U.S. Department of Education and NAMM Host ‘Strumming and Drumming Event for Music Education'

May 10, 2011

The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) and the U.S. Dept. of Education today hosted an event celebrating and supporting national school music programs. The event highlighted the many compelling and proven benefits for school children who are involved in school and after-school music-making programs, and offered attendees a chance to participate in a drum and ukulele circle to experience the fun and benefits of playing music first-hand.

Dept. of Education policy leaders Jim Shelton, Assistant Deputy Secretary for the Office of Innovation and Improvement; Peter Cunningham, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Outreach; as well as former U.S. Sec. of Education Richard Riley and jazz guitarist/New York Yankee great Bernie Williams were on hand to welcome the NAMM delegates and jam along to a fun ukulele-driven rendtion of "This Land is Your Land."

"We are 50 million percent in favor of music and arts education in schools," said an enthusiastic Cunningham with his ukulele in hand. "We will work very hard to make sure America embraces the benefits of a full education that includes music and the arts." 

NAMM President Joe Lamond also presented Cunningham with a commemorative patriotic red-white-and-blue-painted ukulele donated by NAMM Member Kala Musical Instruments in appreciation for the Dept.'s ongoing commitment to music/arts education.

The event concluded with a performance by music students from George Fox and Lime Kiln Middle Schools reminding the NAMM Members and Dept of Education staff of the importance of reaching their goal.