NAMM Hopes to Inspire More Americans to Play Music

- Press Release

Playing a musical instrument can increase memory, reduce stress, lower blood pressure, build confidence and result in greater academic success. Americans will learn about the many social and health benefits of music making thanks to a new national campaign launched by NAMM, the not-for-profit trade association for the international music products industry. Designed to inspire people to become active music makers, the Wanna Play? campaign will raise awareness and inspire people of all ages and talent to get involved in making music, from taking lessons to purchasing their first instrument or software.

“At age 5 or 85, everyone can benefit socially, mentally and physically from playing an instrument,” said Joe Lamond, President and CEO of NAMM and a life-long drummer. “It's never too late to start, and playing an instrument is something that can last a lifetime.”

Most people associate music making with fun or entertainment, but few know that playing music has been scientifically found to:

- exercise the brain
- inspire creativity
- increase productivity
- fight memory loss
- reduce stress
- lower blood pressure
- stave off depression
- enhance cognitive development in children
- build confidence
- create social connections/bonds

Not surprisingly, a number of musicians – naturally passionate about the issue – are joining NAMM in supporting the campaign.

“Music has been my airline ticket to a new world of possibilities,” said Gavin DeGraw when asked what music means to him. For Gavin DeGraw, who broke onto the music scene with his hit "Chariot", the 29-year-old singer/songwriter/pianist/guitarist’s passion is apparent.

DeGraw is reaching out to kids and adults alike as the first ambassador of the Wanna Play? campaign, convincing people to pursue – or perhaps revisit – their passion for playing an instrument.

DeGraw, as the ambassador of the national effort, will be featured in a variety of education and marketing initiatives to help foster music making, education and help drive consumers to local NAMM member retailers. For beginners or well-seasoned recreational music makers, these musical instrument retail stores are considered the epicenter of music culture in communities around the country.

“I feel good when I go there because it is privately owned, you get to know the guys there, and they treat you well,” Gavin DeGraw comments on a local musical instrument and products retailer close to his house. “It is more like my hometown, and it feels good to give back to the community of locals.”

For many years, NAMM has funded research showing that music making provides a variety of positive benefits, ranging from increased intelligence to healthier lifestyles. In fact, recent surveys revealed insightful public attitudes toward music participation, many of which focused on scholastic benefits. Studies have found that:
96 percent of public school principals believe that participating in music education encourages and motivates students to stay in school longer*
Students in music appreciation scored 63 points higher on verbal and 44 points higher on math than students with no arts participation, according to the College Entrance Examination Board
Students in the arts are found to be more cooperative with teachers and peers, more self confident and better able to express ideas, according to a study by Columbia University

Please visit www.namm.org for more information on the Wanna Play? campaign and the positive impact of music-making.

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