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In this month's Music Makes Us newsletter, read how the December performances went, learn more about the Board's resolution committing to music education and see a musical calendar of events.




Music Makes Us Newsletter

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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.

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We want to give a big shout out to Lakeview Elementary Design Center and W.H. Oliver Middle School, both of which were awarded Music Makes Us education grants from the Nashville Singers. Check out the news release below.





Lakeview Design Center & Oliver Middle School Receive Music Education Grants from The Nashville Singers, Inc.


Nashville, TN - Lakeview Design Center and W.H. Oliver Middle School were each announced as recipients of a $500.00 Music Makes a Difference music education grant from Nashville Singers in May of this year. The formal presentation took place at the Nashville Singers annual Season of Harmony concert on November 17 at Hillsboro High School. 


Since being founded in November of 2008, the philanthropic mission of Nashville Singers has been to enrich lives through support of music education in our schools and the community. To support this mission, the chorus funds several programs, including a free singing lessons program entitled Acappella Academy, music education grants, middle and high school master classes, and the Educator of the Future college scholarship created for students pursuing a music education degree.


Upon hearing the announcement, Carol Crittenden, Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator for Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) remarked, "The Nashville Singers have not only been an incredible financial support for grant recipients in Metro Schools, but the members have also given of their time and talents to support our music students. This is the type of commitment and partnership we greatly value."



Jay Steele, Associate Superintendent for MNPS High Schools added, "A rich curriculum that includes the arts is very important for all students in Nashville and MNPS is very fortunate to have such supportive partners like the Nashville Singers."



Kim Marie Folsom of Lakeview Design Center stated, "I am so thankful for the Nashville Singers, who provide help for students in need, through music education. They realize that music teaches math, language, history, reading and science in a fun environment. I am so grateful for their support."



Franklin J. Willis of Oliver Middle School added, "The Oliver Middle School community advocates in the importance of music education in students' lives. Receiving this award not only serves as monetary gain to fund the new chorus program, but motivation to meet the challenge of engaging students in finding their own voice through music. It is truly an honor to be a recipient of the Nashville Singer's Music Makes a Difference Grant. I look forward to future collaborations with Nashville Singers and the Oliver Middle School Chorus."  


Other dignitaries on hand for the presentation and concert included Laurie Schell, Director of the Music Makes Us education project, Margaret Campbelle-Holman, Executive Director of Choral Arts Link, and Peter Bird, President and CEO of the Frist Foundation.


About Nashville Singers


In their first four years, this volunteer group has grown from four to 15 singers, learned 42 songs, released their first CD, racked up 50 performances for 32 organizations in seven counties across Tennessee, and produced a successful concert series which attracted attendees from 36 cities in eight states across the USA. Their concert audiences have ranged in size from a few hundred to 4000 people. Their diverse repertoire spans many genres. Their philanthropic mission is to enrich lives through support of music education in our schools and the community. This support comes in the form of music education grants, college scholarships, master classes in area schools, and an annual free singing lessons program called Acappella Academy. Nashville Singers has awarded $2500 in music education grants and scholarships in the last two years. The Nashville Singers, Inc. is recognized by the IRS as a tax-exempt 501(c)3 non-profit organization. For more information about Nashville Singers, visit them online at www.nashvillesingers.org.

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Mariachi offered at Wright Middle, Glencliff High as part of the Music Makes Us education program


Music education in Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools is becoming even richer this year with the launch of a mariachi program at Wright Middle and Glencliff High Schools as part of the Music Makes Us music education project. Alan Lambert, an experienced mariachi educator, is the mariachi program director.



"Mariachi music is what gives Mexico and its people its identity. It is vibrant and passionate like no other music in the world. The young and old love it just the same and feel so proud to be able to express themselves in this great country that gives them the opportunity to learn the music in the schools," said Grammy-winning mariachi artist Jose Hernandez. "I have seen it change lives and look forward to seeing this genre blossom in the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools under the leadership of Alan Lambert who is well-known for developing quality mariachi programs in Texas."



