The NAMM Foundation Launches 2013 Best Communities for Music Education Survey Live From the Grand National Championships

November 6, 2012

The NAMM Foundation will kick off the highly regarded Best Communities for Music Education survey during the upcoming SupportMusic teleconference and webinar. SupportMusic’s monthly event will be live from Music for All’s Bands of America Grand National Championships, the premier high school marching band competition, on Thursday, November 8 at 10 a.m. PST. The Best Communities program recognizes and honors schools and districts across the U.S. for their commitment and support of music education as part of the core curriculum.

Eric Martin, chief executive officer of Music for All, will announce the 14th annual Best Communities for Music Education survey. Joining Martin and parents gathered for events in Indianapolis will be Becky Eason, associate director of the Institute for Educational Research and Public Service of Lawrence, Kansas, an affiliate of the University of Kansas. The Institute hosts the survey and has updated and refined processes for assessment of community selection.

“NAMM’s efforts to support comprehensive music education for all children and teens are far-reaching,” said Mary Luehrsen, executive director of The NAMM Foundation. “NAMM’s SupportMusic Coalition supports advocacy efforts for music education and we are grateful to the parent advocates who are gathered for the Grand National Championships and are eager to share their stories with others. Through the Best Communities for Music Education survey, we seek to recognize and celebrate communities that support music education. Together, we are working to keep music education strong for all students.”

Many districts have reported that being awarded a Best Communities for Music Education designation has a positive effect on their ability to preserve comprehensive music education for their students amid budget cuts. The Best Communities survey asks detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and other relevant factors that impact communities' music education programs. The responses are verified with district officials and then reviewed by advisory organizations.

The November SupportMusic Coalition teleconference will include focus on “Strike Up the Band: Parents in Advocacy Forum,” detailing how parents can be effective advocates in supporting music education. Guest moderators include Dee Jones, chair of the National PTA Diversity Committee and Mark Despotakis, director of market development at Progressive Music. Additional program guests include Dr. Tim Lautzenheizer, founder of Attitude Concepts for Today, Inc. and Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard.

Advocacy efforts continue at The Midwest Clinic, held Dec.19-22 at McCormick Place West in Chicago. December’s SupportMusic Coalition call, moderated by well-known music education consultant Marcia Neel along with advisors of the Music Achievement Council, will be held “live” from the MidWest Clinic on Thursday, December 20, 2012 at noon CST. The Midwest Clinic is a school band and orchestra conference that features an array of band, orchestra, jazz, and chamber concerts and clinics.

In conducting the annual Best Communities for Music Education survey, the NAMM Foundation is joined by advisory organizations in the fields of music and education: Americans for the Arts, League of American Orchestras, The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, Music for All, Music Teachers National Association, National Guild For Community Arts Education, Yamaha Corporation of America, Young Audiences and VH1 Save The Music Foundation. To complete the survey, please visit the NAMM Foundation Website.

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

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.