Stephanie Brown Howe, the vice president of Tacoma-based company Ted Brown Music, is heading to Washington, D.C. to advocate for comprehensive music education programs in schools.

Howe and almost 100 other delegates from the music industry will participate in events during the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) annual Music Education Fly-In from May 21-24. Howe will meet with lawmakers and members of Congress to push for the funding of school music programs and to discuss the benefits of access to quality music education. She will also participate in advocacy training both at the national and state levels.

“Music education is an incredibly important part of any child’s life, and more research is coming out to support that,” Howe said. “It’s a passion that drives me and everyone else at Ted Brown Music.”

According to a study by Northwestern University, music classes can actually increase brain function and help students to focus and process sounds, skills that can help them to become better overall learners.

Founded in 1931, Ted Brown Music now has six stores across the state. The company’s nonprofit organization, Ted Brown Music Outreach, received a SupportMusic Advocacy Award from NAMM in 2014. The nonprofit works to provide instruments for children who want to play, but can’t afford them.