NAMM Volunteers Bring A Day of Music Instruction To Loara Elementary

NAMM Foundation volunteers converged on Loara Elementary School this Tuesday as part of its Day of Service – spending the day teaching students to play the guitar and ukelele, and donating $10,000 for music education.

It’s traditional community service performed when the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) comes to Anaheim each year. NAMM is the Anaheim Convention Center’s largest trade show, attracting 115,000 attendees and injecting $100 into the local economy.

From the NAMM Foundation press release:

The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation, NAMM Foundation Board Member, World Series Champion and former New York Yankee, Bernie Williams, and NAMM member companies presented the Loara 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 fifth 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.

“The support that we have received from NAMM is phenomenal, not just for the check they present us each year but for literally launching us in this program for our district,” shared AESD Board of Education member Jackie Filbeck. “After 20 years of not having music, NAMM came, took us by the hand, and started us on this journey that has evolved in ways that are just phenomenal. From the very beginning with just a few students getting instruction, to now our entire district–it is an absolute favorite of parents and we couldn’t be more grateful and thankful for the support of NAMM. We now have a program that others want to have and we are mentoring other districts to build a program like ours.”

“We’re thrilled to be back in Anaheim for our Day of Service to kick off The NAMM Show,” shared Mary Luehrsen, Executive Director of The NAMM Foundation. “Helping this district restore its music education program has been a great honor for NAMM and playing music with these kids, teachers and administrators is the perfect way to kick off the NAMM Show this year.”

The day began with a welcome from Principal Beatriz Garcia, followed by Superintendent Christopher Dowing, Board of Education member Jackie Filbeck, and Executive Director of The NAMM Foundation, Mary Luehrsen. 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 a “Twist and Shout/La Bamba” mashup from students and facilitators closed the morning.

This was the fifth 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.

“The Day of Service is a great way to spread music education at an Anaheim elementary school with a great group of NAMM members. It’s an opportunity for us to give back through music education and continue to champion the right for every student to make music. It’s really a fabulous opportunity because music education positively impacts markers of academic success,” shared Scott Mandeville of Tim’s Music.

“Last year was my first Day of Service and it’s addicting! It’s good to get The NAMM Show started with this Day of Service and give back to the community,” affirmed Luther Harris DiSalvo of Apassionato Musical Instruments.

The donation holds special significance as the Anaheim Elementary School District has reinitiated its music education curriculum program for its 17,700 students. In 2018, the district grew its music staff to a total of 22 certificated music educators serving all 23 sites. The increase in staff has allowed the number of students receiving weekly music instruction to grow from approximately 11,000 students to nearly all 17,700 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.


In this tweet from NBC-LA’s Vikki Vargas, students get some ukelele instruction:

As Maria Villegas, the curriculum director for the Anaheim Elementary School District stated in this tweet:

Music is vital to the mind and the soul, and broad access to musical education is key to educating the whole child. Along with its positive economic impacts, these interactions leave a lasting impact on youth.


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