Did you know that the number of school children learning to play the piano in China is claimed to be no fewer than 60 million? Put into context, that’s the entire population of Italy, young and old. Add to this the myriad of instruments that are being taught at a high level across the entire country, and it’s clear to see how much of an influence music culture has on peoples’ lives in China. From the perspective of upcoming trade show Music China, which takes place from 10 – 13 October, this sheer dominance of music education can only yield positive results for an industry which is competing on a global scale like never before.
In fact, it’s estimated that 80% of global piano production is now derived solely from China, which is just one example of the industry’s growing influence on the instrument market worldwide. At the same time, the show has grown to become a home for over 2,000 leading global brands and 100,000 visitors, each of whom will have the opportunity to capitalise on China’s position as an industry powerhouse.
Ms Judy Cheung, Deputy General Manager of show organiser Messe Frankfurt (Shanghai) Co Ltd, says the importance of China’s music culture and education is embedded into Music China’s offerings. “We are very lucky to be part of such an influential show, which sits at the heart of China’s phenomenal music education progress”
“We hope that by providing exhibitors and visitors with an opportunity to see how the industry in China leans on its musical heritage and culture, then they can expand their business in one of the most crucial music markets in the world. We can’t wait for the 2018 show to start.”
Markus Thienert of exhibiting company Conn-Selmer believes there is a huge opportunity for the industry’s leaders to keep capitalising on China’s significant education progress. The company is one of the world’s leading instrument manufacturing groups with brands such as Bach, Ludwig, Leblanc and Selmer.
“There is probably no other market that could currently match or exceed the potential of China’s musical instrument industry, and there are more kids involved in learning, playing and creating music than ever before,” he said.
“The emerging efforts to establish band, orchestra and instrument programmes in Chinese schools, as well as the many existing educational initiatives.”
“Music China supports the synergy between industry and educational institutions by providing a perfect platform for them both,” added Mr Thienert.
Growing overseas interest and fringe events
Exhibiting alongside the big-name brands like Conn-Selmer are a number of educational institutions and industry associations. This includes the UK’s Music Industry Association (MIA), who will join one of the show’s 13 overseas exhibitor pavilions during the show.
After having recently launched a new national plan for music education themselves, MIA share similar thoughts to Conn-Selmer with regards to music education in China. For instance, they believe more emphasis should be based on children under five to learn instruments, and also says that the education should accommodate the speed in which music technology is moving.
Mr Paul McManus, Chief Executive of MIA, has spoken ahead of this year’s edition of Music China: “The quality of Chinese-made products has significantly grown over the past 20 years. This has resulted in the show becoming very important to the UK musical instrument industry, as our exhibitors can benefit from the chance to explore new business on a global stage.”
Many like-minded show participants will also have a keen eye on the numerous fringe events and live shows taking place onsite this year. Continuing to highlight the importance of music education across the entire industry is the Kids’ Music Castle, which is one of the most highly anticipated events of the 2018 show. The area is a specially designed multi-sensory zone, which will enable children to experience the world of music and sound by touching and trying out a variety of musical instruments first-hand.
Not only that, but the Drum Circles will also allow participants to explore a diverse range of musical and rhythmic expressions, while a forum for traditional Chinese instruments will promote the essence of traditional Chinese music through a range of seminars on instruments such as the guzheng, erhu, pipa and guqin. Visitors to the show can also expect to find fringe events led by some of the industry’s most important international brands, who will share their own successful formulas and ideas for music education.
About Messe Frankfurt
Messe Frankfurt is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. With more than 2,500* employees at some 30 locations, the company generates annual sales of around €661* million. Thanks to its far-reaching ties with the relevant sectors and to its international sales network, the Group looks after the business interests of its customers effectively. A comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services. With its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent).