orchestra students Nashville CMA foundationThe CMA Foundation has donated another $1.4 million to benefit music education programs for Nashville’s public schoola through its “Keep the Music Playing” campaign, bringing the total to more than $6.1 million.

This money, raised during CMA Music Festivals, has been used to build music labs and purchase more than 4,000 instruments, and much needed supplies for 80 Metro Nashville Public Schools.

Keep the Music Playing, now in its sixth year serving 78,000 students, raises money from the hundreds of Country artists who perform and make appearances at the CMA Music Festival for free.

The $1.4 million donation includes $200,000 for the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum’s “Words & Music” program established in 2007, which assists language arts and music teachers with classroom instruction in the basics of songwriting.

Studies show students who participate in the arts are more likely to graduate. Metro’s performing arts students have a 96 percent graduation rate compared to 76 percent for the general population. The music programs keep the students engaged in high school, but the musical training also provides access to potential college scholarships so these students can further their education and earn degrees.

The new grants were announced during the third annual All Stars Concert that honors the best elementary, middle, and high school performance groups selected from 133 Metro Nashville Public Schools.

“Putting instruments in the hands of children is one of the most important initiatives undertaken by CMA on behalf of our artists,” said Steve Moore, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “Supporting music education is an investment in the future of our city and our industry. It is an honor to nurture these young performers and provide them with the resources and opportunities they need and deserve.”

Nashville students with music Country star -CMAFoundation photo“Nashville is blessed with a lot of people and organizations that put resources toward our public schools and improving education in our city, but I can think of no other organization that takes dollars and uses them to put resources directly in the hands of our students on the scale that the CMA does every year,” said Mayor Dean. “It is truly an amazing gift that’s providing all of our students with the opportunity to succeed.”

Chevrolet kicked off a two-year commitment to Keep the Music Playing by donating a 2012 Camaro convertible, which is currently being auctioned on CMA’s website, CMAworld.com. The hood of the Camaro was signed by all of the celebrities walking the Red Carpet at the 2011 CMA Awards. Awards co-host Brad Paisley was the first to sign the hood live on ABC’s “Good Morning America”. (Photo, below, Taylor Swift signing)

Taylor Swift signs Camaro for CMAFoundation“The Keep the Music Playing All Stars Concert puts on display the many musical talents of Metro Nashville Public School students and it is direct proof of how young musicians can reach their potential when provided with the necessary resources,” Moore said. Without the instrument donations, the quantity and quality of these programs would be diminished.

2012 CMA Music Festival will be held Thursday through Sunday, June 7-10. Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Faith Hill, Lady Antebellum, Brad Paisley, The Band Perry, Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood, and Zac Brown Band have already been announced as performers, with more to be announced in the coming weeks.

Tickets are available now, call 1-800-CMA-FEST (262-3378); visit www.CMAfest.com

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