CMA FOUNDATION PRESENTS MUSIC EDUCATION PANEL AT SXSW EDU

CMA FOUNDATION PRESENTS MUSIC EDUCATION PANEL AT SXSW EDU

Country Artist Lee Ann Womack, World Series Winner Barry Zito, and Decorated NASA Astronaut (Ret.) Clayton Anderson Join the CMA Foundation for a Conversation on Why Music Matters

 Moderated by NBC News and TODAY Show Host Sheinelle Jones

On Monday, March 4, the CMA Foundation hosted the panel “Why Music Matters—Shaping the Next Generation” at the annual SXSW EDU conference in Austin, Texas. CMA and Grammy award-winning Country artist Lee Ann Womack, former professional baseball player and World Series champion Barry Zito, and NASA Astronaut (Ret.) Clayton Anderson held an impactful discussion for attendees, moderated by co-anchor of weekend “TODAY” and co-host of the 3rd hour of “TODAY,” Sheinelle Jones.

All four panelists participated in music as children and expressed that music was an emotional outlet for them at some point in their lives. Jones spoke fondly of playing clarinet and piano while growing up. Zito said he would frequently teach fellow baseball players about music while on the road, sharing there was always an appetite among his teammates to be a musician. Anderson helped draw the connection between science and music, explaining the two are more alike than they are different, sharing that music was what grounded him while he was in space. Music was his escape, but it was also what connected him to Earth. Womack shared stories from a parent’s point of view, as both of her daughters were exposed to music at a young age. She felt it was important that they both learn to play musical instruments, even if they didn’t pursue careers in music. In closing the conversation, the panelists all shared that they hope more conversations about why music matters could take place in communities throughout the country, urging parents to be advocates of music education.

The visit to SXSW EDU comes as the CMA Foundation celebrates Music In Our Schools Month. For more than 30 years, March has officially been designated by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) for observance of Music In Our Schools Month, the time of year when music education becomes the focus of schools across the nation.

About the CMA Foundation
Established in 2011 as the philanthropic arm of the Country Music Association (CMA), the CMA Foundation is committed to improving and sustaining music education programs across the United States, working to ensure every child has the opportunity to participate in music education. Through strategic partnerships, professional development and grant distribution, the CMA Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3), has invested more than $25 million across the national public school system, after school programs, summer camps and community outreach organizations. Guided by the generosity of the Country Music community, proceeds from CMA Fest, the four-day long music festival held annually in Nashville, are used to power the CMA Foundation’s social impact and unique model of giving. For more information visit CMA.org.

The CMA Foundation hosts “Why Music Matters: Shaping the Next Generation” at SXSW EDU on Monday, March 4. (L – R): Clayton Anderson, NASA Astronaut (Ret.); Sheinelle Jones, moderator of the panel, co-anchor of weekend “TODAY” and co-host of the 3rd hour of “TODAY”; Lee Ann Womack, CMA and Grammy award-winning Country artist; and Barry Zito, former professional baseball player and World Series champion. Photo credit: Tico Mendoza/SXSW
The CMA Foundation hosts “Why Music Matters: Shaping the Next Generation” at SXSW EDU on Monday, March 4. (L – R): Sheinelle Jones, moderator of the panel, co-anchor of weekend “TODAY” and co-host of the 3rd hour of “TODAY”; Clayton Anderson, NASA Astronaut (Ret.); Lee Ann Womack, CMA and Grammy award-winning Country artist; and Barry Zito, former professional baseball player and World Series champion. Photo credit: Tico Mendoza/SXSW