Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and Panel Will Explore the Ways “Music Makes Us” at NAfME Conference

Mayor Karl Dean

If there’s anyone who truly understands the value of educating a young person about music, it has to be Karl Dean, the Mayor of Nashville.  “Music City” is a town that’s all about creating and consuming music.

As keynote speaker, Dean will bring his unique insights and love for music, along with his support of Nashville’s music industry, to the National Association for Music Education’s annual professional development conference October 27-30, 2013 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Conference Center.  The Mayor’s keynote address at the NAfME conference will be on Monday, October 28 at 10:00 am.

There’s no question either that Dean is extremely serious about that commitment.  Music Makes Us is Nashville’s, revolutionary new approach to music education, includes new contemporary curriculum and technologies, but also builds on and improves traditional music curriculum in band, orchestra and choir.

Music Makes Us infuses new life into the music education program with new classes in songwriting and composition, world percussion, rock band and mariachi and technology-based production such as recording and hip hop at middle schools and high schools. Music Makes Us is a joint effort of Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS), Mayor Dean and music industry and community leaders.

“Through Music Makes Us, we are well on our way to ensuring that Nashville has the best music education program in the country,” Mayor Dean said. “Nashville has the largest concentration of the music industry of any city in North America, and Music Makes Us takes full advantage of the many talented individuals on both the creative and business sides of the industry as a resource for our students. I look forward to talking about the importance of music education with members of the National Association for Music Education. Music and arts education is not a frill. It is an essential part of a well-rounded education.”

Following Dean’s keynote session, he will participate in a panel discussion about The Music Makes Us initiative aspires to lead the nation in music education.
Launched in the Fall 2012, the vision of Music Makes Us is for all Kindergarten through Grade 12 MNPS students to have equitable access to opportunities for participation in quality traditional and/or contemporary music instruction that is standards-based and sequential, taught by highly qualified music educators and enhanced by a network of music professionals, music industry and community based organizations from the Nashville community and beyond.

Represent the primary leadership stakeholders of the initiative, including the city, the music industry and K-12 education, the panelists include:

  • Karl Dean, Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County
  • Jay Steele, Chief Academic Officer, Metro Nashville Public Schools
  • President & CEO John Esposito, Warner Music Nashville
  • Executive Principal Sonia Stewart, Pearl Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School
  • Coordinator for Visual and Performing Arts Nola Jones, Metro Nashville Public Schools
  • Director of Mariachi Edwin Imer Santiago, Glencliff High School and Wright Middle School, Metro Nashville Public Schools
  • Moderator Laurie T. Schell, Director, Music Makes Us, Metro Nashville Public Schools

Roz Fehr, NAfME Managing Editor for News, October 11, 2013. © National Association for Music Education