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CMA Music Teacher of Excellence Award Program Celebrates Music Educators in Nashville
For the first time in the nation, 50 music teachers from one district are being recognized for their dedication to their students, commitment to teaching, and their undeniable role in enriching the community and their individual schools.
The inaugural CMA Music Teacher of Excellence honors were held Tuesday night at City Winery in Nashville and hosted by CMA Award-winner Brett Eldredge, who is also a member of the CMA Board of Directors. Each Teacher of Excellence received a $2,000 grant from the CMA Foundation.
“We are proud to recognize these educators and their unique contributions to public education in Music City,” said Interim Director of Schools Chris Henson. “Our music teachers are an invaluable asset to the educational opportunities available to Metro Schools students, who benefit from the dedicated efforts and commitment these educators demonstrate.”
“I have taught elementary music in Metro Nashville Public Schools for almost 14 years, and over the years I have seen new instruments come into my classroom made possible by CMA,” said Josh Wright, a music teacher at McGavock Elementary School. “This year [CMA] has gone above and beyond by providing outstanding professional development and community recognition. I was selected as a CMA Music Teacher of Excellence this year, and I feel almost as if I had won a CMA Award! I am a better teacher because of you.”
The $100,000 in teacher grants comes from the CMA Foundation’s $1 million donation to Metro Nashville Public Schools, which brings giving to the school system to $10 million in the past 10 years. The honors program was created in partnership with Metro Schools’ Music Makes Us initiative as a result of a study released in 2015 that focused on the needs and challenges of music educators in the district.
To date, CMA and the CMA Foundation have donated more than $13.68 million to 30 music education initiatives across the country, reaching 1 million students.
Studies show students who participate in the arts are more likely to graduate, have better attendance rates, and higher GPAs than students not enrolled in arts classes. The CMA Foundation recognizes the importance of music education in keeping kids engaged and in school as well as providing access to higher education through scholarships.
CMA created the non-profit 501(c)(3) CMA Foundation in 2011. Guided by the generosity of the Country Music community, the CMA Foundation focuses on improving and sustaining music education programs everywhere while supporting worthwhile causes important to the Country Music Association. For more information, visit CMAfoundation.org.
All photos this page: Kayla Schoen/CMA