The Commodores, Take 6 and "American Idol" Stars Deliver More Than 33,000 Petition Signatures on Capitol Hill
Stars Sing Out for Music in Schools.
At a special Congressional reception to support music education, Grammy® Award-winning artists The Commodores, Take 6 and American Idol stars Justin Guarini, Diana DeGarmo and John Stevens presented more than 33,000 petition signatures signed by teens across America who want music in their schools. The evening culminated in a special performance by these legendary and emerging recording artists for members of Congress, their staff and families.
The celebration capped a full day on Capitol Hill for representatives of NAMM, the International Music Products Association, the American Music Conference (AMC), SupportMusic.com, The Commodores, Take 6 and the American Idol stars who spent the day visiting lawmakers on Capitol Hill to help bring much-needed attention to the benefits of music education and music making for children and teens.
“According to the Music Education Coalition, it’s estimated that the current round of budget cuts will deprive as many as 30 million students of an education that includes music,” says Justin Guarini. “That’s more than 60 percent of those enrolled in grades K-12 nationwide. That statistic is incredibly unfortunate, because we know firsthand that kids who study music do better in school and in life. This petition reinforces the fact that kids want and need music in their schools.”
“Hundreds of thousands of kids are losing the opportunity to participate in school music programs because of drastic budget cuts in arts programs,” added Joe Lamond, President and CEO, NAMM, which promotes music, music research and music education. “Music education offers too many benefits to developing minds for this issue to go unnoticed. We need to give kids the opportunity to have a well-rounded education, and we need to empower more of them and their parents to voice their concerns.”
The petition to Congress on behalf of music education got its start in June 2002, when Justin Timberlake broke the news on MTV’s Total Request Live. Since then, TEEN PEOPLE magazine, NAMM and AMC’s free Web resource for teens, themusicedge.com, have encouraged and empowered thousands of young people to get engaged in civic involvement and add their names alongside celebrities like Clay Aiken, Nick Lachey, Sean Paul, JC Chasez, Nick Cannon, Yellowcard, Amber Tamblyn, Ashlee Simpson, Pharrell Williams, Samaire Armstrong and Adam Brody.
During the month of March, NAMM advances national efforts to increase awareness and support for music as vital to a quality education for all children. NAMM urges parents, children, educators and community officials to support music education in schools by visiting www.amc-music.org. Information on building local advocacy efforts for music education is also available at www.supportmusic.com, a public service and grassroots advocacy initiative from the Music Education Coalition.
Founded in 1947, AMC is a national nonprofit educational association dedicated to promoting the importance of music, music making and music education to the general public. For more information on the American Music Conference, go to www.amc-music.org.
SupportMusic.com is an easy-to-use resource offering information about how parents and community members can work to ensure that music is an integral part of a quality education for all children. The site focuses on reaching parents and teachers who are facing massive school music program cuts while providing the tools and information needed to take action on behalf of their children’s education and future.