can get.
With wine club membership, you are also invited to attend events at the winery, so you could also have events for your subscription members at your store. Maybe with some wine? 😉 Have them come in for an exclusive sheet music soiree, maybe you have a special performance arranged for them, or they play their favorites for each other—film them playing, or giving a review, and turn that right around into content for your social media outlets.
This idea could be expanded beyond sheet music to cover other areas of the store. I think this is a great opportunity to create a recurring guaranteed revenue stream, showcase your staff as experts, generate original social media content, and help keep your inventory tight.
Best Idea: Generate Positive Press by Celebrating Best Communities for Music Education Designees in your Community
Eric Ebel, NAMM
Last Spring, The NAMM Foundation recognized 527 school districts and 92 schools from across the nation for their outstanding music education programs. Now in its 18th year, the Best Communities for Music Education (BCME) awards program recognizes outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have made music education part of the curriculum. Designations are made to districts and schools that demonstrate an exceptionally high commitment and broad access to music education.
The designation takes on added significance this year with new research showing strong ties between K-12 school students who actively participate in school music education programs and overall student success. A recent study of students in the Chicago Public Schools by brain researchers at Northwestern University, detailed in Neuroscientist and Education Week, builds on previous findings that participation in music education programs helps improves brain function, discipline and language development.
As we know, studying music has intrinsic benefits and, on its own, is core to learning. Also, the links between student success and music education have now been demonstrated by brain researchers in multiple studies. The schools and districts receiving this award serve as models for other educators who see music as a key ingredient in a well-rounded curriculum that makes music available to all children, regardless of zip code.
So, how can you get involved? Each year NAMM members across the country help to elevate this recognition within their communities by presenting certificates at festivals, concerts, school board meetings and encourage their local media to share the news in print, broadcast and online stories. To assist with this, we provide you with tips, templates, logos and best media practices in our BCME PR Toolkit.