The NAMM Foundation Gifts Anaheim Elementary School District with Donation For a Larger Music Making Program

Mike Lawson • ChoralNews • January 15, 2020

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The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation and NAMM member companies presented the Horace Mann Elementary School in Anaheim, California with a monetary donation and musical instruction as part of the organization’s Day of Service.

Held in correlation with the annual NAMM Show (Jan 16-19), the service event is now in its sixth year and celebrates the Anaheim Elementary School District’s (AESD) commitment to its music education program and supports its efforts to reinstate music curriculum for all students. 

Superintendent Dr. Christopher Downing shared that, “Since 2015, NAMM has generously brought together a group of dedicated musicians who volunteer in Anaheim Elementary School District as part of the Day of Service. It’s incredible to witness the magic that music education brings. It provides a creative language that will not only expand your world but will help you more deeply understand it. To say that music has been transformative for the district is an understatement. I’m proud to say we’re the only district in the United States where [students] learn how to play up to six different instruments. Isn’t that incredible?!” 

“The Day of Service brings the mission of The NAMM Foundation to life,” said Mary Luehrsen, executive director of The NAMM Foundation. “With so many volunteers from across the industry committed to helping the Anaheim Elementary School District restore its music education program, it’s been a great honor for NAMM to help encourage and provide music education support and resources for students across the district.”  

The day began with a welcome from Principal Louie Magdaleno, followed by Superintendent Downing, Mayor Harry Sidhu, a representative from the office of California State Senator Ling Ling Chang and Chair of The NAMM Foundation, Joel Menchey, followed by a special performance from the Kindergarten class and then, YouTube sensations, Melodica Men who performed a melody of well-loved hits on melodicas. 

A check was presented in the amount of $10,000 to benefit continuing music education in the district. In addition to the check presentation, more than 40 NAMM member volunteers provided guitar, ukulele, melodica, choral and movement and drum instruction to 125 sixth grade students during the facilitator-led sessions. At the end of the presentation, the group of students, school administrators, and NAMM volunteers participated in a drum circle. 

The event marked the sixth Day of Service in the AESD. For NAMM Member participants, the excitement and ability to give back and inspire the next generation of music makers is a transformative experience. 

Marcia Neel of Yamaha shared that, “Day of Service is an opportunity to see kids making music, which is what we’re all about at The NAMM Foundation. The more kids who become music makers, the better it is for the whole world. To see it in practice warms my heart.”

“Day of Service really sets the tone for the NAMM Show,” offered Tiffany Stalker of Korg. “Spending the day with these kids, seeing the joy that we can bring to them through music, really solidifies why we do what we do. This is the future… and the more that we can introduce music to students everywhere, the better we’ll be served in the future. It’s just a great day.” 

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