December 24, 2000

To celebrate its 100th anniversary, NAMM International Music Products Association and Sesame Workshop will kick-off the Sesame Street Music Works initiative at NAMM's annual convention with a live performance by Sesame Street's Big Bird and Bob McGrath. The educational, multiple media public service initiative will help children make music, help parents and educators understand the role of music in children's development, and create opportunities to use music to help children learn. It is being developed in response to mounting research that links early engagement in active music making with a child's capacity to learn and grow.

"At Sesame Workshop, we believe in music's special ability to inspire, delight, and educate children. For over 30 years, music has contributed to Sesame Street's unique power to engage children in new ideas and learning, and connect them in a fundamental way with cultures around the world," said Sesame Workshop's President & CEO Gary Knell. "Sesame Street Music Works is the core of a company-wide focus, including a curriculum concentration on music and the arts during the 32nd and 33rd seasons of Sesame Street, which began on January 1st."

"Many parents and caregivers are not aware of the key role music can play in their child's development and the ease with which they can facilitate their child's growth through the use of music. By beginning early and building on a preschool child's innate response to music, a parent or caregiver can provide the opportunity to enhance learning while instilling an early love of music and music making," said NAMM's President & CEO Larry Linkin. "This project is NAMM's largest investment in promoting music to help children learn."

Sesame Street Music Works is planned as a three-year initiative, centering on children birth to 5 and their adult caregivers and employing Sesame Street themes, music, and characters to convey that:

* children grow and learn with music;

* everyone, everywhere can celebrate with music;

* we express ourselves through music; and

* children learn about music by enjoying and making music.

NAMM is the founding sponsor of the program, making it possible to develop and produce an educational media toolkit that will reach millions of children and adults through music retailers, public TV stations, and early childhood organizations later this year. All elements, to be created in English and Spanish, will help parents and caregivers understand the role of music in a young child's cognitive, social, emotional, linguistic and physical development. While dispelling the notion that parents or caregivers must be 'musicians' in order to provide their children with quality musical experiences, the project will help adults understand how to use music as a learning tool during every day moments with their child.

The project, which is in its initial phase, is receptive to additional sponsors and strategic partners. The goal is to develop a comprehensive project that has numerous components, all that encourage the love of music making in children, and has international appeal to further celebrate the universal language of music.

The NAMM International Music Products Association will host its annual Winter Session at the convention center in Anaheim, CA from January 18th to 21st, 2001. Over 62,000 industry attendees and nearly 1,300 exhibitors are expected to attend. The event is widely regarded as the industry's paramount annual conference, bringing together music instrument manufacturing and sales executives to discuss the challenges of the highly competitive international marketplace.

Sesame Workshop, a not-for-profit educational organization, creates innovative and engaging content to help all children reach their highest potential. For more than 30 years, the Workshop has been a global pioneer in educating and entertaining children through multiple media. The organization grounds its work in research to understand how media helps children learn, develop and grow. Best known as the creators of Sesame Street and Dragon Tales airing on PBS, the Workshop continues to break new ground with Noggin, the only 24-hour kids' thinking channel. Find the Workshop online at http://www.sesameworkshop.org.

NAMM, founded in 1901, is the international voice of the music products industry, representing more than 7,500 retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers and publishers in the United States and more than 100 other countries, all dedicated to increasing active participation in music-making. It supports a variety of educational programs as well as the ongoing scientific research into the way music affects intelligence, cognitive development and wellness, especially among young children.

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