The best of country music is featured on the CMA Awards every fall here on this ABC station, and the organization behind it is committed to finding and developing the next generation of artists.
The non-profit CMA Foundation is dedicated to the simple principle that every child would have access to music education.
The CMA Awards might sell country music to millions, and everyone involved profits in some way, but the Country Music Association also has a long tradition of giving back.
A new video features music teachers from across the country working during the coronavirus pandemic and insisting, "We will be creative. We will listen. We will include."
A new CMA initiative called Unified Voices For Music Education provides resources to local teachers like Melissa Morris.
"We can just dial in and link in and grab what we need," she said. "Then we can use it, change it , develop it. It's just like an idea sharing, and it sparks new ideas as well."
The home of country music might be more than 800 miles away in Nashville, but the long reach of the CMA Foundation extends to the Midwood section of Brooklyn, where Morris teaches at James Madison High School.
She and the CMA have found common ground.
"Without music teachers, you don't have the artists emerging, the budding artists," she said.
The CMA program allows her to benefit from the expertise of teachers and students in different parts if the country.
"(I'm) going to have my students record their tracks onto a computer software on the computer and send them down to Georgia into a classroom, where the students there are going to mix them into something fine and dandy," she said.
All this is happening, of course, in the midst of unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19, but that's not going to stop Morris or her colleagues.
"Music teachers are ready to make something glorious out of something that could be a little bit frightening," she said.
For more information, visit CMAFoundation.org/VoicesForMusicEd.
CMA Foundation works to ensure music education available to all students
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