Kellie Pickler assisted the Country Music Association in donating $1,066,632 to benefit music education programs in Nashville’s public schools during a student concert Tuesday night (Dec. 8) at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center.
With funds generated by the annual CMA Music Festival in Nashville, the CMA has now donated a total of $3.3 million to the school system through its Keep the Music Playing program. In partnership with the Nashville Alliance for Public Education, the money has been used to build music labs and purchase more than 2,500 instruments for Metro Nashville Public Schools.
Pickler attended the concert to make the check presentation and introduce some of the performers selected from 137 elementary, middle and high school schools.
“It’s wonderful to be in a position as an artist where I’m able to work closely with the CMA Music Festival,” Pickler told CMT Insider. “At the end of the day, the proceeds go to the kids and providing them with musical instruments and musical arts.”
The student performers at the concert impressed Pickler at several levels.
“Watching the kids up there tonight, it was so magical to just see them doing something positive,” she said. “Music not only replaces the bad, it builds you as a person. It builds your character, and it’s healing. It’s definitely molded me into the person that I am today.”
Pickler commended her fellow artists and the CMA for their work during the festival that takes place each June in downtown Nashville.
“The CMA Music Festival is amazing,” she said. “That week, it’s all about the fans and really embracing the thing that brought us all together — and that’s the music.”
Noting that she enjoyed attending Tuesday’s event, she said, “This has really been a wonderful evening to be able to see the kids light up when they see that big ol’ check. They know they’re going to get some new instruments and have access to what they love.”