May 05, 2008 08:00 ET

NAMM Encourages People Who Think They Are Not Musical to Strut Their Stuff in National 'Say You Wanna Play?' Contest on YouTube

Competition to Showcase Unmusical People Who Want to Experience More of the Benefits of Playing Music

CARLSBAD, CA--(Marketwire - May 5, 2008) - NAMM, the 107-year-old trade association of the international music products industry, is encouraging people who have always wished they could play an instrument or sing, but never pursued their dream, to compete in the organization's 'Say You Wanna Play' contest hosted on YouTube.

The contest is part of NAMM's first annual National 'Wanna Play Music Week,' May 5-9, along with an array of activities to raise public awareness about the vital role that music and music education play in people's lives, and how even recreational music making can directly affect the health and social wellbeing of people in all stages of life. The weeklong event is part of the association's national 'Wanna Play?' public awareness campaign created to communicate the benefits of playing music to people of all ages.

'Say You Wanna Play' contestants just need to shoot a short video of themselves playing and/or singing any original or public domain song, and telling the world why they play music or why they want to start. Videos should be posted at between 12 a.m. on May 5 and midnight on May 26. NAMM will review all entries and pick a contest winner.

The winner will receive travel and a hotel for two to play live at the NAMM Show, the largest music products trade show in the United States, and to receive a music lesson from Scott Houston, "The Piano Guy," host of a 30-minute educational show that runs on PBS television stations around the country. For more details about the contest, visit

"NAMM has conducted research that found 82 percent of people who have never played an instrument wished they had," said Joe Lamond, president and CEO, NAMM. "This is our way of helping people to discover their inner musician, find their own rhythm and start to reap all the proven benefits that come along with playing."

For many years, NAMM has funded research showing that playing music provides a variety of positive benefits, ranging from increased intelligence to healthier lifestyles. Studies have found that playing music:

--  Fights memory loss
--  Reduces stress
--  Lowers blood pressure
--  Staves off depression
--  Enhances cognitive development in children
--  Builds confidence
--  Creates social connections

In fact, 96 percent of public school principals believe that participating in music education encourages and motivates students to stay in school longer.

In addition, a new Harris Poll released in January 2008 of more than 2,000 people who don't currently play a musical instrument found that:

--  More than one in four (26%) people are looking at learning to play a
    musical instrument as their New Year's resolution in 2008
--  Almost half (47%) of people who are interested in learning to play an
    instrument are finally getting around to starting
--  Nearly half (46%) of respondents are likely or very likely to make
    "spending more time with family" and "reducing stress" their 2008 New
    Year's resolution
--  Forty percent believe that playing an instrument reduces stress
--  Thirty-five percent say they believe they don't have natural talent to
    play and that prevents them from learning
--  Twenty-three percent responded that feeling too old has held them back
    from playing a musical instrument

For more information about 'Wanna Play Music Week' and NAMM's 'Wanna Play?' campaign, visit

About NAMM

NAMM is the not-for-profit association that unifies, leads and strengthens the $17 billion international musical instruments and products industry. NAMM's activities and programs are designed to promote music making to people of all ages. NAMM is comprised of approximately 9,000 Member companies. For more information about NAMM or the proven benefits of making music, interested parties can visit or call 800-767-NAMM (6266).

About 'Wanna Play?'

NAMM's nationwide 'Wanna Play?' campaign is dedicated to increasing awareness of the proven benefits of playing musical instruments for people of all ages. Since the campaign's launch in November 2006, the key messages of why it is important to play music have reached more than 24 million people through national public relations efforts. In addition, 'Wanna Play?' has the support of 34 celebrities, including campaign ambassador Gavin DeGraw, Ashlee Simpson, Taylor Swift, Robert Downey Jr., John Taylor, and The Band from TV. For more information and to get involved, interested parties can visit

Contact Information

    Kirsten Berry
    Manning, Selvage and Lee
    Email Contact

    Kristin Small
    Manning, Selvage and Lee
    Email Contact