The NAMM Foundation Announces Grants to 25 Music-Making Organizations

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Elementary girl playing the recorder

The National Association of Music Merchants Foundation (NAMM Foundation) has announced that the organization will offer grants to 25 music-making organizations. The grants, which total $540,000, will benefit 19 domestic and six international music service organizations which are working to provide community-level access and support for music-making initiatives in a shared mission of support for the creation of a more musical world.  

Mary Luehrsen, executive director of The NAMM Foundation says, “The beneficiaries hail from all corners of the world, and while each is unique in the instruction and areas it serves, these organizations share in the Foundation’s mission creating and supporting access to music-making and learning programs that inspire a life-long love of making music."

Since its inception in 2015, the annual grant program has donated more than $18 million to domestic and international music education programs, scientific research, advocacy and public service programs related to music-making.  Together with private donations to The NAMM Foundation, grants are funded by NAMM Show activities that are supported by NAMM’s 10,400-member global companies.

The 2021 NAMM Foundation Beneficiaries include the following organizations and projects: 

Anafima Associação Nacional dos Fabricantes de Instrumentos Musicais e Audio Ltd (ANAFIMA) 

The grant funding will support Make Music Day, Brazil. As part of the global Make Music Day celebration on June 21, Brazil plans to host 1,500 music events. The organization will also host lessons. Now in its third year, the event continues to grow and further grant funding will help more people experience the joy of music-making. 

Australian Music Association 

NAMM Foundation funding supports AMA’s Make Music Day efforts and the Young Warriors program connecting young people to youth development and mental health services.  

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra 

As part of the orchestra’s OrchKids Academy, the grant will help to fill the private lesson gap for many of their students. The orchestra has partnered with the Peabody Preparatory for the Private Lesson Academy and through Peabody work-study instructors, promising OrchKids students will be offered individualized attention to advance their musical skill sets. Since the March lockdown, the program has continued to offer all students lessons via the platform, Teacher Zone.

Coalition for Music Education in Canada 

NAMM Foundation funding will support their initiative, Advocacy: Turning Passion into Action, which seeks to bring music education champions and change agents together.

Dallas Wind Symphony 

The Dallas Winds Symphony’s program, “Strike Up the Band!” will benefit from The NAMM Foundation grant. The program provides concerts for fifth graders in the district, as well as Dallas Winds band camp for students in grades 6-12.   

Engage, Inc. 

“EngAGE in Music,” a signature program made possible by the grant, will work with local organizational partners and teaching artists to offer two eight-week semesters of once-per-week music classes to low-income seniors living in one affordable housing community, Bella Vita Senior apartments in Carson, California The main goal of the program is to battle social isolation and loneliness among their seniors while increasing a sense of purpose and social engagement, offering all participants the joy of artistic exploration.      

Guitars and Accessories Marketing Association 

The NAMM Foundation grant will support the Guitars and Accessories Marketing Association’s teaching guitar workshops. The initiatives work with school music educators to use guitar and/or ukulele in the school music curriculum. 

Guitars in the Classroom 

As part of Guitars in the Classroom’s Social Emotional Learning (SEL) integration professional development efforts, the grant will kick-off a pilot program that will focus on 12 six-week professional development courses and 20 teaching artist residencies.

Little Kids Rock 

NAMM Foundation funding will offer support for Little Kids Rock’s Modern Band Virtual Summit.  The goals of the program are to grow the impact of the modern band across the country by encouraging teachers to connect, network, and source from the community they know and love and to offer educators quality, peer-led professional development; a hallmark of the Litte Kids Rock program. The themes of the virtual summit will focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion; music technology; and entering a changed educational/student landscape.

The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation 

The NAMM Foundation grant will provide ground-level support for the organization’s Music Education District Support Services (MEDSS) program. MEDSS supports districts across the nation to help with their fiscal planning. The overall goal is access, equity, and quality music and arts programs for all students in the district 

Music For All 

As part of Music For All’s initiatives, The NAMM Foundation grant will support “Learn to Play Day” and Make Music Day on June 21.  The “Learn to Play Day”, will be held in more than 150 venues, with Make Music Day UK  predicted to exceed 1,500 events in 2022 and will also include initiatives to reach audiences online and in-person. 

Musical Futures International, Inc. 

The NAMM Foundation grant will support the operational needs of Music Futures International’s current programs which introduce students without musical backgrounds to the joy of music-making.  

Music Haven 

Music Haven’s goal is to provide academic and economic success for their students by providing a 1-to-1 lesson, mentoring, family engagement and equity and access in the arts. Online learning, mentoring and support for students in the program has been ongoing through COVID-related school closures. The NAMM Foundation grant will offer support for the continuation of the program and the organization’s initiatives.

National Piano Foundation 

The NAMM Foundation grant will support the organization’s Recreational Music Making (RMM) scholarship and the Keyboards in the Classroom (KIC) program. The goal of the RMM scholarship program is to enable as many qualified teachers as possible to begin and/or expand group classes using RMM techniques and methods in a home, school or another community setting. 

