NMAAM, CMA Foundation partner to expand songwriting education in Metro Nashville Public Schools

Posted at 12:37 PM, Apr 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-07 21:49:11-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM) and the CMA Foundation have announced a partnership that will bring the museum’s collaborative project, Music Legends & Heroes, to select high schools within Metro Nashville Public Schools.

The partnership will bring musicians including Breland, Willie Jones, Reyna Roberts and Tiera to schools as mentors with the goal of engaging students in learning the impact of African Americans on music and songwriting.

“NMAAM and the CMA Foundation have long shared the same mission of supporting Nashville schools through extensive music education and programs, so this partnership was a natural fit,” said Tamar Smithers, NMAAM director of Education and Public Programs. “Through our Museum Without Walls program, NMAAM has already reached more than 132,000 individuals through our programming, and we hope this is just the beginning of our work with the CMA Foundation to share our message across the city.”

MNPS says the following schools are involved: Pearl-Cohn, Whites Creek, Hume-Fogg, Nashville School of the Arts, and Antioch High School.

"By seeing people come and visit our school who look like our students and same experiences as our students is so awesome to make connections and say you can do this and there are people who are doing this that look just like you," said Frank Zimmerer, director of bands at Antioch High School.

Music Legends & Heroes will end in June with a songwriting contest for participants to write a song with their class based on Black history and Black musicians, artists or activists.

The program is expected to reach more than 200 students across Nashville.