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Music Makes Us engages public school students through music

by Nov. 14, 2012, 5:58 PM

Sweet sounds can be heard in area public schools, thanks to Music Makes Us: The Nashville Music Education Project, an exciting program announced last year by Nashville Mayor Karl Dean.

This fall, Music Makes Us—a partnership among the mayor’s office, the Music City Music Council and the Nashville Public Education Foundation—officially put into action its mission to promote, support and advance student engagement and achievement through robust, high-quality music education programs in Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools.

Gifts can be made to Music Makes Us and other community agencies through Dec. 31, 2012.

At the beginning of the school year, 22 contemporary music curriculum classes were launched in seven MNPS middle schools and six high schools, teaching the fundamentals of guitar/rock, mariachi, country/bluegrass, hip hop and more.

In addition, SmartMusic, interactive music software that provides an ideal practice environment for students and enables greater opportunities for student assessment by teachers, has been purchased for all Metro high schools. The program will be expanded to middle schools in 2013-14.

“It makes sense that the schools in Music City should have the best music education program in the world,” Mayor Karl Dean said. “Quality music education does more than teach students how to play instruments—it fosters an appreciation for the arts, the experience of working as a team and a love of learning. I am so thrilled to watch Music Makes Us grow and thrive in our schools.”

Internship possibilities and real-world experience are also part of the repertoire. Warner Records Nashville is collaborating with 20 student interns from Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School. A recent four-week summer internship included hands-on experience for students in marketing, music videos, song pitching and copyright basics. In the works is the formation of a new student record label and publishing company at Pearl-Cohn, with help from acclaimed acoustic engineer Steven Durr and members of the Producers and Engineers Wing of The Recording Academy.

In the works for Music Makes Us is the formation of a new student record label and publishing company at Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School. (photo courtesy of NPEF)
In the works for Music Makes Us is the formation of a new student record label and publishing company at Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School. (photo courtesy of NPEF)

“We have begun a new era of music education for Metro Schools,” said Director of Schools Jesse Register. “Music Makes Us brings together all the elements that make Nashville the nation’s best city for music. With our team of school, community and music industry leaders, we are working toward our vision of having the nation’s best pre-K through 12 music education program.”

Music Makes Us is also enhancing previously existing programs in Metro public schools. Band programs have been restored in three middle schools, so now all MNPS middle schools have band programs. In addition, new standards-based textbooks have been purchased for all music subjects, including band, orchestra, K-4 general music, guitar, piano, theory and choir.

Music Makes Us is a program of the Nashville Public Education Foundation. NPEF supports programs that build broader and deeper community engagement in public education. Formerly known as the Nashville Alliance for Public Education, it was established by the late Nelson Andrews to secure private philanthropy to support larger, strategic initiatives in public education and prepare every student for college and careers.

How You Can Help

Vanderbilt’s tradition of giving to its neighbors reaches back 90 years. In partnering with four nonprofit federations, hundreds of smaller agencies under their umbrellas receive necessary funding for programs that strengthen communities in Nashville and Middle Tennessee.

These federations are more than just pass-through agencies for employees’ gifts. Instead, they are able to leverage donations with additional grants and partnerships for a greater impact in the community.

Community giving is tax-deductible and continues through Dec. 31. Payroll deduction makes it easy to spread a gift out over 12 months, and deductions begin in January 2013. Visit the Vanderbilt Gives: Building a Community With Hope website for more information about giving options and to make your gift today.

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