Lindsay Ell Gives Back Through Helping Schoolchildren Write Songs

“I have such a newfound respect for what teachers have been through this past year,” Ell says

Lindsay Ell is helping the Country Music Association Foundation give back to kids, by aiding the organization in celebrating Music in Our Schools Month.

Ell, an artist ambassador for Unified Voices for Music Education (UVfME), recently visited kids (virtually!) at Nashville school Mt. View Elementary, and led a group of fourth grade music students through a virtual songwriting workshop. PEOPLE shared video of Ell leading the schoolchildren through the songwriting process via Zoom.

"When I was able to throw a lesson plan together for the children of Mt. View Elementary, I was 100 percent down to do it,” Ell told PEOPLE. “I asked the teachers, 'Would you think they'd be engaged? Should I give them assignments and let them write their own songs? Or should we write a song together?'" Ell recalled to PEOPLE. "And they were like, 'I think it'd be great if we all wrote a song together.'"

Together, the children chose lyrics that focused on maintaining unity while having to learn in a socially distanced environment during the pandemic. The students played their own pianos at their homes and created lyrics such as 2020 got deep/ Millions of people were crying/ But we won't give up/ We'll keep on trying/ We will all get through this.

Ell also took the time to thank teachers and education administrators for their work in helping children to continue learning in the midst of the pandemic.

"I have such a newfound respect for what teachers have been through this past year. I just thank you for doing such a great, great job because it is a difficult one," Ell said.

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