The D.C. Fly-In: An Impactful Trip for NAMM Members

The NAMM D.C. Fly-In supports the Market Development objective to promote and represent the shared interests of NAMM members to elected officials and policy makers in the United States. 

Each spring, NAMM members have the opportunity to become Delegates and gather at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. to advocate for all school-aged children to have access to quality, comprehensive school music education programs.

A Common Purpose

All fly-in Delegates receive intensive training in preparation for the trip, including training with policy experts to learn about the policies and priorities of the current administration. With the guidance from veteran Delegates and seasoned professionals, NAMM Delegates prepare research-based talking points for visits with their Members of Congress.

“It is a rewarding honor to be a part of the diverse group of NAMM members who come together with a common purpose, to insure that our education system continues to provide the opportunity to learn music,” said Crystal Morris, President of Gator Cases in Tampa, Florida.

NAMM Delegates Get to Work

The visit kicks off with an annual “Day of Service” event. This year NAMM members will join D.C. Public Schools for their music festival at the Kennedy Center on Monday, May 21, where volunteers will be assisting 14 ensembles—from arrival through performance—during the first day of the festival.

The Day of Service is followed by a cocktail reception and dinner with a keynote by special guest Charlie Sykes, a prominent news contributor, public speaker and author.

After a full day of training at Nelson Mullins, everyone is off to work! During their visits, NAMM Delegates will meet with Members of Congress and other policy stakeholders to reinforce the importance of music as part of a well-rounded education.

Last year broke records; nearly 100 NAMM members participated and conducted close to 200 meetings with Members of Congress explaining the multitude of benefits that music education provides including increased brain function, focus and language development.

“One thing I wasn’t expecting was that both my congressman and both of my senators are fierce advocates of music in schools and I didn’t know that before,” said Cindy Cook of Candyman Strings and Things in Albuquerque, New Mexico“So, we found a lot of common ground in our experiences, viewpoints and opinions.”

Making a Difference all Year

In addition to the advocacy work, Delegates are invited to a special Congressional reception that brings together arts advocates and policy makers for one memorable evening in the Mike Mansfield Room in the Capitol.

“It’s so essential for us to be here every year and this is an incredible experience…it’s such a value that NAMM does. I wish everyone could understand the value, but I don’t think you can unless you’re actually here. I’m really excited to go back home and share how great this work is,” said John Mlyncza of Noteflight, a Hal Leonard Co.

After the NAMM Fly-In, NAMM delegates connect with other delegates from their states to form a working coalition to monitor progress and provide support to local school districts with a variety of educational collateral.

To be involved in music advocacy year-round, start by joining the SupportMusic Coalition on Coalitions and don't miss the bi-annual meeting at Summer NAMM and The NAMM Show. 

Learn how to get involved on a local and state level