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Music Makes Us"Within the next three years, all Kindergarten through Grade 12 students in Metro Schools will have opportunities to participate in high quality music instruction..."

In a strong move signaling to the rest of the country the Music City is a leader in arts education, the Board of Education adopted a lengthy resolution not only acknowledging the vital importance of music education, but also commmiting to expanding it.

The resolution was approved Tuesday, January 8. It recognizes the part music education plays in improved test scores, graduation rates and closing the achievement gap. But perhaps more importantly, it also recognizes the other, harder to measure impact music education can have.

...multiple research studies make clear that students who participate in a rigorous, sequential, standards-based visual and performing arts education develop the ability to innovate, communicate, and collaborate...

...such music education in schools improves test scores, increases graduation rates and helps close achievement gaps among student groups...

...research shows music enhances cognitive development in many areas, including verbal skills and social emotional learning...

...research indicates low income students with in-depth music and arts involvement earn better grades, are more likely to attend college, develop greater self esteem and are more engaged in civic affairs...

Read the full resolution

So what will Metro Schools do with all of these facts and this recognition?

Music instruction for all students in all grades.

The act wasn't merely symbolic. It was a distinct recognition of the Music Makes Us program and the work it does. Going even further than that, it was a commitment to stick with the program, expand it and support it whatever ways possible.

Music Makes Us is a collaboration between Metro Schools, the Mayor's Office, and mutliple groups in the community and the music industry. It strives to increase the quality and quantity of music education in our schools with classes that are tied to rigorous academic standards and a more modern approach to music classes.

Learn more about Music Makes Us

The arts play a vital role in academic success, and we are proud to have this renewed commitment as set of guiding principals for music education.


UPDATE! Marcus and Joey will finally make their national debut! Thursday, Dec. 20, a special segment highlighting their time working with Brad Paisley will air during the CMA Country Christmas Special on ABC.

Live television, folks! CMA Week (a.k.a “Country Music’s Biggest Night™”) cast a national spotlight on two Metro high school students – even if they didn’t end up playing with Brad Paisley during the broadcast.

Marcus Wanner, a student at Nashville School of the Arts, and Joey Santoro, a student at Hume-Fogg Magnet High School, were hand-selected to perform with Brad during the The 46th Annual CMA Awards on Thursday. The performance was meant to draw attention to Keep the Music Playing, a program that has donated more than $6.1 million to support music education on behalf of the hundreds of Country Music artists that perform at CMA Music Festival for free.

But the hectic world of live television forced the performance to be cut from the show, though they still had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to rehearse with Brad and appear with him on Good Morning America.

Isaac Litton Middle School, home of the Marching 100, was also to be featured, though that video segment was cut from the broadcast, as well. Teachers Allison Winstein and William McMillan - along with more than twenty students - participated in a video shoot promoting the Keep the Music Playing partnership with MNPS.

Litton was selected to participate for its long and rich history of excellence in music. Litton is now redeveloping its music program as part of its overall school improvement program and in partnership with Music Makes Us, a city-school partnership that aims to reinvigorate music education in Nashville.

“The support and generosity of our Nashville community is remarkable,” said Laurie Schell, director of Music Makes Us. “We are so grateful to the Country Music Association's Keep the Music Playing program for ensuring our students have access to quality musical instruments. Having a good instrument is the first step toward becoming a music-lover for life."

About Keep the Music Playing

Keep the Music Playing is an initiative of the CMA Foundation, which exists to provide financial support to worthwhile causes that are important to the Country Music Association and the Country Music community. The CMA Foundation places special emphasis on serving the needs of CMA's core constituents and nonprofit organizations with initiatives that preserve the legacy of the format, music education, and respond to such other needs that may be identified in the future by the CMA.

Since 2006, KTMP has contributed more than $6.1 million to Metro Nashville Public Schools. The funds have been used to build music labs, provide sound and lighting equipment for school auditoriums, and purchase more than 4,000 instruments for the schools.

About Music Makes Us

Music Makes Us promotes, supports and advances student engagement and achievement through robust, high quality music education with both a traditional music curriculum as well as a contemporary curriculum track that uses new technologies and reflects a diverse musical landscape. A public/private partnership among Metro Nashville Public Schools, Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, and music industry and community leaders in Nashville, Music Makes Us is committed to becoming a worldwide leader in music education, bringing the resources of the Nashville music community together to enable participation and foster student success for all of its 81,000 students.

Building on a model partnership and the generosity of the Country Music Association’s Keep The Music Playing program, Music Makes Us seeks to establish groundbreaking new contemporary curriculum pathways as well as create a strong alignment with the instructional goals of MNPS, enhance existing chorus, band and orchestra programs, facilitate strong partnerships among the business and nonprofit music communities, develop a facilities master plan, and improve the support infrastructure for teachers, students and community partners.


