NAMM and Boys & Girls Clubs of America Launch National After-School Music-Making Program

New MusicMakers Curriculum Delivers Recreational Music Making to America’s Youth After the School Bell Rings

November 21, 2006

NAMM, the trade association of the international music products industry, is launching a national music-making program with Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) in an effort to teach basic music-making skills to the young people, ages 6 to 18, it serves at nearly 4,000 Clubs worldwide.

Research has shown that studying music (including playing and practice) develops critical thinking and self-discipline skills, self-esteem and the ability to work in teams. The effort will potentially reach millions of young people who participate in BGCA after-school programs each year.

The launch comes after the success of a music program piloted in Boys & Girls Clubs in San Diego and other sites across the country, where the recreational approach was tested and refined. The MusicMakers curriculum is composed of two sections: the implementation section that outlines how to successfully begin or expand a music program, and the Facilitators Guide, made up of innovative game-based, drop-in activities for 6- to 18-year-olds, along with activities printed in collaboration with Hal Leonard, a music print publisher and NAMM Member.

The activities in the Guide are divided into three sections: beginning, intermediate and advanced. In the beginner and intermediate sections, Club professionals teach basic music making through movement, songs, rhymes and simple instrumental instruction in a group setting. Basic musical concepts are taught by utilizing common playground equipment such as rubber balls and jump ropes in a musical fashion, as well as basic drum and guitar techniques on acoustic instruments.

The advanced section focuses on positive group music experiences while providing basic music theory and practical application techniques. An online component to producing music events provides teens with practical skills and tips for running great music events such as "battle of the bands"-type fundraisers and community concerts.

The MusicMakers program will be distributed to BGCA's 4,000 Clubs. NAMM will distribute the Guide to all interested NAMM Retail locations across the country.

"While NAMM's commitment to strengthening school music programs is unwavering, we also realize that many kids who aren't served by those programs would like to experience the proven benefits of making music in their lives," said Joe Lamond, president and CEO, NAMM. "So we are going to where the kids already go after school, and bringing the music to them."

According to Roxanne Spillett, president, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the MusicMakers program will further enhance the learning and fun activities available to Club members.

"We look forward to encouraging children to participate in musical activities that are fun, educational and help to build confidence," Spillett said. "There are many proven benefits to playing music and we are proud to be working with NAMM to introduce this important program at all of our clubs."

About BGCA
Boys & Girls Clubs of America (icon link comprises a national network of some 4,000 neighborhood-based facilities annually serving more than 4.6 million young people in all 50 states and on U.S. military bases worldwide. Known as "The Positive Place for Kids," the Clubs provide guidance-oriented character-development programs on a daily basis for children 6 to 18 years old, conducted by a full-time professional staff. Key Boys & Girls Club programs emphasize leadership development, education and career exploration, financial literacy, health and life skills, the arts, sports, fitness and recreation, and family outreach. National headquarters are located in Atlanta, Ga.