The NAMM Foundation Helps Schools and Districts Achieve Success at The NAMM Show

Elizabeth Dale

The NAMM Foundation presents “Building a Nationally-Recognized Music Program: It’s All About Collaborative Structures,” an educational program only available at The NAMM Show this June.

The hour-long presentation features music program leaders from three of The NAMM Foundation’s Best Communities for Music Education (BCME) districts as they “share strategies about how to create a collaborative culture within learning communities.” The strategies and topics discussed include building professional learning communities, developing strategic arts plans, and fostering relationships to cultivate vibrant and dynamic music programs to create, outstanding and nationally recognized music education programs.

Panelists include Facilitator of Fine & Performing Arts for Stafford County Public Schools (SCPS), Annamarie Bollino; Supervisor of Music for Lincoln Public Schools, Dr. Lance Nielsen; and Coordinator for Bakersfield City School District’s Visual and Performing Arts Department, Michael Stone.

Bollino reflected on the December 2021 presentation of the session at the Midwest Clinic and shared, “We wanted to encourage teachers and music program leaders to apply for BCME and share how we built strong music education programs in our school divisions.” She believes that music educators and administrators not only need to attend this session but should consider attending The NAMM Show in its entirety. “The NAMM Show is amazing as there is so much to see, hear, and experience. Music educators need to be a part of a track of sessions designed to get you thinking about your music program in fresh and innovative ways. At The NAMM Show, I always meet new vendors and learn about products that support student learning.”

Stone, who represents Bakersfield City School District, a ten-time consecutive BCME winner, reports that the district has used the BCME framework to build and maintain an equitable music education for its students. Stone said, “We truly believe that all of our stakeholders make the national recognition of our music program possible. Students in our music program have higher grades and better attendance than their non-music peers. We are honored to recognize the work of our outstanding music educators.”

While “Building a Nationally-Recognized Music Program: It’s All About Collaborative Structures” may be curated with the educator and administrator in mind, music retailers could greatly benefit from attending and learning more about BCME and its potential impact on retail operations.

Amro Music Stores’ Nick Averwater has been an advocate of BCME for many years. He has found the value of the program extends beyond the classroom and has a positive impact on his stores. “By helping schools apply for the BCME designation, retailers become a partner for the arts. When your store works alongside a school district and celebrates the recognition of a ‘Best Community,' retailers can play an active role in advocating for music education. It is so easy to become a hero in your community for highlighting the hard work of your community’s educators.” Averwater shares that sessions like “Building a Nationally-Recognized Music Program: It’s All About Collaborative Structures” provides retailers with inspiration for ways to celebrate the achievements of their schools.

Averwater advises retailers considering supporting BCME for the first time to focus on one school or district. He said, “This allows both the retailer and the district to learn the process. NAMM makes it so easy, but starting with one school or district keeps the process from becoming overwhelming.”

To attend “Building a Nationally-Recognized Music Program: It’s All About Collaborative Structures,” be sure to register for The NAMM Show at /thenammshow/2022/badges and head to the Anaheim Convention Center, Level 2, Room 206B on Saturday, June 4 at 2 p.m.

To see if your school district or school has been named a Best Community for Music Education, please visit