Turnaround Arts to Measure Impact of NAMM Foundation’s Investments in School Music Education Programs

The NAMM Foundation, a founding program partner, has contributed more than half a million dollars in grants to empower arts and music based school reform at 70 struggling schools nationwide

December 21, 2017

Turnaround Arts and The NAMM Foundation will implement a research project to explore the impact, value and efficacy of The NAMM Foundation’s investment in Turnaround Arts schools’ music departments. Since Turnaround Arts’ creation in 2012, The NAMM Foundation has contributed more than $550,000 in music education expansion grants to 70 Turnaround Arts schools nationwide. Turnaround Arts is a program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

“As schools come on board with Turnaround Arts, one of the immediate investments made is in their music departments, thanks to the generous and reliable support from the NAMM Foundation,” said Kathy Fletcher, National Director of Turnaround Arts. “These grants have helped students at Turnaround Arts schools nationwide experience the power of music within a well-rounded education. With this new study, we will seek to measure how that experience has reverberated throughout each school and the overall impact.”

Turnaround Arts implements arts education as a school reform tool in struggling elementary and middle schools. The NAMM Foundation has supported the development of music programming in Turnaround Arts schools with instruments, instrument storage and/or maintenance, music-based artist residencies, performance space improvements, or some combination thereof. Music education grants have ranged from $6,000 to $10,000 per school.

“Since Turnaround Arts’ initial pilot program, NAMM members have been involved in Turnaround Arts schools, bringing instruments and supporting the growth of budding music departments, many times from scratch,” said Mary Luehrsen, Executive Director of The NAMM Foundation. “We’ve listened as hallways filled with music and have seen students’ faces light up playing an instrument. With this research, we hope to learn more about how to make the biggest impact on music learning.”

The study will seek to characterize NAMM Foundation’s support of Turnaround Arts schools and the impact on the schools’ music education programs, including whether this impact persisted over time and/or influenced other school programs, and whether the impact was associated with adaptive changes in student adjustment or school climate. Drs. Muna Shami and Charles Beekman are serving as co-principal investigators – from the Research and Evaluation department of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ Education division.

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is the national champion for arts learning and creativity. Committed to increasing opportunities for all people to participate in, learn about, and understand the arts, the Center offers programs and events that strive to reflect the nation and its communities, and that are accessible and inclusive for all. From the Center’s stages to classrooms and communities across the country, to online resources accessible nearly anywhere, the Center serves the burgeoning artist, the curious explorer, the student (of any age), the teacher and teaching artist—any person interested in arts learning and utilizing the arts for positive change.

Since its inception, The NAMM Foundation has donated more than $16 million in support to domestic and international music education programs, scientific research, advocacy and public service programs to advance music making. The grants are funded in part by donations from the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) and its 10,300 member companies worldwide.

Chalise Zolezzi



Director of PR and Social Media

Phone: (760) 438-8001

Email: chalisez@namm.org

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 www.namm.org, call 800.767.NAMM (6266) or follow the organization on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.