Dierks Bentley paid a visit to the Bronx, New York on Thursday to talk to students at P.S. 103, The Hector Fontanez School, about the importance of music as a form of expression. He also stressed that music can help keep children engaged in school. His visit was part of CMA’s ‘Keep The Music Playing’ program. He met with a group of fourth graders and toured two music rooms.
“CMA’s Keep The Music Playing does so much to enable the future of kids who might not have a hands-on experience with music otherwise,” Dierks said. “I was honored that they asked me to be their ambassador for the day on behalf of all the country music artists who donate their time each year to help this cause. They’ve made a huge dent in the music needs in Nashville, so it was really cool to help expand their mission to one of country music’s top markets like New York City.”
“This program was conceived by our artist community,” CMA Chief Executive Officer Steve Moore said. “So, it is terrific when our artists are able to visit the schools we support and see firsthand the impact these instruments have on the lives of the students and teachers.”
The Keep the Music Playing program was created in 2006 to support music education in public schools on behalf of the artists who perform for free during CMA Music Festival each June. To date, CMA has contributed more than $6 million to purchase equipment and more than 4,000 instruments for this initiative. The goal of the Keep the Music Playing program is to get instruments into the hands of the kids who need them most.
In New York, CMA became involved with Education Through Music (ETM) through a relationship with the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). Education Through Music was established in 1991 and currently serves 14,000 New York City school children.
“The mission of Education Through Music is very compatible and complements our own goals for Keep the Music Playing,” Steve Moore said. “It is a terrific marriage of resources – we want all children to have access to quality music education. And ETM provides highly-trained music teachers for elementary and middle Title 1 schools in at-risk neighborhoods. In this case, CMA is helping by providing the tools and instruments they need to teach a sustainable, comprehensive program.”
P.S. 103, The Hector Fontanez School, is a new school serving nearly 1,200 Pre-K-fifth grade students, all children who have never had access to music education. Keep the Music Playing and The CMA Foundation provided $20,000 to purchase songbooks, recorders, keyboards, xylophones and more to completely outfit two classrooms for musical education. ETM is providing two credentialed music teachers for the school.