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Mayor's Office

Music Education 

Nashville is known nationwide and internationally as Music City. As such, Mayor Karl Dean believes that Metro Nashville Public Schools should have the best music education program in the world. He sees music and the arts not as a frill, but as an essential component of a well-rounded education for every student. 

Multiple studies indicate that students with a strong music education background score higher on their SATs, have improved memory and outperform their non-musical peers. Music instruction also increases students’ mental flexibility and reasoning skills, improving their ability to solve math and science problems.

Music Makes Us: The Nashville Music Education Project 

In 2009, Mayor Karl Dean began exploring how to create a world-class music education program in our public schools that is completely unique to Nashville and takes advantage of the vast resources and talent available here. The work was done in partnership with the education committee of the Music City Music Council, a coalition of music professionals and executives the mayor convened to promote and grow the music industry in Nashville. 

Two years later, after extensive work and research, Mayor Dean and Metro Schools announced Music Makes Us: The Nashville Music Education Project, a revolutionary new approach to music education that includes new contemporary curriculum and technologies, but also builds on and improves traditional music curriculum in band, orchestra and choir. 

Music Makes Us infuses new life into the music education program in Metro Schools. Immediate improvements included new classes in songwriting and composition, world percussion, rock band and mariachi and technology-based production such as recording and hip hop at middle schools and high schools. 

The initiative will also include professional development and internship opportunities in the music industry for students. Music Makes Us relies heavily on a partner network of individuals, government agencies, nonprofits, businesses and concert venue operators. As part of the program, students will be given more opportunities to perform at the many live music venues in Nashville. 

Supported strongly by the music industry, major benefactors thus far include Martha Ingram, Mike Curb, founder of Curb Records, and the Gibson Foundation, the charitable division of Gibson Guitar Corp, Warner Music Nashville, and The Recording Academy’s Producers and Engineers Wing. Music Makes Us also builds on and enhances Keep the Music Playing, a program by the Country Music Association that provides instruments for Metro school students through the generosity of country music artists. 

For more information visit the official Music Makes Us webpage.