NAMM and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Partner to Make Playing Music More Accessible to Next Generation

New MusicMakers program has the potential to enrich the lives of millions of children throughout the U.S.

May 17, 2007

NAMM, the trade association of the international music products industry, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) are launching MusicMakers, a national after-school music education program, at the BGCA’s National Conference in Orlando, Fla., tonight. The program will be launched at the Club’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony, where Joe Lamond, president and CEO of NAMM, and Verdine White, bass player of Earth Wind and Fire, both alumni of BGCA and supporters of MusicMakers, will be honored for their dedication to and passion for music.

With the decline of music education in many areas of the country, including inner-city public schools, the MusicMakers program is providing children with an opportunity to make music that they might not otherwise have. Program participants will use guitars, drums and hand percussion instruments to learn about music making in a fun, relaxed environment. Through the program, Club members can develop musical skills that inspire creativity and build confidence.

“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 Lamond. “So we are going to where the kids already go after school, and bringing the music to them.”

In January 2004, NAMM and BGCA formed a partnership to create a program that would give children access to music making after school. NAMM contributed $250,000 to the endeavor, helping to develop the curriculum, survey the clubs about their music education needs and create the MusicMakers program guide that assists BGCA staffers in organizing the program in their individual markets.

“The young people we serve love music, and this program will give these children, who may be unable to afford a musical instrument or lessons, the opportunity to play,” said Roxanne Spillett, president of BGCA. “We look forward to enjoying the positive impact that making music will have on the more than 4.8 million children this program can reach.”

“Exposure to music making at a young age was instrumental in shaping my life, which is why we at NAMM are looking forward to bringing the same opportunity to children across the nation,” continued Lamond, a lifelong drummer and BGCA alumnus. “I’m excited to be working with BGCA on this program and honored to be inducted into the BGCA Hall of Fame.”