CMA Music Education Initiative Taps Keith Urban As Ambassador

Notes for Notes CEO Phil Gilley, Keith Urban, and Metro Music Specialist at John F. Kennedy Middle School Linda Friend participate in a music education panel during Urban's special appearance on the CMA Close Up stage at AT&T U-verse Fan Fair X during CMA Music Festival Thursday (June 11) in Nashville where he was named the first national ambassador for the CMA Foundation's "Music Education Matters" campaign. Photo: Donn Jones/CMA

(L-R): Notes for Notes CEO Phil Gilley, Keith Urban, and Linda Friend (Metro Music Specialist at John F. Kennedy Middle School) participate in a music education panel on the CMA Close Up stage at AT&T U-verse Fan Fair X during CMA Music Festival Thursday (June 11) in Nashville. Urban was named the first national ambassador for the CMA Foundation’s “Music Education Matters” campaign. Photo: Donn Jones/CMA

CMA and the CMA Foundation unveiled its “Music Education Matters” campaign yesterday (June 11) during CMA Music Fest and announced country artist Keith Urban will be the first national ambassador for the program. The program provides musical instruments and teaching support to programs serving inner-city youth.

“Music is not only powerful, it’s magical,” said Urban. “It has the ability to bring people together, to inspire, calm, enhance creativity and intelligence, and to improve concentration. There is nothing like seeing the genesis of the relationship between an instrument and a child or young adult. I’m so honored and proud that the CMA Foundation has given us this opportunity to be a part of something that can have such a positive effect on so many young lives.”

Urban is contributing 60 Keith Urban guitars complete with amplifiers, strings, and picks to five Music Education Matters partner programs across the country including programs in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Nashville, New York City, and San Francisco. They will be distributed to five separate in-school and after-school programs including Metro Nashville Public Schools, Notes for Notes, Harmony Project, Little Kids Rock (LKR), and Education Through Music.

“Several of these programs have instruments that were provided by the Foundation, but thanks to Keith’s generosity some of our most ambitious and talented students will have a guitar to take home for practice and improving their skills,” said Ron Samuels, Chairman of the CMA Foundation Board of Directors.

“I am extremely grateful for Keith’s generosity and his commitment to advancing music education,” said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “I have witnessed the difference an instrument makes in the development of a child. Just imagine if someone hadn’t put a guitar in Keith Urban’s hands.”

Young performers from Metro Nashville Public Schools—one of the recipient programs—participated in the announcement at the AT&T U-verse® Fan Fair X in the Music City Center. Students from JFK Middle School and Antioch High School surprised Urban with a rendition of his hit, “Days Go By” and four, high school guitar students from Nashville School of the Arts joined Urban and his band for a performance of Urban’s new single “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16.”

The CMA Foundation receives the bulk of the funding to support these and other programs from CMA Music Festival. To date, CMA and the CMA Foundation have donated more than $11 million to this worthy cause on behalf of the artists who perform at the festival for free.

Keith Urban performs with Nashville School of the Arts students Kelly Holmes (left) and Emily Davis (right) during a special appearance on the CMA Close Up stage at AT&T U-verse Fan Fair X during CMA Music Festival Thursday in Nashville. Photo: Donn Jones/CMA

Keith Urban performs with Nashville School of the Arts students Kelly Holmes (left) and Emily Davis (right) during a special appearance on the CMA Close Up stage at AT&T U-verse Fan Fair X during CMA Music Festival Thursday in Nashville. Photo: Donn Jones/CMA

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