Kelsea Ballerini and the CMA Foundation Support Music Education in Nashville

$1 Million Grant Supports Music Programs in Local Schools

New Grammy nominee Kelsea Ballerini spent part of her Tuesday (Dec. 6) with the CMA Foundation and local government officials at Nashville’s Oliver Middle School to present a $1 million grant to support music education in local public schools.

Proceeds reflect funds raised from the annual CMA Music Festival. In partnership with Metro Nashville Public Schools, the charity initiative Music Makes Us and the Nashville Public Education Foundation, the CMA Foundation’s grant will go directly toward providing instruments and teacher support impacting more than 89,000 students.

“I think it is so important to give kids the opportunity to learn what they are passionate about,” Ballerini said in a press release. “When I was in middle and high school I took as many chorus and theater classes as I could, and I use the tools I learned then in my career today.”

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 06:  Singer-songwriter Kelsea Ballerini performs a song for the Oliver Middle School wind Ensemble during the CMA Foundation's Announcement of a $1 million donation to the Metro Nashville public schools 'Music makes us' progam at Oliver Middle School on December 6, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images) Terry Wyatt/Getty Images

Research from Music Makes Us shows that students who are enrolled in music programs have higher test scores, graduation rates, grade point averages and better attendance records than students who are not.

In 2017, the CMA Foundation has earmarked a record $3.1 million to 44 in- and after-school music education programs across the country. To date, the foundation’s total contributions are $17.5 million, including the new grant.

Lauren Tingle is a Tennessean and storyteller who eats music for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When she’s not writing or rocking out, she enjoys yoga and getting lost in the great outdoors.