The NAMM Foundation Launches 'Wanna Play Fund' On Fox News' 'Huckabee' Show to Strengthen Music Education In Schools

New Fund to Help People of All Ages to Play Music

September 18, 2009

The NAMM Foundation announced today that it will be launching its non-profit Wanna Play Fund tomorrow night on “Huckabee,” a weekly FOX News and commentary program hosted by Mike Huckabee, former Governor of Arkansas and 2008 Republican presidential candidate.

The Wanna Play Fund seeks public donations to support programs and activities that strengthen music education in schools and provide opportunities for people of all ages to learn to play music.

As an avid supporter of the vital role music education has for all children and of the benefits playing music has for people of all ages, Gov. Huckabee will be the national spokesperson for the NAMM Foundation's Wanna Play Fund.

Specifically, donations to the Wanna Play Fund will:

1. Support community-based programs that provide new and innovative ways for people to learn and play music. Donations support the NAMM Foundation's competitive program grants given to non-profit service organizations that offer high-quality, innovative music learning opportunities as well as to those programs that expand opportunities for people of all ages and skill levels to learn and play music.

2. Provide musical instruments to schools that are expanding or reinstating music education programs. Instruments will be provided to schools that demonstrate commitment to expanding opportunities for all children to learn music as part of the core curriculum and to schools that employ quality music teachers. The NAMM Foundation will also provide instruments to individuals whose circumstances inhibit their ability to meet their full musical potential. Instrument donations will also be considered for non-professional music makers in community-based music programs and people pursuing professional music careers.

The Wanna Play Fund stems from a national public awareness campaign called Wanna Play? created by NAMM, the trade association of the international music products industry, to educate people of all ages about the many social and wellness benefits of making music. More than 85 celebrities currently support the campaign, including Gov. Huckabee, Isaac Slade, Sara Bareilles, Robert Downey Jr., and John Legend. Wanna Play? celebrities include actors, authors, musicians, sports figures, executives, politicians and personalities who play a musical instrument.

For more information about the Wanna Play? campaign and how to get started playing an instrument, visit

Gov. Huckabee, an avid guitarist and bass player since childhood, is a national advocate for the powerful role music plays in learning and his program regularly features celebrity musical guests. He can also be heard providing insightful commentary on more than 500 radio stations daily delivering "The Huckabee Report."

As Governor of Arkansas, Huckabee led state legislation that expanded access to music and arts education for children in the state. Arts education was Gov. Huckabee's signature initiative when he chaired the Education Commission on the States, a state-level policy development organization. In every aspect of his career, Gov. Huckabee emphasizes the vital role of music in education for all children and promotes the benefits of life-long music making. As a national spokesperson for the NAMM Foundation's Wanna Play Fund, Gov. Huckabee encourages donations and participation in Fund activities—including online auctions of celebrity-signed guitars featuring artists who have appeared on his program.

“The ability to take part in playing music provides an undeniable medium for self-expression for all individuals,” Gov. Huckabee said. “I am proud to be supporting a wonderful cause that is aimed at providing opportunities for people of all ages to experience the fun and many benefits of playing music.”

The launch will also feature a guest appearance by NAMM President and CEO Joe Lamond, life-long drummer and creator of the NAMM Foundation, which serves as the focal point for the music product industry's support of music education and music-related research. Lamond will talk about the new NAMM Foundation initiative and join Huckabee in a small “jam session” with students from Jersey City, N.J., who've started playing music in a program that was restored with instrument donations from NAMM's partner organization, VH1 Save the Music Foundation, which will assist the NAMM Foundation and the Wanna Play Fund with future instrument donations to schools.

“According to our research, more than 85 percent of people who don't currently play a musical instrument wish they did,” said Lamond. “With Gov. Huckabee's support, we hope the new Wanna Play Fund will allow the NAMM Foundation the opportunity to make a lot more of those wishes come true.”

The launch will take place on the “Huckabee” show on FOX News tomorrow at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Check your local listings for the broadcast and rebroadcast times in your area.

To donate to the NAMM Foundation's Wanna Play Fund or learn about special online fundraising activities, visit All contributions to the Wanna Play Fund are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Fund donors can elect to receive regular e-mail updates highlighting current activities directly from the NAMM Foundation. For more information about the NAMM Foundation's Wanna Play Fund, visit or send an e-mail to

About NAMM Foundation
The NAMM Foundation is a non-profit 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