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The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) recently noted more than 1.3 million elementary school students across the country do not have access to music education.

The largest school music instrument retailer and lesson provider in the country, Music & Arts, has partnered with Yamaha Corporation of America and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington (BGCGW), which reaches more than 12,000 youth annually throughout Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia, to donate 60 instruments, comprised of 40 guitars and 20 full-size, digital pianos. The donation, valued at about $10,000, will help support several BGCGW interdisciplinary music education programs.

“Students who participate in the arts and music receive better grades, earn higher test scores, are more likely to enroll in and graduate from college, and exhibit higher levels of literacy and community engagement as compared to their peers. Participation in music programs also provides students with a much-needed outlet for self-expression; an outlet that’s imperative for children’s mental and social development,” said Steve Zapf, President, Music & Arts.

“We hope this donation not only encourages students to grow their passion for music, but also helps them create long-lasting memories,” said Jim Di Paolo, National Accounts Manager, Yamaha Corporation of America.

Music & Arts made the official partnership announcement on August 3, at BGCGW’s annual Kennedy Center concert, alongside Jussie Smollet, cast member of popular TV-series Empire and Raymond Bokhour, cast member from the hit Broadway Chicago. The instrument delivery is scheduled for this fall with a celebratory event to follow.

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