OCDE promotes music, arts education at NAMM convention

This weekend’s NAMM convention, an annual gathering for music industry professionals, featured exhibits on the latest music gear, a few celebrity sightings and some jam sessions. And it also included a campaign to help bring more music into classrooms across the country.

The Orange County Department of Education on Friday helped lead a forum at the Anaheim Convention Center on how schools and districts can better use federal funds aimed at low-income students and English learners for music and arts programs.

Panelist leads a discussion during a forum

OCDE’s Steve Venz leads a discussion on music education at Friday’s NAMM convention.

NAMM’s SupportMusic Coalition on Coalitions for Music Education Advocacy Forum included about 100 administrators and educators from across the country discussing why students deserve to have access to a well-rounded education that includes music and the arts.

A panel that included Steve Venz, arts administrator for OCDE, talked about strategies for how schools can incorporate Title I money, the main federal funding system for at-risk students, for music and arts.

Venz talked about how music and arts can help improve academic achievement, decrease absences and increase parental engagement for low-income students, English learners, students with behavioral issues and others.

“It’s pretty exciting, that OCDE partners with NAMM to lead music and arts education efforts on a national stage,” Venz said.

Each year, NAMM’s annual convention draws 100,000 musicians, vendors and other industry professionals to the Anaheim Convention Center. NAMM, or the National Association of Music Merchants, also runs a foundation to support music education.

This year’s convention included about a dozen sessions on music education efforts that drew hundreds of music teachers and school administrators.