The NAMM Foundation Grantee Spotlight: Save The Music Foundation

Elizabeth Dale

For the past 22 years, The NAMM Foundation has supported the advocacy efforts of Save The Music Foundation and for the past three years The NAMM Foundation has awarded Save The Music with a grant to allow for students to have broader access to music in schools throughout the United States. The organization shares a mission which aligns with the vision of The NAMM Foundation, and a deep belief that “every child deserves music.”

  • Save The Music
  • Save The Music
  • Save The Music

The year was 1997 and music videos were still in heavy rotation on our televisions on stations like MTV and VH1. You may have ran out to the record store to buy the Spice Girls’ debut album Wannabe in early January, mourned the slaying of Notorious B.I.G. that March, sang the best you could to Hanson’s hit “MMMBop”, or tried to memorize every word Missy Elliott’s “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly).” However, one of the more important music related events of that year may not be on your radar: the founding of Save The Music Foundation by MTV executive John Sykes.

NAMM Foundation Grantee Save the Music Foundation Inspires Future Generations of Music Students

:( Sorry! Your browser cannot play this video either because javascript is disabled or your browser is not HTML5 compatible. Try Chrome or Firefox.

Save The Music Foundation was born after Sykes participated in a “principal for a day” program, which allowed him to “run” a school in Brooklyn, New York for a full day. After his experience, Sykes launched The Foundation with the aim to partner the non-profit “with local communities and school districts to build sustainable music programs.” In its first year, the organization became a national non-profit restoring music programs in Las Vegas, New York City, Los Angeles, Detroit, and New Orleans. The organization quickly launched efforts to speak with law makers, including at the federal level alongside the annual NAMM Advocacy Fly-In, having understood and shared the importance of making music education accessible in local, state, and federal legislatures.

The NAMM Foundation has partnered with Save The Music Foundation since its inception serving “over 2,000 schools, donating over $53 million worth of new musical instruments to schools around the country, and impacting the lives of millions.” Jaclyn Rudderow, Program Director for the Foundation, credits The NAMM Foundation for assisting Save The Music with achieving their goals saying, “NAMM and The NAMM Foundation have been longstanding partners of Save The Music and through their support of our work we’ve been able to put countless instruments into the hands of students all over the country.” In 2019, with the help of NAMM Members, Instrumental Music Center of Arizona and Iowa’s West Music, the Save The Music Foundation was able to provide students at Tucson Magnet School (AZ) and Franklin Middle School (IA) with much needed programing to grow their musical offerings.

Currently Save The Music has an impact in 42 states throughout the US, as well as in the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. To learn more about the non-profit and to find ways to get involved visit them at and follow their journey on social media at @vh1savethemusic. To learn more about The NAMM Foundation and all its grantees please visit