National String Project Consortium 

The National String Project Consortium is committed to cultivating new generations of highly qualified string instrument music educators and ensuring culturally diverse string instrument opportunities for students of all ages. As part of the organization’s efforts, The NAMM Foundation grant will support emerging programs of four existing sites as well as the addition of a new site. Their goal is to establish and nourish new and existing string project sites based on the NSPC model for this dissemination program, the USC String Project in Columbia, SC. In a city that had no history of string playing, the university created a program that nurtured young musicians, educated string teachers and helped create public school programs. Training will continue online, though target campuses are open and masks and social distancing support the health and safety protocols set forth by local health authorities. 

Orchestre a' L'Ecole 

NAMM Foundation funding supports the creation of orchestras and ensembles that will evolve, and flourish for three years under the guidance of the organization and then expand to be self-sufficient as a community and education resource. Every new school orchestra meets the quality criteria defined in their quality charter enabling orchestras to function optimally and sustainably. To reach these goals, each project is reviewed and selected relative to school/community commitments and written commitments are required from their various supporting partners. 

Percussion Marketing Council 

The Percussion Marketing Council’s overarching Drumming for Life program includes several initiatives: Fun with Drums, Drums in the Classroom and International Drum Month. The goal of Fun with Drums is to extend the enthusiasm and aptitude of percussion teaching artists into small settings, where learners can be engaged at anytime, anywhere.  The NAMM Foundation grant will support the organization’s initiatives.

Percussive Arts Society 

As part of the Percussive Arts Society’s Rhythm Discovery Center (R!DC), the NAMM Foundation grant will help further the accessible, high-quality music programs that serve K-12 school audiences, their families, and the public. R!DC's signature program, "Find Your Rhythm!" currently serves more than 4,600 students, teachers and families each year through school programs and expanded community programming and this number continues to grow. The program’s primary goal is to inspire students to explore the benefits of music-making and self-expression. 

San Diego Youth Symphony 

As part of the San Diego Youth Symphony, the NAMM Foundation grant will specifically support the Chula Vista School District sustainability project through teaching artist instructional support for in-school programs and training, teaching artist instructional support, instrument and equipment loans, advocacy and production assistant for after-school programs. The grant will support the expansion of the organization’s initiative, the Community Opus Project, to additional elementary and middle school afterschool programs. 

SongwritingWith: Soldiers 

Through The NAMM Foundation grant, SongwritingWith: Soldiers will offer a one-weekend retreat and four online sessions. The in-depth, three-day retreat program will include wellness and workshop offerings based on positive psychology to craft songs about combat and the transition home. Each retreat will offer a follow-up online writing session that deepens and furthers the work of building creativity, connections and strengths. The program also supports post-retreat growth with group calls, online forums, volunteer opportunities and in-person events. Each participant will receive CDs and DVDs of song performances, along with photographs and lyric books from the weekend retreat. 

The Sphinx Organization, Inc. 

The NAMM Foundation grant will support the continued efforts of the Sphinx Organization to provide music education and exposure to Black and Latino students through the Sphinx Performance Academy (SPA). The academy provides a full-scholarship summer chamber music and solo performance program designed for string players ages 11-17. The SPA engages these young students and increases their ability to perform by offering cost-free intensive training in a stimulating and inspiring environment. 

Technology Institute for Music Educators (TI:ME) 

NAMM Foundation funding supports the expansion of participation in the academy. This project is conducted in four phases; promoting, selection phase, pre-academy (online) and finally the academy, held in conjunction with the 2022 TI:ME conference. Participants will focus on strategies for creating and leading technology-based music classes, designed to reach students who are not in a band, choir, or orchestra. Attendees will also have access to the TI:ME and concurrent state music educators conference. 

Save the Music Foundation (formerly VH1 Save the Music Foundation) 

The NAMM Foundation grant will support Save the Music (STM) in their goal to advance equity and access to instrumental music and music tech programs through 50 schools across Los Angles Unified School District over a four-year period. 

UCLArts & Healing 

As part of the organization’s research initiatives, The NAMM Foundation grant will provide continued support for 2020’s pilot study of Mindful Music Making (M3). In total, ten teachers from underserved areas were trained in February and March 2021 on how to create a Mindful Music Making experience in the classroom as a sustainable way to improve focus, reduce stress, and strengthen self-regulatory skills to help address increased stress from uncertainty and change during this pandemic season.   

Young Audiences Arts for Learning 

The NAMM Foundation grant will provide continued support to sustain and expand The NAMM Foundation Nonprofit Management Institute at The 2022 NAMM Show. Course offerings may include: The Role of the Nonprofit to Sustain Partnership; Building a Diverse, Equitable & Inclusive Nonprofit Organization; Outcome-Based Program Design; Leveraging Resources; Support vs. Supplant - Effective Uses of Online Engagement, and The 2nd Annual Nonprofit Meet-up to Stump the Pros!