Nashville Updates Music Classes For Public Schools - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Nashville Updates Music Classes For Public Schools

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(Image courtesy MNPS) (Image courtesy MNPS)
(Image courtesy MNPS) (Image courtesy MNPS)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Nashville city and business leaders want to keep the music playing in public schools in Music City USA through a new curriculum that will incorporate new musical genres and production technology into the classroom.

Mayor Karl Dean and Jesse Register, director of Metro Nashville Public Schools, announced the "Music Makes Us" program on Friday on the stage of the historic Ryman Auditorium.

"I want to thank Dr. Register and our school board for their commitment to music education and recognizing the overall critical role it plays in academic education of students," said Mayor Dean.

While keeping traditional orchestras, marching bands and choir, students could soon be learning about songwriting and composition, performing in rock and rap bands, and experimenting with recording and remixing.

At the Nashville School for the Arts, more than two dozen music related classes have had a positive influence on education.

"It's been a great experience for me and I can say I've learned a lot more than before I came," said student David Overstreet.

NSA has a 97 percent graduation rate and divided $3.5 million in scholarships among May graduates.

Educators have long said these are proven benefits of music education.

"Those of us in the music industry have been advocating and supporting music education for decades," said Angie Shapiro with the Music Education Committee.

New classes in songwriting, like the one at NSA, and technology based production and recording are all part of the new plan.

"Music programs engage students who might otherwise lose interest, a band or a singing group can give students a good peer group, an adult supervision. A great place to bond in the school," said Dr. Register.

"Music Makes Us" was developed through the Metro Council, and will be implemented in every Nashville public school by next year making it the premiere program in the country.

A new music director for the school system will be hired this year with new classes starting in 2012. Benefactors include Martha Ingram, Mike Curb of Curb Records and the Gibson Foundation, the charitable arm of Gibson Guitar Corp.

(The Associated Press Contributed To This Report.)

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