Hey art teachers! The Nossi College of Art has something for you.

Help them design a new tote bag and you could win $500 in art supplies for your classroom.

Full details:

Nossi College of Art believes an arts education is important for all high school students. Because of this, Nossi is hosting Art Makes Cent$, a contest open to all Middle Tennessee art teachers! Win and you will receive a Nossi College of Art goody bag plus a $500 gift card to Plaza Art Materials to help buy art supplies for your classroom.

  • During the 2012/2013 school year, admissions rep Gerald Graves will be contacting Middle Tennessee high school art teachers to participate in Art Makes Cent$.

  • Art teachers should design their Nossi recycled bag, take a picture of the finished design and send the picture to Libby Funke, LFunke@nossi.edu, before March 15, 2013.

  • Photos will be posted to Facebook on March 25, 2013. The contest will run for 2 weeks. Fans from Nossi College of Art’s Facebook page will be asked to vote on their favorite design. The teacher with the most ‘likes’ will receive a $500 gift card to Plaza Art Materials. Use this money to buy art supplies for your classroom!

Want to make sure you receive a Nossi recycled bag? Contact Gerald to schedule a visit with your classroom!

615/514.2787 or GGraves@nossi.edu


Pearl-Cohn Summer demo students, producers, and engineers

Metro students Lagnajita Mukhopadhyay, Jevon and Jordan Donaldson, and Ariell Pryor had the opportunity to work with well-known Nashville musicians to cut artist demos in Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High’s studio. This comes on the heels of Music Makes Us and Warner Music Nashville providing two week summer internships for 20 Pearl-Cohn students, where they learned about the record business first-hand.

Dave Pomeroy, bassist and president of the American Federation of Musicians, along with drummer Craig Krampf, keyboardist Jim “Moose” Brown, and guitarist Gary Burnette provided tracks for the demos. Studio production services were provided by Bob McCracken, audio production teacher at Pearl-Cohn, assisted by Warner Music interns Mario Rosales, Deon’te Jones, Luis Trejo, and Vincent Zirker. At the end of the recording session, each of the students gets a mix of their song. This is the first effort of the new student-run record label at Pearl-Cohn to introduce itself to Metro students who dream of becoming recording artists.

A good time was had by all!


Public-private partnership will make the Metro Schools program the nation’s best

Laurie SchellAfter a nationwide search, Metro Nashville Public Schools has selected the inaugural director of the Music Makes Us education project, Laurie Tobian Schell, who has 25 years of experience as an arts education advocate and leader.

“When school starts August 1, we will also start a new era in music education for Metro Schools,” said Dr. Jesse Register, director of schools. “Laurie Schell brings expertise in both the education and arts policy arenas as well as a passion for music. It’s evident she cares deeply about the success of all our students.”

Schell joins Metro Schools from California, where she served as the executive director of the California Alliance for Arts Education, a statewide policy and advocacy organization, from 2001 – 2011. She garnered a national reputation for innovative, effective leadership for her role in securing $105 million for ongoing state funding for arts education for all 6 million California students in 2006. Most recently, she has worked as founding principal of Laurie Schell Associates, providing consulting services and issue expertise to nonprofits with a focus on the arts and K-12 education.

She holds a bachelor of arts in psychology from Stanford University and a master of arts in liberal studies in dance from Wesleyan University.

“Music Makes Us will transform music education in our city, and Nashville is fortunate to have an innovative leader like Laurie Schell shape this important program,” Mayor Karl Dean said. “She has been a champion in making arts and music a core part of every child’s education in California, and I welcome to Music City her proven ability to work with educators and music industry professionals.”

Music Makes Us: The Nashville Music Education Project is a public/private partnership among Metro Schools, Mayor Karl Dean, the Music City Music Council, and music industry leaders in Nashville. The initiative will move Metro Schools beyond a traditional performance-based music curriculum to an expanded curriculum that includes diverse music genres. New classes in composition, rock band and hip-hop performance will be added, while traditional music curriculum in band, orchestra and choir will be enhanced.

“It is exciting to see the Music Makes Us initiative take shape,” said Nancy Shapiro, vice president of member services for The Recording Academy and an early advocate for Music Makes Us. “Laurie’s hiring is another step toward our goal of making Nashville’s music education program the best in the nation.”

The initiative is under the overall direction of Jay Steele, associate superintendent of high schools, with a community advisory board to be appointed by Mayor Dean and Dr. Register. The staff also includes Dr. Nola Jones, music coordinator, and long-time Metro Schools educator Carol Crittenden. Schell will begin her duties June 15.

