CMCSS Named in List for Best Community for Music Education
March 23, 2015
Please note: This article was originally published on 3/23/2015. Information and/or dates from past events may be not be relevant for the current school year.
The Clarksville-Montgomery County School System joined three other Tennessee districts (Shelby County and Metro Nashville) in being listed among the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation recognized 388 school districts in 46 states as among the Best Communities for Music Education.
In its 16th year, the program singles out districts for outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have made music education part of the core curriculum.In CMCSS, most elementary schools develop a Night of the Arts where students have the opportunity to perform music, display artwork, and read from their own creative writing to an audience of parents, faculty and staff, and community members, according to Anthony Johnson, CMCSS Consulting Teacher for Related Arts. Each school’s music specialist, visual arts specialist, and classroom teachers collaborate to plan the evening. Some schools center the evening around a theme so that the music, art, and creative writing pieces are integrated. Every elementary school has a full time, certified music specialist that provides direct instruction to students. Every middle school and high school in the district has an instrumental music and a vocal music program with certified teachers for each ensemble. Most high schools have courses in guitar, piano, music history, music theory, general music and a section of music included in Intro to Fine Arts. We are piloting guitar programs at the middle school level and piloting initiatives to grow our orchestral string programs.
Austin Peay State University, the Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts, and the Community School for the Arts are very supportive of our music education programs. They provide additional funding, professional development for teachers, and special programs for students. There are several businesses, churches, and other organizations that provide private lessons to our students. Our city and county government invite our school music programs to perform at various events and functions. Our district music programs are invited by Parks and Recreation to perform at the award-wining Rivers & Spires Festival in downtown Clarksville. The Gateway Chamber Orchestra (GCO), one of America’s leading ensembles, calls Clarksville home and is very supportive of our programs. The GCO presents free children’s concerts throughout the year and provides master classes and workshops for our middle and high school instrumental programs. The influence and growth of our neighbor city Nashville, “Music City USA,” continues to help build support for music education in Clarksville.