A team of 15 delegates from NAMM’s California membership of more than 2,300 companies traveled to Sacramento, Calif., to appeal to state legislators to ensure that all students in California have equal access to high-quality instruction in music as part of a well-rounded education.
David Jewell, partnerships and alliances manager, Yamaha Corp. of America, and Barbara Wight, chief financial officer of Taylor Guitars, served as co-chairs for the event’s committee.
Other participants in the advocacy day included delegates from California-based businesses Bertrand’s Music, Creative Music Services, Gordon’s Music & Sound, Guitar Center, Tim’s Music and Wedgie Music.
“Music and arts education is core to offering a well-rounded education, which the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) clearly expresses,” said Mary Luehrsen, director of public affairs for NAMM. “It is through the work of passionate NAMM delegates that lawmakers at both the state and federal level are actualizing funding support for music and arts education.”
On May 22 Jewell will join a similar delegation in Washington, D.C., for NAMM’s Advocacy Fly-In to discuss the importance of access to music and the arts. In meetings with Congressional leaders, NAMM representatives will communicate their support for full funding of ESSA. Congress currently appropriates $1.1 billion in total federal ESSA grant funding for states and local school districts nationwide; the delegation hopes to raise that amount to $1.65 billion, the maximum funding level authorized by the law.
“Our advocacy, both in Sacramento and on Capitol Hill, sends an unmistakable message to state and federal officials who have the power to enrich the lives of our nation’s youth,” said Jewell. “Music teachers, parents and students, not to mention child development experts, all consider music crucial to a proper education. Yamaha will remain actively engaged in the public square to support efforts to expand music education programs and to open up new horizons for all students.”