Kelsea Ballerini Presents $1M CMA Check to MNPS

Posted at 2:15 PM, Dec 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-06 15:16:03-05

The CMS Foundation has donated $1 million to Metro Schools for music education in the district.

The announcement was made by country-music star Kelsea Ballerini Tuesday morning at Oliver Middle School on Nolensville Road.

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry was on hand, and introduced Ballerini, congratulating her on her Grammy nomination for Best New Artist.

Ballerini addressed the school band, who performed at the announcement, asking the students how many of them listened to music during various parts of their day.

“Music makes us, from the beginning of the day to the end of the day,” said Ballerini. “It all starts when you’re young – in elementary school and middle school and high school.”

She credited her high school choir teacher in Knoxville, Becky Thomas, for instilling the confidence to perform her own songs in front a live audience.

“She was one of the people who let me play a song on stage for the first time that I had written. She was the first person who ever let me play in a musical,” said Ballerini. “It was the first time that someone allowed me to spread my wings and see if I could fly.”

Ballerini talked about the importance of education in music.

“You have to work for it. You have to learn about it. You have to have the education to back up the talent. It’s important to have the drive and the determination, and the brains behind the talent,” she said.