Tag Archives: NAMM

This Time Shall Pass: Learning to Play a Musical Instrument

Woman-Violin-Clipart-1According to independent survey results cited by NAMM, the trade association for music retailers, over 80% of individuals who never learn to play a musical instrument regret that they didn’t take the time to do so. When I attend home shows and people pass our booth, we often encourage those intrigued by the pianos to consider lessons. Our adult beginner classes are so enjoyable that participants never want to leave.

The number 1 response? “It’s too late for me to start now.”

What a shame.

When I set out to publish my book “Everything We Needed to Know About Business, We Learned Playing Music” several years ago, it seemed like a daunting task. Conducting and transcribing dozens of lengthy interviews, condensing them into readable segments, writing, re-writing, re-writing, re-writing…

Then someone gave me some great advice that I’ll never forget:

“The time will pass anyway. You might as well get started. You will either look back in 2-3 years and say ‘I did it,’ or you’ll be saying ‘I wish I had.”

It’s that simple.

NAMM Descends on Washington to Advocate Music Education

The great folks at the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) organized a week of advocacy activities in Washington to help continue the fight for music education. NAMM staff, members, and Washington insiders attended, and GRAMMY-nominated singer Taylor Dayne and Journey keyboardist/songwriter Jonathan Cain articulated the impact that music education and music teachers had on their lives:

“Miss Kyzowski, Mr. Dagan, Miss Edwards. 30 years later I can still remember their names because these people were three of the most influential people in my life,” Dayne said.  “They were my music teachers and they helped me find my own voice. My music teachers believed in me more than I believed in myself and music class was my safe place.”


“In 1958, I went to a school that burned to the ground and 100 kids died. My way out of it was music,” Cain said. “My father bought me an accordion after the fire and it became my best friend. Music was my escape and my salvation. And that’s what we have to remember when decisions are made to cut music classes out of schools.”

These are 2 themes that we’ve articulated in this forum previously:

  1. Music and arts teachers can play a critical role in helping students develop self-esteem and inspire them to reach their potential.
  2. Students see music as a part of their identity, so much so that they often can’t consider life without it

When I conducted the research for my book, I asked many of the participants to identify their significant music teachers/mentors by name and I acknowledged them in the text, because I know from my own experience how lasting that impact can be. It was also interesting that professionals who had conquered the business world and achieved great success by any reasonable measure, often still identified themselves first and foremost as musicians.

Thanks again to NAMM for championing this effort and organizing these activities.

To read the complete press release with a summary of the week’s events, click here.

NAMM Foundation Announces “Best Communities for Music Education” 2010 Survey Results


The NAMM Foundation (The philanthropic arm of the National Association of Music Merchants) has announced the results of their 2010 survey that determines the top communities in America for music education. The surveyed schools were required to answer detailed questions regarding relevant factors, and the 174 communities announced today all graded in the top 80th percentile.

Congratulations to these school districts for their commitment to a well-rounded education that includes music. See the list and additional details regarding the criteria at NAMM’s website

Also, NAMM was a great partner in promoting the release of my book Everything We Needed to Know About Business, We Learned Playing Music last year (Read “The Business Case for Playing Music” at NAMM’s WannaPlayMusic? website), and I wanted to thank Scott Robertson and the staff of NAMM for their commitment to music education.

NAMM’s Wanna Play Music Week May 3 – May 7, 2010

According to one survey, more that 80% of all people who never learned to play a musical instrument wish they had. The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) is doing something about it. NAMM’s WannaPlayMusic? website is a great resource for recreational musicians and recreational musicians to be, as well as a great music advocacy resource.

This week is Wanna Play Music? week, and NAMM has several activities planned. Follow the link below for more information:
NAMM WannaPlayMusic week information