About Music Makes Us

Music Makes Us is a new approach to music education in Metro Nashville Public Schools that focuses on enhancing the traditional music curriculum and adding a contemporary curriculum track that uses new technologies and reflects a diverse musical landscape. Reaching 79,000 students in Metro Public Schools, Music Makes Us pledges to make Nashville the worldwide leader in music education. The initiative was announced in 2011 as a partnership among Metro Nashville Public Schools, Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and the Music City Music Council.


Made weekend plans yet? Don't bother! We know what you'll be doing.

Grammy nominated mariachi star José Hernàndez is giving a FREE performance at Glencliff High School this Friday night! He'll be joined by the Veterans Juvenil de America Mariachi Band from Rio Grande City, Texas.

It's all a fundraiser for the Music Makes Us Mariachi program kicking off next year. This new program will bring middle and high school students into the world of mariachi, practicing and performing in school ensembles. Donations will be accepted at this free concert event.

This is a wonderful opportunity to not only enjoy a free concert, but to support a budding music program that could change the lives of young students. Don't miss it!!

La música nos hace Mariachi

Music Makes Us Mariachi Concert






Hume-Fogg junior Erin W. has earned national recognition in The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards of 2012, presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. Erin has been identified by panels of professional artists and writers as one of the most talented young artists in the nation. This year, 200,000 works of art and writing were submitted. Only the top 1,500 were recognized at the national level. These students have been invited to attend a ceremony at the world-famous Carnegie Hall on June 1 and to participate in showcase events at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City. Erin’s painting is titled Onions.


The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, a national nonprofit organization, was established in 1994 to provide guidance and support for the next generation. The Alliance fosters the creative development of youth across the country through the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards program, involving over 75,000 students in grades 7 – 12 each year.

The process begins as young artists and writers submit more than 100,000 creative works to a network of Regional Affiliates that locally administer the awards. The most outstanding works from each of the regions are then sent to New York to be judged on a national level. Since 1923, The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have encouraged more than 13 million students, recognized more than 2.5 million young artists and writers, and distributed more than $25 million in awards and scholarships.

For the 21st consecutive year, Cheekwood partnered with the Alliance to host the regional competition and exhibition for Middle Tennessee. Regional winners are eligible for scholarships and cash prizes, are part of the exhibition at Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art, and have their work sent to New York City for national judging.

The awards reception was held at Cheekwood on January 28th.

Click through for a full list of winners.


December is here and you can't escape those familiar holiday tunes playing in malls, on the radio and TV.

Shake it up this year and escape the old standards by taking in one of the many fine performances by Metro students! Below is a listing of some of the performing arts events happening in Metro Schools in December. If you're looking for the holiday spirit or something a little outside the norm, take your pick and support our young artists!

  • December 1 - Nashville School of Arts - Tastes of the Season - 6:00 PM

  • December 2-3 - Antioch High School Dance Department presents “Cats in Motion” - 7:00 PM

  • December 5 - McKissack Band Concert - 6:30 PM

  • December 8 -Jere Baxter Middle School Fall Band Concert - 5:00 PM

  • December 8 - Dodson Elementary 3rd Grade PTO Show - 6:00 PM

  • December 8 - East Literature Magnet HS Choir Concert - 7:00 PM

  • December 8 - NSA Fall Orchestra Concert - 7:00 PM

  • December 8 - Hillsboro HS Music Department Concert - 7:00 PM

  • December 9 - DuPont Tyler Middle School Band Concert - 7:00 PM

  • December 9-10 - Nashville School of Arts Fall Dance Show - 7:00 PM

  • December 11 - Creswell Dance Department presents “Nutcracker - All Jazzed Up” - 6:00 PM

  • December 12 - Goodlettsville MS Band Concert - 5:30 PM

  • December 12 - Joelton MS Holiday Concert - 5:30 PM

  • December 15 - Eakin Holiday Program - 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM


Save the date! Oct. 27, from 6 - 7:30 p.m., you can shop some of the finest art and jewelry in Nashville. I.T. Creswell Middle Magnet Arts School will host its inaugural Benefit Art Auction. Faculty and staff, as well as community members, have donated one-of-a-kind pieces of art, handmade jewelry, blankets, scarves, ornaments and more to the auction.

While there, guests will also enjoy a student art exhibit, face painting, and hot chocolate. All proceeds benefit the school's art program and will be used to purchase art supplies. If you would like to donate an item to the auction, contact Carrie Bryant at carrie.bryant@mnps.org, or 291.6515 ext. 1213.

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