Veteran Nashville songwriter Bob DiPiero, who has written hits for George Strait and many others, was onstage Thursday (Nov. 10) in New York to introduce songs he co-wrote with four fifth grade students who participated in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum's Words & Music program. The event at Talented Unlimited High School is one of the country music-related activities leading up to Tuesday night's (Nov. 15) CMA Awards show at Madison Square Garden. Students from the boroughs of Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island have been participating in the Words & Music program that teaches songwriting to young people. DiPiero first performed "Driving Down the Highway," an up-tempo song featuring lyrics from three female students from the fifth grade. Another fifth-grader provided the lyrics for the more moody "Climbing the Crystal Stairs." Nashville Star winner Brad Cotter joined DiPiero in offering words of encouragement to the youngsters. Noting that similar programs didn't exist when he was in school, DiPiero said, "I think the teachers who are doing this should have a statue made after them."