On January 23, The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation and its member companies presented the Orange Grove 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, the service event is now in its fourth year and celebrates the Anaheim Elementary School District’s (AESD) commitment to its music education program and efforts to reinstate music curriculum for all students.
“We are so grateful to The NAMM Foundation for its continued support and partnership,” shared AESD Board of Education President Jackie Filbeck. “The Day of Service is an incredible experience where our students have the opportunity to learn from the very best professionals. This event will have a lasting and powerful impact on our students for years to come.”
“Through the generous support of our member companies from around the world, our NAMM Foundation board members, and the Anaheim Elementary School District, we’re honored to help the district advance its music education offerings,” affirmed Mary Luehrsen, Executive Director of The NAMM Foundation. “The Anaheim Elementary School District serves as an example to other districts for its dedication to music learning through its strong commitment, planning and implementation to assure a well-rounded education for all students.”
The day began with a welcome from Interim Superintendent Sandy Barry, followed by NAMM Chair Robin Walenta and Assistant Superintendent Mary Grace. A check was presented in the amount of $10,000 to benefit continuing music education in the district. In addition to the check presentation, the 23 NAMM member volunteers provided guitar, ukulele and drum instruction to the students during the facilitator-led sessions. At the end of the event, a group performance of “Stand By Me” from students and facilitators closed the morning.
This was the fourth Day of Service in the AESD and for NAMM Member participants, the excitement and ability to give back and inspire the next generation of music makers is a transformative experience. Chair of The NAMM Foundation and CEO of C.F. Martin & Co. Chris Martin affirmed, “The thing I really love to see is the kids that go into the room and they’re anxious, and by the end of the session, you can see it – they’re saying ‘Oh, man, how cool is this!’”
Tristann Rieck of Brass Bell Music echoes that the Day of Service is “such a rewarding experience. To see the kids get excited about making music is transformative. That’s what keeps me inspired to stay working to create access to music for all children.”
“Music education is just too important,” said Tom Bracy of Conn-Selmer. “It saves lives, and to see the joy in the children’s faces, it leaves me knowing that this day will make a mark on their lives, and perhaps help them in other areas of their school work.”
This was the first Day of Service for NAMM Member Marciano Moreno of Nayla Ventures, who shared, “I was delighted to have the opportunity to participate in the Day of Service. Seeing the eyes of the kids shine as they played the instruments was very special. I am very proud of the work the Foundation is doing in collaboration with schools to support continuing music education for all students, and I am very proud to be a NAMM member.”
The donation holds special significance as the Anaheim Elementary School District has reinitiated its music education curriculum program for its 17,700 students. In 2017, the district grew its music staff to a total of 18 certificated music educators. The increase in staff has allowed the number of students receiving weekly music instruction to grow from approximately 7,000 students to 11,000 students. The vision is for all AESD students to have access to both general and instrumental music education during their TK-6 elementary experience. To further this, The NAMM Foundation is currently supporting a research study being conducted by Metis Associates, a national education research and evaluation firm, that is documenting the district’s efforts and progress in reinstating music education curriculum and the impact on student, teachers, school climate and community.