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Robin Walenta and Sen Joni Ernst

Last week, Robin Walenta, President and CEO of West Music presented Iowa Senators Joni Ernst and Charles Grassley with a flag in representation of the two school districts in Iowa that were recognized as the Best Communities for Music Education by The NAMM Foundation. The two school districts, Davenport Community School District and Sioux City Community School District, were recognized earlier this year by The NAMM Foundation as part of the organization’s Best Communities for Music Education awards program which honored 527 districts across the nation for their commitment to music education.

Walenta made the presentation as part of the annual NAMM Music Education Advocacy D.C. Fly-In, May 22-24. Along with nearly 100 music industry leaders, notable artists, and arts education activists, Walenta took to Capitol Hill to advocate for all school-aged children to have access to quality, comprehensive school music education programs. The issue of music education takes on a special significance this year as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), signed into law in 2015 by President Obama readies for state-level implementation in 2018 in the face of proposed budget cuts. New research also shows strong ties between K-12 school students who actively participate in school music education programs and overall student success. A recent study of students in the Chicago Public Schools by brain researchers at Northwestern University, detailed in Neuroscientist Education Week, builds on previous findings that participation in music education programs helps improve brain function, discipline and language development.

Robin Walenta and Sen Chuck Grassley

“Music and music making is vitally important to offering students a well-rounded education,” shared Walenta. “We join this week of advocacy to reinforce the importance of funding music and the arts, and in this case, to share the stories and an award of the districts in our home state where music is making a difference. The Best Communities for Music Education award represents the dedication of the students, teachers, administrators and community at large in Iowa that value the importance of music education.”

West Music is a third generation locally owned and family operated business. For over 75 years, West Music has been the area’s leading partner in music education, specializing in pianos, guitars, drums and percussion, band and orchestra instruments, and print music as well as offering music instruction, repair, and music therapy services. With seven retail locations in Iowa and Illinois as well as award-winning ecommerce websites dedicated to servicing music education and percussion communities, West Music strives to encourage people of all ages and abilities to play now and play for life.

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About NAMM

The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) is the not-for-profit association with a mission to strengthen the $17 billion music products industry and promote the pleasures and benefits of making music. NAMM’s activities and programs are designed to promote music making to people of all ages. NAMM is comprised of approximately10,300 Member companies located in more than 103 countries. For more information about NAMM or the proven benefits of making music, interested parties can visit www.namm.org, call 800-767-NAMM (6266) or follow the organization on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

To learn more about NAMM and the Top 100 Dealer Awards, please visit https://www.namm.org/summer/2017/top-dealer-awards

West Music Logo

About West Music

West Music is a third generation locally owned and family operated business. For over 75 years, West Music has been the area’s leading partner in music education, specializing in pianos, guitars, drums and percussion, band and orchestra instruments, and print music as well as offering music instruction, repair, and music therapy services. With seven retail locations in Iowa and Illinois as well as award-winning ecommerce websites dedicated to servicing music education and percussion communities, West Music strives to encourage people of all ages and abilities to play now and play for life. For more information, visit westmusic.com or call 1-800-373-2000.

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