Boys & Girls Clubs of America and NAMM Partner to Give More Children Access to Music Making

Bonnie Raitt and Chad Smith on Hand at 2004 NAMM Show to Lend Support for New Partnership

January 15, 2004

NAMM, the International Music Products Association, and Boys & Girls Clubs of America have formed an alliance to bring an after-school music program called “Get the Music Edge” to Clubs nationwide over the initial three years. Working specifically with NAMM’s teen initiative, The Music Edge, the program aims to bring music-making opportunities to young people who might otherwise not have them. Performing artist Bonnie Raitt and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, both long-time supporters of music education and the work of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, were on hand for the announcement at the 2004 NAMM Show in Anaheim, Calif.

NAMM will contribute $250,000 over the first two years of the partnership to fund the appointment of a national music coordinator at Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s national headquarters in Atlanta, Ga., as well as a music education resource guide for Clubs to provide information on operating a local music program. In addition, the money will help establish several pilot programs in Clubs in various U.S. locations.

In 2003, the NAMM Board of Directors approved grants to develop a number of programs already existing in communities, including the Sir Charles Blues Lab, Little Kids Rock and Music for Suzy, to provide learning protocols for the Boys & Girls Clubs program.

“The long-term goal is for hundreds of Clubs to provide music programs in partnership with our industry,” said Rob Walker, director of market development, NAMM. “The after-school movement is gaining increased importance, and music must be a part of this. We know the benefits music making can have for our youth, and this partnership gives NAMM and its Members a great opportunity to connect where there is a demonstrated need.”

"Boys & Girls Clubs of America is delighted at forging this new partnership with NAMM and the music products industry, with the aim of bringing music making to thousands of young people eager to play,” said Evan McElroy, vice president of marketing and communications, Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “We all know the proven impact of music education in enhancing kids' learning abilities and self-esteem. With more children these days being denied a public school music education, the after-school hours provide an ideal opportunity to fill the void.” He continued, “Boys & Girls Clubs have always focused on the arts, but this initiative will bring music making to a whole new level for the 3.6 million youths we serve."

About BGCA
Boys & Girls Clubs of America ( comprises a national network of more than 3,300 neighborhood-based facilities annually serving some 3.6 million young people, primarily from disadvantaged circumstances. Known as "The Positive Place for Kids," the Clubs provide guidance-oriented character development programs on a daily basis for children 6–18 years old, conducted by a full-time professional staff. Key Boys & Girls Club programs emphasize character and leadership development, education and career development, health and life skills, the arts, sports, fitness and recreation.