Last week, the NAMM Foundation promoted the idea that music making is an asset for wellness and wholeness at every stage of life at the AARP ‘Ideas @ 50+’ National Event held Sept. 4-6 in San Diego. The Foundation and NAMM members enticed thousands of adults attending the event to pick up an instrument and play in interactive guitar, ukulele and drum circles offered in the ‘Just Play’ booth. NAMM member companies Remo Inc., Yamaha Corp., Kala Instruments, Daisy Rock Guitars, Alfred Music Publishing, Making Music Magazine, and GAMA provided instruments, teachers, and instructional materials facilitating hundreds of music making experiences.
Daily performances by several New Horizons Bands demonstrated the social and musical group experience fostered by the activity. New Horizons offers adults the chance to learn how to play an instrument and perform with other musicians. The program has introduced thousands of boomers and retirees to the power of playing music.
The booth also recorded visitors’ testimonials describing, “What music making means to me”, to be featured in an interactive exhibit at NAMM’s Museum of Making Music opening in December.
“We spent three days infusing AARP attendees with inspiration to play music,” said NAMM Foundation executive director Mary Luehrsen. “Many of the people who stopped by to play hadn’t picked up an instrument in years or in some cases ever. We saw hundreds of people experience the magical ‘ah ha’ moment leaving the event inspired to bring music back into their lives.”