NAMM Foundation Awards $500,000 to Support Innovative Music Programs

Grants Aim to Create More Music Makers

May 22, 2013

The NAMM Foundation announces the 21 recipients of the NAMM Foundation's 2013-2014 program grants, allocating $500,000 in funding to innovative, community-based music learning programs that expand access to the many benefits of active music making.

The new grants, while only a small portion of the National Association of Music Merchant's (NAMM) overall annual multimillion-dollar-reinvestment into the music products industry, help organizations operate programs that increase interest and participation in making music among teachers, seniors, college students and school-aged children. Since 1994, the NAMM Foundation has supported worthy U.S. and international music-making programs with nearly $14.2 million dollars in grant-making support.

“NAMM Member support of NAMM Shows and membership in the association allow the NAMM Foundation to provide support to these worthy community–based music making organizations,” said Mary Luehrsen, executive director of the NAMM Foundation. “We are honored to support these important programs as together we work to expand opportunities for all persons at every age to know the joys and benefits of making music

During the recent National Association of Music Merchants’ (NAMM) Board of Directors’ meeting, the following programs received approval:

Australian Music Association

The Australian Music Association is the trade body for the music-products industry, representing wholesalers, manufacturers, retailers and associated services for musical instruments, pro audio, print music, lighting and computer music products. NAMM Foundation funding supports the expansion of Wider Opportunities Whole Class Integration Program, providing professional development for instrumental teachers, classroom teachers and community musicians to now include a strategic partnership with the Australian Ministry of Education and universities in the county with the goal of expanding access to music education.

Carolina Studios Corp.

The mission of Carolina Studios Corp. is to provide underprivileged youth from urban neighborhoods with safe after-school music technology training classes. NAMM Foundation funding supports the expansion of its Music Technology Program, “Mobile Studio,” which will serve seven Title I sites.

Coalition for Music Education in Canada

The Coalition for Music Education in Canada’s mission is to raise the awareness and understanding of the role that music education plays in Canadian culture, and to promote the benefits that music education brings to young people. NAMM Foundation funding supports the expansion of its Music Monday program, a public awareness initiative that engages thousands of music makers and the media in the opportunity to celebrate music making's vital role in school and in life and to expand its Wise Voices for Music® program. The Wise Voices for Music program provides opportunities for Canadian youth to express their passion for music and translate it into action. 

Dallas Wind Symphony

The Dallas Wind Symphony is the leading professional civic wind band in the United States. Dallas Wind Symphony uses concerts as a recruitment tool to encourage sixth-grade band participation. NAMM Foundation funding will support the symphony’s Summer Music Institute, offering at-risk and underserved students the opportunity to attend a unique music camp. The Summer Music Institute gives students a chance to participate in a fun, arts-centered environment, which keeps them away from negative influences during the summer, encourages their growth as musicians, and pushes them toward the goal of graduation.

Guitars and Accessories Marketing Association

The Guitar and Accessories Marketing Association (GAMA) is a trade association comprising guitar products manufacturers and distributors. NAMM Foundation funding supports the expansion of Teacher Guitar Workshop, a professional development program to provide music educators with the basic skills and tools necessary to introduce and teach group guitar instruction in schools.

Guitars in The Classroom

Guitars in the Classroom (GITC) trains and equips classroom teachers to integrate singing and playing guitar into children’s daily school experiences. By providing instruction, access to instruments, resource materials, and program supervision, GITC empowers educators to transform classrooms into musical environments that bring out the best in all students, engaging them in studies across the curriculum. NAMM Foundation funding supports the expansion of The AMIGO Project: Achievement through Music Integration, to include ECE (early childhood education) and in-classroom coaching based on last years’ pilot.

Latino Arts, Inc.

Latino Arts, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to bringing cultural awareness, artistic educational experiences, and high-quality programming to the Milwaukee and southeastern Wisconsin communities serving Hispanic youth. NAMM Foundation funding supports the expansion of the Latino Arts String and Mariachi Juvenile program, a high-quality, sequential, skills-based after-school music program that prepares students to participate in music programs at the high-school and college levels. The goal is to provide a strong foundation for classical musical performance by the time students complete middle school so they can engage in the area’s youth ensembles.

Little Kids Rock

Little Kids Rock’s mission is to restore and revitalize music education in U.S. public schools. It provides free musical instruments and music instruction to underserved schools across the country. NAMM Foundation funding supports the expansion of its Modern Band program to Tampa, replicating the successes in programs in Los Angles, Nashville and Atlanta. The grant will help build the strong guitar program in the elementary schools to complete the path through middle school and high school so that Tampa area students do not "age out" of the Little Kids Rock program.

MIM-Musical Instrument Museum

MIM celebrates music as a sustaining human gift and enriches world culture by collecting, preserving, and exhibiting a wide variety of musical instruments and performance videos from every country in the world. MIM also fosters appreciation of diverse cultures by illustrating innovations, adaptions, and education among cultures to create music, the universal language. NAMM Foundation funding supports the development of a teacher-training program to serve students in the geographic area of the Musical Instrument Museum.  The grant will also support collaboration with NAMM’s Museum of Making Music to share best practices in music museum education.

Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation

Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting music through donations of musical instruments to young musicians. NAMM Foundation funding supports the instrument donation program, which helps after-school programs serving underserved youth primarily attending Title I schools. Funding will support the purchase of new instruments for three deserving Title 1 schools in low-income communities, and provide instruments to improve music learning opportunities for students.

Music For All

Music For All/UK is the charity attached to the UK musical instrument industry. The organization’s mission is “Making More Musicians!” NAMM Foundation funding supports the expansion of the travelling Learn To Play Stand School Tour, introducing thousands of children to a variety of musical instruments in schools in the United Kingdom and supporting music instruction programs.  This is done in collaboration with the music dealer network in the UK.

Music Haven Inc.

Music Haven’s mission is to embed as a professional string quartet in an urban community and contribute to community development goals through performance and music education, empowering young people, their families, and professional musicians. NAMM Foundation funding supports the expansion of their After-School Lesson program, providing a creative outlet for youth and families who have little or no access to high-quality music education, mostly due to economic circumstances, and time and transportation limitations.

National Piano Foundation

PianoNet is the official site for the National Piano Foundation, a comprehensive guide to pianos, including the history, manufacturing, related noted artists, important publications, and more. NAMM Foundation funding will continue to support its partnership with the Music Teachers National Association and the new Certificate of RMM Teaching. The program helps piano teachers, whether they're new to the profession or veterans, receive training in the techniques and skills required to create and grow a successful RMM program. These newly trained teachers will begin RMM programs in their own communities.

National String Project Consortium

The National String Project Consortium (NSPC) is a coalition of String Project sites based at colleges and universities across the United States. The NSPC is dedicated to increasing the number of children playing stringed instruments, and addressing the critical shortage of string teachers in the United States. NAMM Foundation funding supports the expansion of the Nurturing and Sustaining Six String Projects program to support two ongoing String Projects from 2012-13 and will add two new emerging String Projects in 2013.

Orchestre A L’Ecole

Orchestre A L’Ecole, a non-profit music trade association in France, aims to develop the musical abilities of young people in schools in disadvantaged areas. NAMM Foundation funding supports Orchestre à l'Ecole symposiums, a leading music education advocacy and expansion effort in the country.  Funds will provide grants to deserving students for instrument purchase and study.

Percussion Marketing Council

The Percussion Marketing Council’s mission is to provide professional marketing and advertising campaigns, programs and activities that bring increased public awareness to drumming, thus increasing the number of people playing all types of drums. NAMM Foundation funding supports the expansion of the Roots of Rhythm interdisciplinary music education program and the Percussion in the Schools assembly program to serve schools throughout the United States.

Percussive Arts Society, Inc.

Percussive Arts Society (PAS) is a non-profit, music service organization. Its mission is to promote percussion education, research, performance and appreciation throughout the world. NAMM Foundation funding supports the Find Your Rhythm! Community Outreach program designed to engage fourth and fifth grade students in active music making using rhythm-based instruments. The program serves low-income youth from Indianapolis city schools.

San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory

The San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory instills excellence in the musical and personal development of students through rigorous and inspiring musical-training experiences. NAMM Foundation funding supports the expansion of the Community Opus Project, which provides community-based music programs for at-risk youth in San Diego County, as well as community-wide efforts to reinstate music education programs.

Street-Level Youth Media

Street-Level Youth Media educates Chicago's urban youth in media arts and emerging technologies for use in self-expression, communication, and social change. NAMM Foundation funding supports the expansion of the Audio/Music Production program that includes beginning- to advanced-level music and sound technology workshops in community- and school-based sites during after-school hours, as well as media-arts integrated workshops.

Technology Institute for Music Educators

The Technology Institute for Music Educators (TI:ME) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to assist music educators in applying technology to improve teaching and learning in music. NAMM Foundation funding supports the expansion of TI:ME’s Technology Leadership Academy, a program for pre-service music education majors focusing attention on the emerging interest to reach non-traditional music students with technology-based music programs.

Youth Radio

Youth Radio promotes young people's intellectual, creative, and professional growth through education and access to media. NAMM Foundation funding supports the expansion of the D.S.S.C.O: DJ Sound System for Community Outreach program, a teen and young adult program that engages local DJs as guest instructors to train students in technology and music making.

About The NAMM Foundation
The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit organization with the mission of advancing active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs from the international music products industry. For more information about the NAMM Foundation, please visit

For more information about the NAMM Foundation's grants and scholarships, please e-mail

About NAMM

The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) is the not-for-profit association with a mission to strengthen the $17 billion music products industry. NAMM is comprised of approximately 10,300 members located in 104 countries and regions. NAMM events and members fund The NAMM Foundation's efforts to promote the pleasures and benefits of music, and advance active participation in music making across the lifespan. For more information about NAMM, please visit, call 800.767.NAMM (6266) or follow the organization on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.