Frequently Asked Questions

Wanna Play? is a public education campaign designed by NAMM to raise awareness of the many benefits of music making and inspire people of all ages and talent levels to become active music makers.

Wanna Play? was designed by NAMM, the not-for-profit trade association for the international music products industry. NAMM is comprised of over 9,000 local musical instrument/products stores, manufacturers and affiliates. NAMM’s members believe in music and wanted to develop a program focused on improving peoples’ lives by connecting them with music making.

Three reasons:

  1. For decades, NAMM has funded scientific research to explore the relationship between music making and health, wellness and the brain. We know making music is not only fun, it can enrich people’s lives in many way
  2. A recent Gallup Poll survey showed that 82 percent of Americans who don't currently play an instrument wish they had learned to play one.
  3. Independent music retailers told us they saw a need – these music stores are considered by many to be the epicenter of music culture in local communities around the country.

There are many health and social benefits from music making. From a health perspective, music has been found to: enhance cognitive development in children, exercise the brain, help fight memory loss, reduce stress, lower blood pressure and even stave off depression. Some of the social benefits of music making include: inspiring creativity, increasing productivity, building confidence and creating social connections/bonds.

Your local NAMM member retailer can help you select your instrument, provide lessons, and connect you with local peer groups. Click on "Find a Music Retailer" on the top left-corner of the page or the top navigation menu. Simply enter your zip code and your closest retailer will be displayed.

Many local music retailers actually offer lessons, can recommend instructors, and introduce you to learning groups and programs. Find your closest NAMM member retailers by clicking on "Find a Music Retailer" on the top left-corner of the page or the top navigation menu.

The ability to make music is in everyone. For artists that have been playing for 40 years or just starting at the age of 40, making music is fun and beneficial. And, the best part is that the more music you make the better you will become.

Playing a musical instrument has proven to increase cognitive development in children, build confidence, create social connections, inspire creativity, and initiate a life-long hobby.

It really depends on the interest and aptitude of the teen. Some people are more drawn to rhythm or percussion instruments, some like guitar, some love the sound of a piano and some love to re-mix tunes together and scratch a turntable. As long as they’re playing an instrument that they want to play, they will probably enjoy playing it.

Being in the school band is not only cool, it is linked to higher test scores and a lower drop-out rate. And, don’t forget about the famous rocks stars that were once a member of their school band such as Flea and Chad Smith from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nick Cannon, Chad Kroger from Nickelback, Sheila E, Stephen Perkins and tons more.

The gift of music is perfect for everyone at any age. For the teen that is looking to take their MP3 player to the next level give them software that teaches beginning and intermediate guitar through videos, such as iPlayMusic. For the adult that is just now starting or revisiting music making, give Guitar for Dummies kit, an instruction book along with a beginner guitar, or give all-in-one drum kits such as Musicorp's Percussion Plus. For the elderly, a small keyboard or woodwind instrument are good gifts to ignite a musical passion and keep the mind sharp.

Absolutely. Many percussion instruments can be played right out of the box without knowing a note. And plenty of talented musicians play “by ear” as opposed to reading music. The important thing is that you enjoy making music no matter how you choose to do it.

It is never too late to start making music. Whether you are playing with a community group, starting up a band of "Weekend Warriors", or just making music recreationally, playing an instrument is beneficial at all ages.

Visit your local NAMM member retailer and ask them about NAMM's Weekend Warriors program for a place to practice with other adult musicians of all levels and a musical "coach" to help the band succeed..

Everyone knows music is fun and provides entertainment and enjoyment, but not all know that music making has been scientifically proven to: exercise the brain, fight memory loss, reduce stress, lower blood pressure, stave off depression, and enhance cognitive development in children.

The elderly are turning to music to exercise their mind and increase memory, to stave off depression, and for social and group interaction, proving it is never too late to start making music.

For the elderly to find opportunities to start making music, at any skill level or age, go to or stop by your local NAMM Member community music store.

NAMM doesn’t believe in an either or scenario. Music has a positive and fundamental place in anyone’s life, no matter what age. From young children to teenagers, playing a musical instrument has proven to increase cognitive development in children, build confidence, create social connections, inspire creativity and initiate a life-long hobby.

NAMM is a proponent of music making and believe there is a niche for all types of tastes in music. And they certainly seem to love what they do and don’t seem very stressed out. Must be playing all that music.

As the ambassador of the Wanna Play? Campaign, Gavin will play a vital role in educating consumers about the benefits of music making. Additionally, he will play a pivotal partnership in helping to recruit other artists, producers and celebrities to help raise the dialogue and ultimately the participation in music making around the country. To watch a video interview with Gavin, click here.