Alfred Music Advocates for Music Education in Washington, D.C. at NAMM D.C. Fly-In

Mike Lawson • News • June 27, 2016

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Alfred Music helps the world experience the joy of making music and whole-heartedly believes that music should be accessible to anyone who wishes to learn, teach, or play.

On May 23–26, 2016, Ron Manus, CEO Alfred Music, along with 91 other music industry leaders and artists, made up a delegation of advocates furthering the case that all children deserve quality, comprehensive school music education programs during the National Association of Music Merchants’ (NAMM) Music Education Advocacy D.C. Fly-In. With the recent passage of the federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the delegation met with their Members of Congress in support of the passage of the bill and to reinforce the importance of music being listed as part of a well-rounded education for all children at the State-level.

Ron Manus, CEO of Alfred Music said, “I am inspired every day by the stories that teachers, students, and parents share with us about their music making journeys and I am so grateful that Alfred Music gets to play a part. It is up to us to ensure that every child who has the desire to learn and participate has access to a quality music education. Because if we don’t, who will?”

The Advocacy week began on Monday, May 23 with a Day of Service. Members from the group, including New York Yankee-turned Latin GRAMMY-nominated guitarist Bernie Williams, donated musical instruments and accessories and provided three hours of music education taught by master teachers on drum, ukulele and guitar lessons to students at D.C.’s Friendship Technology Preparatory Academy.  Alfred Music was proud to support the Day of Service component of this event with $2,600 worth of band, orchestra, and guitar materials, including five Guitar Packs, to the Tech Prep Middle School.

That evening, he joined The NAMM Foundation in awarding the SupportMusic Champion Award to Senator Lamar Alexander (TN) for his life-long commitment to music education. On Tuesday, he prepared for his efforts on Capitol Hill by participating in advocacy training at Nelson Mullins, during which he and fellow music industry leaders were apprised of current issues facing public school music programs and briefed on ESSA and the current political climate. Manus was also trained on developing state-level advocacy efforts for music and arts education to put into practice here in California.

As part of the trip, Manus met with Representatives Allison Lewis, Legislative Assistant, Congressman Adam B. Schiff (D-CA-28th); Anna Hevia, Legislative Assistant, Congressman Tony Cardenas (D-CA-29th); Travis Galloway, Defense Legislative Fellow, Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA-49th); K.C. Jaski, Legislative Assistant, Congressman Scott Peters (D-CA-52nd); and Jean Fundakowski, Legislative Assistant, Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA-26th) about the importance of music education and the support needed to insure that each student has the opportunity to learn music in school; a message that Manus will continue to advocate for at home.

In addition to the advocacy work, Manus was part of a special welcoming committee for Turnaround Arts, a program under the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. At a reception held on Tuesday, May 24, Manus honored a variety of artists, including Smokey Robinson, Alfre Woodard, John Lloyd Young, Carla Dirlikov, Keb’ Mo’, among others, for their work in arts education advocacy, of which, music education is a core topic.  Each artist was recognized with a SupportMusic Award from The NAMM Foundation for his or her support of this effort.

Alfred Music is a strong supporter of advocating for access to music education for all children and truly believes that Music Education should not be a luxury—Music Education should be a core requirement. Alfred Music shares NAMM’s vision for the world: “We envision a world in which the joy of making music is a precious element of daily living for everyone; 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 the right.”



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