Metro's Music Makes Us initiative earns visit from the chairman of the NEA

Metro Schools music programs drew even more national attention this week as Jane Chu, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), traveled to Nashville to visit Metro schools and other organizations actively engaging, serving and promoting the arts. On Tuesday, August 23, Chairman Chu visited Wright Middle School, where she learned about the Music Makes Us initiative.


“We’re so happy to have the opportunity to visit Wright Middle Prep,” said Chairman Chu. “The Music Makes Us program is a wonderful model that empowers the kids to not only be engaged in music, but to feel like they belong. I especially appreciate the partners in this program—people from the Mayor’s Office, Congressman Cooper, parents, the Country Music Association Foundation, private partners and others—who are all working together because they care about the students.”

Music Makes Us is a joint effort of Metro Schools, the Mayor's Office and music industry and community leaders. The initiative aims to strengthen traditional school music while combining it with a contemporary curriculum that embraces new technologies and reflects our diverse student population.

In 2015, Metro Schools received a grant from the NEA to support the implementation of Music Makes Us: Next Generation, a collective impact project which will convene community stakeholders and provide professional development for school teachers.

Chairman Chu met with partners about this program and got the chance to see it in action through visiting a classroom where students learn Mariachi music.

“The fact that NEA Chairman Jane Chu visited Music Makes Us, a national model for music education, is testament to the strength of that program,” said Anne B. Pope, Executive Director of the Tennessee Arts Commission.

While in Nashville, Chairman Chu also visited other sites that have been sponsored by the NEA, including Metro Arts, the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, the Nashville Children’s Theatre, the Schermerhorn Symphony and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s Taylor Swift Education Center.