May 05, 2008 08:00 ET

NAMM Invites Everyone to Play Music During National 'Wanna Play Music Week,' May 5-9

Weeklong Event Kicks Off With a North American Musical Collaboration and National YouTube Music-Making Competition

CARLSBAD, CA--(Marketwire - May 5, 2008) - NAMM, the 107-year-old trade association of the international music products industry, wants everyone to play an instrument just once. That's why the not-for-profit organization is kicking off its first official National 'Wanna Play Music Week' today through May 9 with an array of events to encourage everyone who has ever wanted to play music, and those who already do, to celebrate music and play along.

The effort is part of the association's 'Wanna Play?' public awareness campaign, which recognizes 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.

Today, NAMM will lead U.S. musicians, music organizations, school bands and music lovers everywhere to join with the Canadian-based Coalition for Music Education in its fourth annual Music Monday celebration. The musicians will play the same song together at exactly 10 a.m. Pacific time, 11 a.m. Mountain time, 12 p.m. Central time, 1 p.m. Eastern time, 2 p.m. Atlantic time, and 2:30 in Newfoundland.

"I believe it is imperative that anyone who carries the role of leader, director or teacher in any music program participates in Music Monday activities," said Ryan Gravelle, rhythm club director and academic coordinator at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maryland and eighth grade reading and language arts teacher at Spring Ridge Middle School. "I am also hoping that by participating in Music Monday, the youth in my community will be inspired to put down the remote or game controller for a little while and pick up a set of drumsticks, microphone, harmonica, or a pen and paper and decide they want to learn to play music."

The Music Monday song will be "Our Song," composed by Canadian singer/songwriters Amanda Walther and Sheila Carabine. The song can be heard in many arrangements at

Today's event launch also includes a national contest featured on YouTube called 'Say You Wanna Play?' People who have always wished they could play an instrument or sing, but never pursued their dream 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 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

Also today, NAMM will host a U.S. television and radio satellite media tour featuring Joe Lamond, president and CEO of NAMM, and Houston, "The Piano Guy." The PBS program that Houston hosts features mini piano lessons for beginners and interviews with professional pianists who demonstrate their instrumental techniques. Lamond and Houston will share with TV viewers and radio listeners all over America how music can affect their lives and how to start playing for fun.

Showing their support for 'Wanna Play Music Week' through performances and media interviews, will be the Second Amendments, a band made up of five members of Congress including Rep. Jon Porter (R-Nev.) on keyboards; Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) on lead vocals; Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.) on lead guitar; Dave Weldon (R-Fla.) on bass; and Kenny Hulshof (R-Mo.) on drums. In addition, The Dollyrots, a pop punk band, will be performing a live set at a school in Los Angeles, while the Care Bears on Fire, a pop punk kid band, will be rocking a school in New York.

"I really think that music is an international language," said Rep. Porter. "No matter what country you're from and no matter what language you speak, music crosses all those boundaries. I think it truly is a way to world peace -- it speaks to the heart and to the individual."

On the subject of being musical, Porter said, "I'm really not very good. But I like to play and I enjoy music. I would encourage everyone to give it a try and sit down and don't worry about being a concert pianist -- just enjoy the moment because it's a great escape and playing can also give you a great sense of completion."

'Wanna Play Music Week' will also feature different musical themes for each day of the week on its Web site

Tuesday: "Music for Moms"

Resources will be offered for providing children a head start on playing music to build a strong foundation for academic success, critical thinking, creative problem solving, effective communication, and teamwork.

Wednesday: "Music as Therapy"

Tips will be provided on how to reap the healing power of music making.

Thursday: "Bridging the Digital Gap"

Video games such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band will be showcased, demonstrating how this technology can help jump start a path to recreational music making.

Friday: The "Heroes Behind the Music"

A day will be set aside to celebrate the band instructors and musicians who bring music directly into the lives of students and future musicians.

"NAMM wanted to give this effort everything it's got to help people find their inner rhythm and discover the musician they have inside," said Joe Lamond, president and CEO, NAMM. "With activities like Music Monday and the YouTube contest, we hope to see people experiencing first hand what it is like to play music. It's not about how good you are, it's about how much fun you are having doing it."

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

About Music Monday

Music Monday is hosted annually on the first Monday of May by the Coalition for Music Education in Canada. The special event demonstrates an appreciation for music in our lives and in our schools. Many schools, along with community and professional organizations, perform one piece of music at 10 a.m. Pacific time, 11 a.m. Mountain time, 12 p.m. Central time, 1 p.m. Eastern time, 2 p.m. Atlantic time, and 2:30 in Newfoundland. The performance is intended to transcend all genres and unite everyone through the melody and the act of performing the piece at the same time. The idea is that if one were to open the front door of his or her home and stand on the street on the first Monday in May, one would hear music and the skies would be filled with melody. For more information, visit

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