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NAMM Kicks Off National Wanna Play Music Week, May 4-8, Encouraging People of All Ages to Experience the Proven Benefits of Playing Music

New Tools Make It Easier Than Ever to Get Started Playing a Musical Instrument (May 04, 2009)

CARLSBAD, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 05/04/09 -- NAMM, the 108-year-old, not-for-profit association of the international music products industry, kicked off its annual National Wanna Play Music Week today through May 8 to help build awareness of the proven benefits of playing musical instruments for people of all ages. Considering that playing music is an ability that is wished for by 85 percent of Americans, according to a recent Gallup poll*, NAMM has developed several new applications and services to help anyone easily get started.

National Wanna Play Music Week is part of the association's Wanna Play? public awareness campaign, which recognizes the vital role that music and music education play in people's lives, and how recreational music making can directly impact the health and social well being of people in all stages of life.

Music Monday Launch

The week of May 4, 2009, kicks off with "Music Monday," a five-year tradition started by the Canadian-based Coalition for Music Education that encourages musicians, music organizations, school bands and music lovers everywhere to play music at the same time to demonstrate the galvanizing power of making music. This year, all participants across North America will play music together at 10 a.m. PT, 11 a.m. MT, 12 p.m. CT, and 1 p.m. ET. This is the second year that NAMM has joined in the effort, which inspired more than 700,000 students across North America to play last year.

This year, NAMM will be working with The Bacon Brothers, featuring acclaimed acting veteran Kevin Bacon and his brother, award-winning film and TV composer Michael Bacon, to help launch National Wanna Play Music Week in the U.S. The Bacon Brothers, who recently released their 6th album New Year's Day, will be appearing at the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts today along with Yoko Ono and the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus.

"We wanted to show our support for what NAMM and others are doing to help encourage people to get out and play music," said Kevin Bacon. "Music is obviously a huge part of our lives. Playing a musical instrument can help drive a passion that can last a lifetime and play an integral part in maintaining a healthy mind and body."

"This year we have taken the extra step to make it as easy as possible to help people experience first hand what it is like to play music," said Joe Lamond, NAMM's president and CEO. "NAMM is consistently seeking out new ways to connect people with the enjoyment and proven benefits of playing music and simple ways anyone can get involved. It's never too late to learn to play a musical instrument, whether you are five or 85 and NAMM's National Wanna Play Music Week is a great time to give it a try."

Tools to Help Get Started

To help consumers find quality music instructors near them, NAMM has developed a variety of tools that make it easier than ever for people to start their musical journey:

-- New, free "Find Music Lessons Near You" search tool at, will feature one of the most comprehensive databases of music educators on the Web from NAMM's network of Member stores, the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) and, a nationwide provider of lessons. This easy-to-use tool will help those interested in learning to play music to easily find a qualified music teacher in their neighborhood. -- As an additional resource for National Wanna Play Music Week, a special hotline will connect people who are curious about playing music with a NAMM representative to ask any questions they may have about how to get started, how to select the best instrument and how to overcome the most common challenges. The hotline will be available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT by dialing 1-800-767-NAMM. -- NAMM also will launch a new iPhone application that will test player's "musicality" with a fun and educational game. The application will also feature a music store locator to help people who are looking to take the next step toward playing a real instrument. -- In addition, NAMM has reached out to more than 500,000 music and film enthusiasts and asked them to participate in its short film contest, highlighting the positive aspects of making music. Working with OurStage, an online community site for filmmakers, submissions are accepted throughout May with the short film winner receiving $5,000 cash, a MacBook Pro, various computer software for video and audio editing, and a trip to the Summer NAMM show in Nashville, Tenn. for a world premiere of the film.

The Web site will also feature daily themes that will help educate and build awareness regarding important trends, tools and news in the world of music.

-- Monday: "Music Monday" Music advocates and enthusiasts from all over North America will be uploading photos, videos and updates from their Music Monday sites to the Music Monday Facebook group and -- Tuesday: "Get in Tune Tuesday" Resources will be offered to help people get involved with NAMM and National Wanna Play Music Week, such as the new lesson locator, iPhone application and NAMM hotline. -- Wednesday: "Mid-Week Look at Music in the Midst of America" Results from NAMM's 2009 Gallup poll*, which highlight the common perceptions of music in America, as well as how interest in playing a musical instrument is at an all-time high. -- Thursday: "Music Therapy Thursday" The site will highlight research and data that help document the proven benefits of music, physically and mentally. -- Friday: "Future Musician Friday" With children as the future, NAMM believes that investments need to be made to ensure that music remains strong in our schools and communities. The Web site will highlight key government news and trends in education, as well as highlighting schools with excellent music programs.

About NAMM

The National Association of Music Merchants, commonly called NAMM in reference to the organization's popular NAMM trade shows, is the not-for-profit association that unifies, leads and strengthens the $17 billion global musical instruments and products industry. NAMM's activities and programs are designed to promote music making to people of all ages. NAMM is comprised of more than 9,000 Member companies. For more information about NAMM, interested parties can visit or call 800-767-NAMM (6266).

* According to the April 2009 Gallup Poll entitled "2009 Public Attitudes Toward Music"

Kymberly Drake
PR Manager
(760) 438-8007, ext. 162
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