Taylor Swift visiting with elementary school students? Now that’s a permission slip I would gladly have signed. I might have even agreed to chaperone.
Last week, a group of students from Lascassas Elementary School in Lascassas, Tenn., took a field trip to the Taylor Swift Education Center at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in downtown Nashville. That alone is a worthy outing.
But this time, Swift actually made a surprise appearance. And Donna Cowan, one of the fourth grade teachers at the school, told CMT.com about the experience.
“For several years now, we have incorporated songwriting into our poetry lessons at school,” Cowan said. “Our music teacher, Mr. Brecht, has also been helping the students with rhyme and rhythm. We email our songs to the Hall the week before we come, and a songwriter chooses a select few to put to music. The students love it.”
So once the teachers and students and chaperones gathered to hear which of their lyrics the songwriter put to music, the show went on until the songwriter was asked to take a break.
“The songwriter then stepped to the side and in walked Taylor Swift,” Cowan said. “The students went crazy! They were yelling and screaming, and their faces were turning red.
“Ms. Swift talked to the children, allowed them to ask a few questions and asked for a song request. The students asked her to sing ’We Are Never Getting Back Together.’ They all sang along with her as she played and sang.”
Another teacher there that day was Baillie Malone, who said Swift was at the museum to drop off 13 brand new guitars for the education center.
“Her guitar donations showed the students how great it is to donate and spread your wealth,” Malone said.
But even greater than the generous guitar donation is the inspiration she gave the students that day.
“She mentioned songwriting multiple times when she asked the students what their songs were about. She related her songs to their songs,” Malone reported. “Since we have gotten back, I have started to see more songs being written in my students’ writing journals instead of just all stories.”
Cowan said that after that impromptu singalong, Swift took a group photo with the students and gave them all guitar picks to take home.
“The students talked about it the whole way home on the bus,” Cowan said. “It is something they will never forget.”
Like … ever.