Portion Of CMA Music Festival Proceeds Goes Towards Music Education
by Marcus Washington
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A group of Nashville kids will perform in front of 50,000 country music fans at LP Field on Thursday night.
Students at W.O. Smith Music School will sing the national anthem during the first official concert of the CMA Music Festival.
When thousands of people show up for the yearly festival, it generates more than $31-million in visitor spending for Davidson County.
But what this event also does is put music in the lives of thousands of area kids in a way you might not have known.
Jonah Rabinowitz is the executive director of the W.O. Smith Music School in Nashville. The school provides musical instruments, lessons and music camps for lower income kids ages 6 to 18.
"They receive their music, their lessons and their instrument all for 50-cents,” said Rabinowitz.
The reason the music school can provide so much at such a low cost is because of the generosity of the CMA Foundation.
A portion of the money made from the CMA Music Festival goes toward the Keep the Music Playing program funded by the foundation.
Since 2006, more than $9-million has benefited music programs at all Metro Nashville Public Schools and other organizations like W.O. Smith.
"It's not just the money; it's the support of knowing and understanding that the industry cares about youth and about education, and especially music education,” Rabinowitz explained.
"It's incredible and I think it's a true testament that we're doing exactly what we set out to do and that's to change the lives and inspire music among the youth,” CMA Outreach Manager Tiffany Kerns said.
"There’s many different things that keep children engaged, sometimes it's sports, sometimes it's the debate club, others it might be chess or any other activity; well, for a large portion of children, music is an engaging activity,” added Rabinowitz.
Rabinowitz said because of organizations the CMA Foundation they are able to inspire a generation of talent.
"Their participation in the life of this city means a great deal to so many of us and we're just very thankful,” he concluded.
All artists at the music festival perform for free, giving more opportunity for money to go towards music education.