Congressman Cunningham Announces $225,000 for Music-Brain Research; Launches Local MusicVentures Program

February 19, 2003

Congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham (R-San Diego) today announced $225,000 in new appropriations for music-brain research during a visit to NAMM headquarters. Cunningham was on hand at the Museum of Making Music to assist in the local launch of the “MusicVentures in School” program, a federally funded effort designed to support parent, educator and student involvement in music making.

The new funds were approved by Capitol Hill earlier this month as part of the FY2003 Omnibus Appropriations and came as a result of NAMM’s ongoing partnerships with legislators and the association’s increasing presence in government affairs. The new appropriations will go to the International Foundation for Music Research (IFMR), NAMM’s nonprofit affiliate dedicated to supporting and disseminating innovative music research and advances an understanding about music’s vital role in every aspect of life.

“These funds will help the world see the critical importance of music in schools as we continue to demonstrate a deeper causal link between music and brain development,” said Mary Luehrsen, director of public affairs and government relations, NAMM. “Two things helped us succeed in this effort: NAMM’s ability to make a strong case for funding in this area before the House appropriations subcommittee with Joe Lamond and Elmo last spring; and the fact that our industry has a true champion of music education in Duke Cunningham.”

Cunningham, a strong supporter of music education programs, kicked off the local launch of MusicVentures in Schools, a project funded by a $100,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s “Fund for the Improvement of Education,” designed to provide music-making opportunities to north San Diego County public school districts where access to arts and music education is limited. Cunningham was instrumental in securing the $100,000 earmark in the FY02 Labor Health and Human Services Appropriations bill, providing NAMM with seed money for the MusicVentures program.

“We cannot sit idly by and watch as music is systematically cut out of our children’s education,” said Cunningham. “Music education is not a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have and great programs like MusicVentures will help ensure that no child is left behind.”

Locally, the Museum of Making Music’s MusicVentures program has created specialized music centers in 15 classrooms in the Vista Unified School District and will provide professional development training sessions for Vista Unified, San Marcos Unified, Oceanside Unified and Escondido Union School Districts. All of these school districts are experiencing budget cuts as a result of California’s budget deficit.

About the Museum of Making Music
The mission of the Museum of Making Music is to celebrate the rich history and encourage the future of music making. The one-of-a-kind museum invites all NAMM Members to tour the museum FREE of charge. Located in the NAMM Industry Headquarters in beautiful Carlsbad, Calif., the museum is a great way to experience firsthand the impact of the music products industry over the last 100 years. For more information about the museum or its activities, interested parties should call 877.551.9976 or visit

About IFMR
The International Foundation for Music Research (IFMR) was founded in 1997 to support scientific research to explore the relationship between music and physical and emotional wellness, with particular attention to the elderly population, the impact of music making on at-risk youth, and music education and the effect of music and music making. IFMR also convenes scientists, educators and others around critical issues in music research and disseminates research through its publication, IFMR News, and various online research referral services and archives. For more information about IFMR, interested parties should visit