The NAMM Foundation Grants $600k to Music Education Programs

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Photo Credit: Rob Davidson Photography

CARLSBAD, Calif. – June 13, 2016 – The NAMM Foundation has announced that through the remainder of the 2016, the organization will make $600,000 in grants to 18 music education programs. The beneficiaries reflect the organization’s commitment to supporting access to quality music education programs and creating more music makers both domestically and internationally through work with organizations in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France and Great Britain.

“The NAMM Foundation is committed to supporting the organizations on the front line of music education,” stated Mary Luehrsen, executive director of The NAMM Foundation. “We are honored to advance their efforts to create access and opportunities for all people, in a variety of locations, to experience the joy of making music.” 

Since its inception in 1994, The NAMM Foundation’s annual grant program has donated more than $16 million in support to domestic and international music education programs, scientific research, advocacy and public service programs related to music making.  The grants are funded in part by donations from the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) and its 10,300 member companies worldwide.

The 2016 beneficiaries of The NAMM Foundation grants are as follows:

Associação Nacional da Indústria da Música

A first-time grant to the Brazilian Music Industry Association will support its efforts to expand its National Play Day offering free lessons and to expand its website promoting music making and its many benefits.

Australian Music Association (AMA)

The Australian Music Association is the trade body for the music-products industry, representing wholesalers, manufacturers, retailers and associated services for musical instruments, pro audio, print music, lighting and computer music products. With the grant, the AMA will seek to expand its commitment to Recreational Music Making and the organization’s Young Warriors program. Through a Train the Trainer program, AMA will present workshops in new pilot sites and develop youth music making programs in schools, community centers and MI retail stores. AMA will also coordinate with other in-country music organizations and participate in Make Music Day.

Coalition for Music Education Canada (CMEC)

The Coalition for Music Education in Canada’s mission is to raise the awareness and understanding of the role that music education plays in Canadian culture, and to promote the benefits that music education brings to young people. Coalition for Music Education Canada, will continue its national PR and music education campaign and its designated national Music Monday on May 2 to celebrate music in Canada. The program to date has engaged national media, politicians and artists in promoting the importance of music education for all children in Canada. CMEC will continue to advance its Youth 4 Music program engaging young people in their communities creating a network of youth promoting the benefits and importance of music education.

Dallas Wind Symphony

The Dallas Wind Symphony is the leading professional civic wind band in the United States. The Dallas Wind Symphony will continue its Strike UP the Band! concerts for all Dallas Independent school district 5th grade students as an introduction to band.  The funding will also support the Dallas Wind Symphony summer band camp that provides at-risk and underserved students from the Dallas Independent school district the chance to attend a unique summer band camp presented by the professional musicians of this world-class wind ensemble. These students would otherwise never have this opportunity and supports their success in the districts music education offerings. The goal is to enroll 700 students over the summer.

Guitars and Accessories Marketing Association (GAMA)

The mission of GAMA’s Teaching Guitar Workshops (TGW) is to strengthen school music education, and to create more music makers by bringing guitar instruction to schools. NAMM Foundation funding supports the training of 250- 300 school music educators in the coming year and provides tools to start substantive music education programs for guitar.

Guitars in the Classroom (GITC)  

Guitars in the Classroom trains, equips, inspires and coaches classroom teachers to become music makers, song leaders and songwriters for general education learners. As a result of the grant, GITC will continue to develop its music education integration model and create deeper connections with music and general instruction. Funding will support the training of music educators and classroom teachers to integrate guitar and ukulele as part of the curriculum integration.

The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus

The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus is a non-profit 501(c)(3) state-of-the-art mobile audio and HD video recording and production facility.  NAMM Foundation funding supports student workshops on The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus mobile recording studio, offering students and members of the community hands-on training in music technology. As part of the residency, the NAMM Foundation hosts a community-wide, town hall-style SupportMusic Community Forum as a national webcast that celebrates each community’s commitment and support for music education for all students.

Little Kids Rock

Little Kids Rock’s mission is to restore and revitalize music education in U.S. public schools. It provides free musical instruments and music instruction to underserved schools across the country. NAMM Foundation funding supports Little Kids Rocks’ Modern Band Rockfest 2016 - its 4th annual national teacher training conference. This weeklong teacher training event guides teachers and administrators in methods to develop “modern band” programs – guitar, drums, keyboard – as part of school music education offerings. Funds will also support a program assessment and evaluation of the Little Kids Rock - Philadelphia program implemented as part of the city’s renewed commitment to music education and funded by NAMM last year.

Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation (MHOPF)

The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation expands and boosts music education in schools by providing durable, high-quality musical instruments to deserving, under-funded music programs nationwide. MHOPF also helps schools advance best practices to ensure the longevity of these vital programs. The proposed project will revitalize music education at three Title 1 schools serving low-income students. The project will support increased instructional time and participation in music to ensure these programs have the ingredients for long- term success as part of the school curriculum.

Music For All

Music For All/UK is the charity attached to the UK musical instrument industry. The UK’s Music For All charity will use the NAMM Foundation grant in honor of Robert Wilson to celebrate his honor as being awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s New Year Honours List 2016.

National Piano Foundation (NPF)

PianoNet is the official site for the National Piano Foundation, a comprehensive guide to pianos, including the history, manufacturing, related noted artists, important publications, and more. NAMM Foundation funds will support the continuance of NPF’s training for piano teachers in collaboration with the Music Teachers National Association. The project trains experienced piano teachers in methods for group piano instruction that advances overall enjoyment and group participation in music making along with learning music’s elements. The grant also supports the second year of an internship program developed in partnership with Ferris State University for emerging music industry professionals interested in careers in the piano manufacturing and the retail field.

National String Project Consortium

The National String Project Consortium (NSPC) is a coalition of String Project sites based at colleges and universities across the United States. The NSPC is dedicated to increasing the number of children playing stringed instruments, and addressing the critical shortage of string teachers in the United States. NAMM Foundation funding support will provide teacher training for string music educators and offer training to teach stringed instruments in inner city and under- served communities. Based on its 20-year model, funding will support the programs at five sites that include South Dakota State University, Northern Kentucky University, Pacific University, Southern Mississippi University and start on new site at the University of Texas El Paso. This program, organized by universities’ music teacher training departments, has led a national effort to prepare music teachers to meet the every-changing learning needs of students today and to engage students, regardless of background or circumstance, in high quality music education opportunities.

Orchestre a L’Ecole

Orchestre a L’Ecole was founded by the French music instrument makers association and will use the NAMM Foundation grant to provide instruments for students to meet the organization’s goal of creating genuine equality of opportunity, regardless of the personal finances of the schools and their students. The development of the youth orchestra program in France had increased to 1,140 orchestras.

Percussion Marketing Council

The Percussion Marketing Council’s mission is to provide professional marketing and advertising campaigns, programs and activities that bring increased public awareness to drumming, thus increasing the number of people playing all types of drums.  The Drum Set in the Classroom (DSC) program will foster the goal to create more drummers and familiarity with drum set music making. Professional development workshops will provide training for 200 teachers via 20 workshops organized in partnership with other organizations, schools and community centers.

Percussive Arts Society, Inc.

Percussive Arts Society (PAS) is a nonprofit, music service organization. Its mission is to promote percussion education, research, performance and appreciation throughout the world. The Percussive Arts Society will continue its expansion of the Indianapolis-based Find Your Rhythm! community outreach program. The grant will continue its work with Indianapolis-area school districts and also serve the general public with exposure to music education and percussion in its Saturday programs.

San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory (SDYS)

The San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory instills excellence in the musical and personal development of students through rigorous and inspiring musical-training experiences. The NAMM Foundation grant supports SDYS Community Opus after-school programs in Chula Vista school district. As the district builds its district-wide music education program, the Opus after-school programs fill a gap of access for students who do not yet have in-school music and students who want a more advanced music ensemble experience. The San Diego Youth Symphony has been a catalyst for the re-instatement of music education in the district including the hiring of over 70 fulltime certified music and arts educators in the area.

Technology Institute for Music Educators

The Technology Institute for Music Educators (TI:ME) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to assist music educators in applying technology to improve teaching and learning in music. The NAMM Foundation grant will support the TI:ME Technology Leadership Academy for pre-service music education teachers. Selected through a competitive, national application process, 20 participants will attend the academy to be held in conjunction with the TI:ME National Conference and learn various methods for using music technology as part of the standards-based music education curriculum.

Young Audiences Arts for Learning

Young Audiences is a national non-profit that connects educators to community music and arts education resources. This first-time grant will provide support for NAMM grantee programs to improve their capacity and align programs with standards-based music education and the new possibilities for well-rounded education offerings that are part of the new federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

For additional information, please contact:

Chalise Zolezzi

About The NAMM Foundation

The NAMM Foundation is a non-profit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its 10,300 members around the world. The NAMM Foundation works to advance active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs. For more information about The NAMM Foundation, please visit


Photo credit: Rob Davidson Photography