NAMM Foundation Rocks Best Communities for Music Education with SupportMusic Community Forums Featuring The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus at McKeesport Area High School


Students from six school music programs, including the McKeesport Area School District, win the second annual ‘What Makes Music Education Great in My School’ video contest


The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus hits the road this fall to help keep music education strong in six of NAMM Foundation’s Best Communities for Music Education. The tour includes SupportMusic Forums and Lennon Bus residencies. During the residencies, students will have the unique opportunity to write, record, and produce original songs and music videos. The NAMM Foundation will host a SupportMusic Community Forum at each school inviting educators, NAMM members and community leaders to galvanize local support for music education.

The NAMM Foundation invited schools named as 2015 Best Communities for Music Education, and recipients of the SupportMusic Merit Award, to submit a one-minute video. For a shot at a Lennon Bus residency, students creatively highlighted the strength of their music programs through the theme ‘What Makes Music Education Great in My School’. The videos featured everything from clowns in bands, to a teen whose life was comically dependent on a small keyboard.

The McKeesport Area School District has been named as one of the six schools to host a Lennon Bus residency.  You can view McKeesport’s winning video here.

“The passion that students have for music resonates so clearly through these videos,” said Mary Luehrsen, executive director of the NAMM Foundation. “The NAMM Foundation is honored to put a spotlight on these standout music programs and music teachers, and lend inspiration to these talented students as they continue to journey down their musical paths.”

Students will spend the first day of the residency creating a music video project in the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus’ mobile recording studio. On day two, the NAMM Foundation will host a national SupportMusic Community Forum webcast that will share the successes and challenges of each school’s music education program. The forum will also present strategies to shore up support for music education within a school or district’s core curriculum.

Anyone is welcome to watch the McKeesport Community Forum webcast live at or join us live at McKeesport High School on October 15th from 8:30 am to 10:15 am. Progressive Music’s own Mark Despotakis will host the live webcast which will include student performances and special guests!


Inspiration from the Lennon Bus will play on after each stop thanks to generous donations by NAMM member companies. The instrument and equipment donations total more than $3,500 per school and include gear from Audio-Technica, Epiphone, Genelec, Mackie, Other World Computing (OWC), Neutrik, Yamaha and ZVEX Effects.

The SupportMusic Community Forums and Lennon Bus residencies kick off this month in McKeesport, PA, with stops in Waxhaw, NC and in Miami, FL. The Spring tour resumes in February 2016.

McKeesport, PA – Oct. 14 & 15 – McKeesport Area High School
Waxhaw, NC – Oct. 19 & 20 – Cuthbertson High School
Miami, FL – Oct. 28 & 29 – Miami-Dade County School Board Administration Building
San Diego, CA – Feb. 1 & 2 – Crown Point Junior Music Academy
Oklahoma City, OK – Mar. 28 & 29 – Santa Fe South Charter School
St. Croix Falls, WI – Apr. 7 & 8 -St. Croix Falls School District

The NAMM Foundation invites NAMM members to participate in local forums, to tour the Lennon Bus and to share the winning videos.


About Progressive Music 
Progressive Music is a business with a mission to enrich the quality of life serving as a cultural and community center for all who make music for a living or personal enjoyment, regardless of age of ability. Progressive Music is the link between the public and suppliers of quality musical merchandise. The Progressive Music staff are professionals whose expertise assist, guide, and motivate people in the selection of music industry products as well present music education to the public through lessons, seminars and advocacy. Progressive Music is committed to their products with an experienced and knowledgeable service center.  To learn more, visit or visit Progressive Music on FacebookTwitter or YouTube.

About The NAMM Foundation
The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit organization funded in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its 9,900 members. The Foundation’s mission is to advance active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs. For more information about the NAMM Foundation, please visit

About The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus 
The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus is a non-profit, state-of-the-art mobile Pro Audio and HD video recording facility that provides hands-on experiences for students of all ages. In its 17th year of touring, the Lennon Bus features the latest audio and video technology, gear and music products. The concept began as an offshoot of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, which is dedicated to providing opportunities for both professional and amateur songwriters around the world. The Bus travels across the U.S. and Canada year-round, providing free tours and workshops at schools, retailers, festivals, on tours with headlining artists, and at major industry conferences. Lennon Bus Europe began providing these same opportunities to the young people of Europe when it launched in Liverpool, UK in May 2013. For more information please visit

The Bus is made possible by Yoko Ono Lennon and the following sponsors and contributors: Apple, Montblanc, Sony, Neutrik, Avid, Yamaha, Musician’s Friend, Gibson, Epiphone, NAMM, Adobe, OWC, Sonnet Technologies, True Religion, SESAC, Genelec, Vox, NewTek, TodoCast, LiveU, Mobile Roadie, Audio-Technica, DJI, Ableton, JamHub, Mackie, Ampeg, Digital Media Academy, UNESCO, Litepanels, Manfrotto, Clear-Com, Anton/Bauer, AJA, Solid State Logic, Digital Rapids, SKB, New Bay Media, Copperpeace, Apogee, Applied Acoustics Systems, McDSP, Native Instruments, IK Multimedia, Noise Industries, iZotope, JDI, Mad Mimi, and Boingo.