Lambert brings his passion for music and education to Metro Schools from the Grand Prairie (Texas) Independent School District where he was the director of the district’s mariachi program for grades 6-12. Under his leadership, the district’s mariachi program expanded from two to 11 campuses and his students performed at venues ranging from school auditoriums and nursing homes to the Texas State Fair and Cowboy Stadium.



“I am excited about the mariachi program in Metro Schools. Our mariachi students will make wonderful music, but I expect much more than that. I have high standards for their academic success and community service,” Lambert said. “I want students to earn top honors at music competitions and to continue their educations after high school graduation.” 



Music Makes Us: The Nashville Music Education Project is a public/private partnership among Metro Schools, Mayor Karl Dean,The Recording Academy and music industry leaders in Nashville. The initiative is moving Metro Schools beyond a traditional performance-based music curriculum to an expanded curriculum that includes diverse music genres. The vision is for music instruction that is sequential, high quality and relevant to the learning interests and needs of pre-K-12 students.



“Music Makes Us is very fortunate indeed to have a music educator the caliber of Alan Lambert offering a mariachi program at Glencliff and Wright,” said Nancy Shapiro, senior vice president with The Recording Academy. “It is the first of many new classes that will make music education in Music City the best in the nation. We welcome Mr. Lambert and thank him for sharing mariachi with our students. It will be an enriching and life-changing experience for them.”



An El Paso native, Lambert started and led the first All-Region Mariachi program in North Texas sanctioned by the Texas Music Education Association. His students’ musical excellence was noted in performances at the Mexican consulate and the Latino Cultural Center.



Lambert served as a volunteer, board member and eventually a teacher for the non-profit Creative Planet School of the Arts in California before joining the faculty at Wilson High School in East Los Angeles as a special education teacher. Previously, he had a career in marketing, fundraising and operations in the United States and Germany working with AT&T and the New York and Brooklyn Philharmonics.



Lambert received a bachelor’s degree in music from Texas Tech University and a master’s degree in music from New Mexico State University. He holds a music education certificate from California State University and an educational leadership and principal certificate from the University of Texas.



The Metro Schools mariachi program was introduced in May with concert performances from Jose Hernandez and from the Veterans Juvenil de America Mariachi. Mariachi is a term used to describe a group of strolling musicians performing a style of Mexican music, a member of such a band and their music.



Wright Middle School is a zoned middle school at 180 McCall Street off Nolensville Road. Nearby Glencliff High School is also a zoned school at 160 Antioch Pike.



Music Makes Us is under the overall direction of Jay Steele, associate superintendent of high schools. The staff also includes Laurie Schell, director; Dr. Nola Jones, music coordinator; and long-time Metro Schools educator Carol Crittenden.

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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.

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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



 


 


 


 




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Music Makes UsMusic permeates Nashville at all levels, and soon it will permeate Nashville public education at all levels, too.

From the stage at the Ryman Auditorium, Mayor Karl Dean, Director of Schools Jesse Register and many community and business leaders in Nashville announced 'Music Makes Us,' a new approach to music education that will reach students in all grades.

Young students will be exposed to all kinds of music from an early age, including jazz, bluegrass, folk, world music. Middle and high school students will be able to take courses in songwriting, DJ & remixing, hip-hop performance and more.

Numerous studies show that music education can boost student performance in many academic areas, as well as increasing motivation for classroom performance and attendance. It encourages students to form close peer groups and foster close adult relationships with teachers. The city will conduct its own study to see the effectiveness of Music Makes Us once its in place.

This program is the product of years of work by a number of partners, including Mayor Dean, Metro Schools, the Music City Music Council and the Nashville Public Education Foundation. Support will continue to come from all sides, including financial support from Nashville's business and musical communities.

There is so much more to share about this project. Check out the page we've created for Music Makes Us to learn all about it.

Read More >>
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