The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), music industry leaders, educators, and musicians preached to Congressional leaders about the importance of providing quality, comprehensive music education to all children during NAMM’s annual D.C. Fly-In, which began on May 21. The event allows the music industry to perpetuate the vision of a world in which every child has a deep desire to learn music and a recognized right to be taught – and in which every adult is a passionate champion and defender of that right. This year’s Fly-In, the largest ever, included a day of service at Savoy Elementary, advocacy training at the Kennedy Center, a celebration of Turnaround Arts at the Library of Congress, and more than 100 meetings with Members of Congress.
Sixty-five NAMM members, STEAM Caucus co-chair Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, auditory learning expert Dr. Nina Kraus, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ drummer Chad Smith, former New York Yankee, Latin GRAMMY-nominated musician Bernie Williams, and actor Doc Shaw fortified the tenth annual event, which reinforces the importance of music education for all children.
In face-to-face meetings with Members of Congress, NAMM members and artists urged the reauthorization and full funding of The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The delegates also urged lawmakers to continue the designation of music as a core academic subject.
The Fly-in kicked off with a day of service at Washington, D.C.’s Savoy Elementary. Savoy students jammed on guitar, drums, and ukulele with NAMM members, Chad Smith, Bernie Williams, Doc Shaw, award-winning folk duo Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer, GRAMMY-nominated music educator Glen McCarthy, and drummer Bob Bloom. Savoy Elementary is one of the eight pilot schools in the Turnaround Arts program. Turnaround Arts, funded in part by the NAMM Foundation, infuses low-performing schools with the arts in an effort to narrow the achievement gap and increase student engagement. This week, Michelle Obama during the first-ever White House Talent Show announced that Turnaround Arts will expand to include 35 schools in 10 states.
Fly-In participants attended the NAMM Foundation-hosted “Celebrating Music Education” reception at the Library of Congress honoring the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, Turnaround Arts, and Kent Knappenberger, recipient of the GRAMMY Foundation’s Music Educator Award with Support Music Awards.