March, 2009

Mike Lawson • Archives • March 12, 2009

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The NAMM Foundation Encourages Support of Music Education
The NAMM Foundation hosted multiple events at the 2009 Winter NAMM Show that were focused on keeping music education strong in schools. The Foundation hopes to raise awareness within the music products industry about the critical importance of being active in their communities in order to maintain support for music education programs in today’s economic environment. On the opening day of the show, NAMM presented its prestigious Grand Marshal Award to three important influencers in honor of their contributions to school music education.

The honorees were: Anne L. Bryant, Ed.D, executive director of the National School Boards Association, who heads a federation of state and territorial organization dedicated to advancing education through citizen governance of public schools; Tim Lautzenheiser, executive director of education for Conn-Selmer, Inc., who is a well-known name in the music education world as a teacher, clinician, author, composer, conductor, consultant and mentor to young people; and Inez Hussey, co-director of King George VI Centre, an organization focused on providing rehabilitation and boarding facilities to children growing up with physical disabilities in Zimbabwe.

The NAMM Foundation celebrated 15 years of commitment from the music products industry to promote quality guitar instruction in schools. Since 1994, NAMM has supported Teaching Guitar Workshops, a program developed with MENC (the National Association for Music Education) to train music educators to use a fundamental approach toward teaching guitar. Officers of NAMM presented the Guitar and Accessories Marketing Association (GAMA) with a celebratory check for $774,200 representing NAMM’s contribution to GAMA’s efforts to maintain and grow this significant program over the years.

Also held the opening day of the NAMM Show was a SupportMusic Coalition teleconference covering the topic “Advocacy Today: Community Challenges and Solutions for Keeping Music Education Strong Now-This Fiscal Year, Next year and Beyond.” The meeting of more than 60 music education advocates from all over the United States was held in a town hall format, opening up important dialogue on how to increase the public’s awareness about the growing challenge of making music available to children and teens. Executives from the National PTA, National School Boards Association and MENC participated in the panel discussion with Coalition affiliates.

On the last day of the NAMM Show, the NAMM Foundation hosted the second annual “Music Education Day,” which featured keynote speaker Larry Livingston, music director at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music and the director of educational initiatives for Guitar Center. Livingston stressed the need to expand school music offerings to a wider student population, and spoke about the importance of developing in-school experiences designed to encourage students to pursue ongoing music making during their lifetimes.

The 2009 Music Education Day drew 322 U.S. music educators, a more than 100 percent increase over last year’s event, and also attracted more industry representatives in than the previous year

For more information about The NAMM Foundation, visit

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