By John Jurgensen, The Wall Street Journal
Nashville bills itself as Music City–now it’s trying to lock in the future of that status. The city is overhauling its music education program across all 144 public schools, Mayor Karl Dean announced today at a press conference at the Ryman Auditorium, downtown Nashville’s temple of country music.
Classes in country, rock and rap will supplement the traditional curriculum of orchestra, choir and band. Instruction in songwriting, production and other skills such as DJ-ing will also be added to music theory and other existing offerings. The new program, dubbed Music Makes Us, will be funded through a mix of public and private funds, primarily commitments from Nashville’s deeply embedded music industry, which includes hundreds of record labels, publishers and venues, plus countless professional musicians.
“The music industry has picked this as their cause,” Mr. Dean said yesterday in an interview. “It just makes sense to take advantage of this asset we have here.”