Music Education gear & technology in 2018

It is always exciting to see Music Education highlighted at events as it was in the annual 2018 NAMM Show. The NAMM Show is described as 'the world's largest trade-only event for the music products industry'. Keep reading for details on a few of the innovative and new music gear products...

The 117th annual National Association of Music Merchants, NAMM, with 106,773 in attendance, was held in Anaheim, California U.S.A. in January this year. The products included music education gear and technology, virtual reality music products, ultra-traditional saxophones, Netherlands-made guitar effects pedal board that does not need separate power supplies or patch cables, add-ons for hardware, instruments built with 3D printing technology, a battery-operated wireless guitar amplifier and the vast list goes on.

Included with the most popular and intriguing music education products were some add-ons for hardware and instruments that users already own. In other words, augmenting and enhancing what you already have! How great it can be financially to find gear and gadgets that can upgrade instruments that you already own. The following list of products includes some of these add-ons as well as some of the ones mentioned above.

New Music Education gear and technology


OneManBand is a MIDI and app-compatible device that has been described as 'a new way to play guitar'. This practice-aide product is an upgrade for electric and acoustic guitars that you already own. The OneManBand can give you a backing band based on your guitar playing. It can also create sounds of any instrument and convert the signals into MIDI. Also offered is a foot pedal to connect to your existing guitar and app via Bluetooth, thus giving you hands-free control. 

Synthesis and music programming for children

Two of the new and innovative items for kids on the NAMM Show floor were Blipblox and Dato Duo. Both of these are synths designed for children. The promotion was based on getting children interested in synthesis basics, thus leading them to a higher interest in music as they grow.

Another exciting music education product for children is Piano Hi-Lite, the first piano learning device that can assist a beginner to start playing in minutes. It is created for any standard 88-key piano and is placed on top of the keyboard. The keys light up along the strip as notes appear on the screen. Children love it.

New and fascinating music products and instruments

Wireless MIDI ring

Enhancia has created a ring to wear on your hand while playing. Just using hand gestures, you can perform musical effects. Made from soft plastic and a metal accent, the ring communicates with a hub connecting to the computer. The ring is charged by the hub which informs the ring of the individual effects that are mapped to which movements. The ring's sensors track three hand movements: 1) a slight hand wobble for vibrato, 2) slow tilt back and forth for pitch bend, and 3) a forward tilt for a low pass filter.

The world’s first electric violin

3Dvarius, the first electric violin was created almost entirely by 3D printing technology.  It is made of a photo-reactive liquid resin and weighs just slightly over one pound. The 3Dvarius is available in both 4- and 5-string models. It was inspired by a classic, centuries-old Stradivarius. At $4,000 most of us will just be amazed but never own one. It's free to view the 3Dvarius here.

Music and VR


There were some companies showing at NAMM who are combining music and virtual reality. Aerodrums gives you the ability to drum without a drum set. Literally drumming in the air using VR. Using your traditional drumsticks, you attach reflective balls to the tips and reflective panels are attached to your feet. Your movements are captured by a camera. This is all fed into headphones without your making any noise. You are able to drum without a physical drum set.

Yet another VR product, Survios, made a debut at the annual show. This VR tool allows interactive users to experience mixing, re-mixing, composing and performing on several instruments. Two people can play simultaneously in the same room or even thousands of miles apart. It is expected to be on the market this summer.


For more details of the above products, plus 1000s more exhibited at the National Association of Music Merchants Show, go here.