By David Sharpe

Dear Naxos

As a recent 'discoverer' of the beauty of classical music,(I actually bought Classical Music for Dummies) I think what you need to do overall is help 'popularize' classical music more...bring it out of the clouds and onto the ground where people of all ages can hear it's magic. I know I was always intimidated by it and looked on it as snobby, hard to understand for the layman, and the CDs were horribly expensive.

But thanks to companies like Naxos and your marketing strategy of 'popular priced' quality recordings, I'm now able to build a good collection at a modest cost. I don't believe I'm unique in any way....there HAS to be a lot of others who, if the sound was more 'available,' would at least look at it. I'm a boomer- 55-and I think that that could be a huge market if you had limited funds and wanted to target your spend tighter...I'm at a point in my life where I want to slow down a little and smell more roses. And as I listen to your music on my stereo in my studio(I'm a painter) my kids, boy 18 and girl 23, listen and now THEY like it too! In fact my daughter asked me to take her to the TSO (Toronto Symphony Orchestra)

recently and we enjoyed it so much I bought season's tickets for this and next year! (The economical seats but still good).

So, here's a few ideas to help turn up the volume on Classical MusicíK(I think your efforts in order to do this are great by the way!)

1. Naxos could approach different cities' /towns' Parks and Recreation Depts(as they are called here in Canada) and organize regular free 'symphony on the grass' concerts(for all ages) in the summer evenings with local classical music talent...String Quartets etc... or you could partner the concerts with other product manufacturers whose brand image would be strategically advantaged by the link to classical...I think Starbucks would be great...and would go for it if it was positioned to their marketing folks properly. Here in Canada they sell cool jazz and hip oldies but why not mix classical in there too? In order to offset the cost further, you could strike a deal with sound equipment companies(Sony, Panasonic) who also have a vested interest. Call them the Naxos/Sony Classical Music Experience concerts...something -but not snobby though.) Maybe sponsor a group/s in a city/town that need exposure and they play on a scheduled basis?

2. I know all the universities (our University of Toronto is great) have music depts and give public concerts ...maybe Naxos could partner with different Faculties of Music and help fund these concerts. We were at one a while back at the U of T (because it wasn't expensive as seats at the TSO )and it was excellent plus we felt good supporting tomorrow' s performers. Again their HAS to be others like us, where if there were more concerts .would go. (maybe Naxos could even donate a portion of the ticket price to the Faculty. And perhaps those who attend are given a program for the evening that has coupons in it that can be redeemed for a special price on a Naxos 'Discovery Package' with 5-10 of the essentials and it comes with your 'Discover Classical' book.

3. Perhaps a Naxos traveling Quartet(or again a designated Naxos group in regions across the country) that can be hired for a very economical price openings and office parties at Christmas? (Not all companies want a dread lock DJ) Or weddings...thats a huge market.

4. Use your web site for ordering direct more. Folks in rural areas have limited access to music stores. Oh and put more audio clips on the site. (I've bought from a single clip!) And what about volume discounts...say, buy on line and 3 -5 and save X% 5-10 save even more.

5. I've found I like classical even more when I understand it(I'm just learning....after the dummies book I bought Aaron Coplands book ' How to listen to Music' and it's great . Very easy to read and understand--again dispelling the myth that it's some complicated, intricate exclusive thing. Now I'm reading the Doctors' book you mention on your site and it too is great.(How about a coupon in every Naxos recording giving a discount on his book if ordered through Amazon? Win win all around...and book comes with discount coupons that relate to his chapter recommendations ...or make a deal with him for a boxed set... let him brand it...or you could brand it....or co -brand it. (I know you have to be sensitive to your dealer channel here- but maybe there's a way to structure the return mechanism.)

6. How do you build a market? Kids. In Canada our schools budgets (read: programs)have been slashed drastically. Parents are up in arms. They want their kids to get quality education for the high taxes they pay. What about making a deal with school boards where a teacher can access a Naxos sponsored group to come in a play for kids classes(not a concert) and the kids can ask questions, even touch the instruments! Maybe give the school a set of CDs for their library? (That has to be deductible for you!) Maybe commission a prominent kids music teacher to design and write a simple Classical music appreciation course outline that you can give the teacher to help her/ him structure that 'mini concert class' around thus saving teachers time of having to do it themselves. It all comes as The Naxos Classical School Experience' program.

7. A little (not inexpensive) bistro around the corner from us has a jazz trio every Friday night that plays on the patio portion of the restaurant. Again- why couldn't it be a small classical ensemble? Again people may hear something they like...ask the group what the piece was and then go buy the CD.

8. I just bought a new Honda CRV last week . Halleluya. No more minivan. All black. Very cool. And------it came with a 6 CD changer yet! What about making a deal with car manufacturers where the buyer gets a deal on 6 Naxos Cds ...maybe a discount coupon with a local Naxos dealer in the plastic folder they give you with all the warranty stuff in it. Well I think that's it.

I come up with marketing ideas for large companies for a living (I think you can tell) so I hope this can help you help others what I discovered recently- the sheer beauty, power, relaxation and creative energy of classical music.

Good luck on a great initiative Naxos!

David Sharpe