- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 24, 2002

Elmo the red, furry puppet from the Sesame Street television show was on Capitol Hill yesterday asking lawmakers for $2 million for music education programs in schools.
"Elmo uses music all the time to sing and dance and learn, and even to remember things," Elmo told lawmakers on the House Appropriations subcommittee on labor, health and human services and education.
Elmo and fellow witness Joe Lamond, president of the International Music Products Association, specifically are asking Congress for $1 million for further research into the music-brain connection to determine how music helps children learn.
The pair also are seeking $1 million for initiatives like VH1's "Save the Music," which gathers donated musical instruments to help restore school music programs.
Mr. Lamond said study after study is showing that music education enhances a child's ability to solve math and science problems, and score higher on standardized tests. Some scientists believe there is a link to literacy skills as well.
He was interrupted several times during his testimony by the little puppet, who emphasized how music has helped him.
"Please Congress, help Elmo's friends find the music in them," Elmo pleaded.
He added, "I love you, Congress."
"And my grandchildren love you too, Elmo," said Rep. Ralph Regula, Ohio Republican and the panel's chairman.

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