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Support Music initiative

"Support Music" initiative launched by the Music Education Coalition

WASHINGTON, DC, March 12, 2003—“SupportMusic,” the largest initiative of its kind dedicated to positively impacting community resolve and inspiring action to support music education in the United States, was launched today by the Music Education Coalition, an entity created by NAMM, the International Music Products Association and MENC, the National Association for Music Education. The new program was announced today by Steve West, Chairman of NAMM; and Dr. Willie Hill, President of MENC. They were joined by Congressional co-chairs Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-CA); as well as John Rzeznik, lead singer of Goo Goo Dolls, and Take 6, the six-man, multi-Grammy Award-winning a cappella group, who performed a few of their best-known songs to kick-off the Washington launch event.

A key component of the new initiative is a new Web site www.supportmusic.com, an easy-to-use resource offering information about how parents and community members can work to ensure that music is an integral part of a quality education for all children. The new site focuses on reaching parents and teachers who are facing massive school music program cuts while providing the tools and information needed to take action on behalf of their children’s education and future. SupportMusic.com also unites music, arts and youth serving organizations who will contribute tools available at the web site. For example, with the participation of the American Music Therapy Association, the Web site will expand to include information for parents of children with disabilities seeking to ensure that music and/or music therapy is part of their children's education. Other partner organizations, including the American Music Conference, an established non-profit that promotes the benefits of music and music making, will help to continually improve the effectiveness of parents and advocates by adding tools and links on the site.

The initiative is being launched during March’s national “Music in Our Schools Month” in response to unprecedented education budget cuts. Noting that some areas of the nation already give students insufficient experience in the discipline of music education, the Music Education Coalition predicts that the current round of budget cuts will lead to curtailment of programs depriving as many as 30 million students (more than 60% of those enrolled in K-12) of an education that includes music. The key, according to the Coalition, is to energize local grass roots efforts with information and help them make the case for the essential role of music in every child’s development.

More information is available on the NAMM website at
http://www.namm.com/pressroom/pressreleases/2003Mar12.html

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