John Mlynczak has been appointed to lead The National Association of Music Merchants, better known as NAMM, as its next president and CEO, the association announced earlier this week. NAMM said that John’s selection was the result of a comprehensive year-long search that included candidates from both inside and outside the music industry.
John, who is well-known to the Scoring Notes audience, has extensive experience in publishing, music technology, and music education. Currently employed by
Noteflight is the web-based music notation software that allows musicians to create, share, teach, sell, and purchase music. During John’s tenure, Noteflight, with its wide acceptance on practically any desktop browser or mobile device deepened its integration with the Hal Leonard catalog through its ArrangeMe service, allowing anyone to legally arrange and sell music through their platform; rolled out an assessment tool called SoundCheck; and expanded Noteflight Learn, a private, COPPA-compliant web site designed specifically for music education.
NAMM, of course, is synonymous with, and most known for the industry mega-trade show known as The NAMM Show, which was held annually for many years every January in Anaheim, California until the COVID pandemic altered its schedule from 2021 through 2023. Founded in 1901, the National Association of Music Merchants’ mission is “to strengthen the music products industry and promote the pleasures and benefits of making music.” It has an annual operating budget of more than $20 million and assets of more than $50 million, according to its 2020 tax filing.
John succeeds Joe Lamond in the president and CEO role. Lamond, who has served in the role for more than 20 years, announced his retirement in 2021 but remained in position through the transition. Incredibly, since 1948, there have only been three people who have served as NAMM’s leader: Lamond; Larry Linkin from 1981-2001; and William Gard from 1948-1981.
Before John was at Noteflight, he served as director of education for PreSonus Audio (maker of Notion), developing curriculum, products, and marketing strategies for music education technology. His roots in music technology and education run deep; he is the immediate past president of the Technology Institute of Music Educators (TI:ME), taught online graduate courses at VanderCook College, served as the Advocacy Chair of the Massachusetts Music Educators Association, and was on the NAfME Advocacy Leadership Force. He started the first music technology course in Louisiana and wrote the state curriculum for an officially approved course.
“Throughout the course of my career, I have experienced firsthand the work of NAMM and the invaluable connections, opportunities, and advocacy of the association in creating more music makers,” John said upon the announcement of his appointment. “I am honored to serve NAMM and our members by continuing to strengthen the music products industry and promote the pleasures and benefits of making music.”
We most recently spoke with John on the Scoring Notes podcast in December 2020, discussing a wide range of topics in the realms of music software, education, sharing, technology, and much more.
We’ve also visited with John several times — ironically, at The NAMM Show, where instead of exhibiting, he’ll be in charge of running the show, literally.
Back in January 2020, John’s passion for the field and its people was evident; he told me, “The amazing team at Noteflight works hard to just put out great software for our users, take their feedback, flip it around, and send it right back.” Later, when discussing the new Lifetime option for Noteflight Premium, he said, “It’s far exceeded expectations. I looked at [the sales] and got teary-eyed; these people have invested in us for the rest of their life!”
NAMM said that John will join its team in Carlsbad, California, on April 3, right before the 2023 NAMM Show, which is scheduled for April 13-15, 2023. He officially assumes the role of CEO on Monday, May 1.