Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York on October 18, 2015 · Page C10
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Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York · Page C10

Rochester, New York
Issue Date:
Sunday, October 18, 2015
Page C10
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Page10C Sunday,October18,2015 DemocratandChronicle. com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s the Bronx middle schoolers harmonized in their auditorium and plucked out basic chords on ukuleles and guitars, in walked their music instructor, Liz Rose — a Grammy-award winning country song- w riter from Nashville. R ose has penned t racks for some of the big- g est names in the business, including Taylor Swift. But on this recent fall day, she helped 19 students write an original tune called “Everybody’s Perfect.” “Y’all are awesome,” Rose said as she approached the stage. “Y’all made me cry.” Country music and New York City don’t go hand in glove; the city has o nly one country radio station, which came on the air two years ago after a17-year drought. Nonetheless, Music City musicians are partnering with anonprofit that is providing music education in New York City schools to h elp boost it as a core subject. T he students at Pelham Gardens Middle School in the Bronx are among 500 students in 15 s chools around the city to participate; they receive 10 lessons on how to write lyrics, and one class in each school has a video- c onference session with a m usician in Nashville. The Nashville-New York connection is made through the Country Music Association Founda- t ion, which began in 2006 t o help fund music education programs in Nashville and is branching out across the country. In recent years, it has d onated to the New York- based nonprofit Education Through Music, which helps provide mu- s ic education to all students in 50 low-income elementary and middle schools in all five city boroughs. It also works with W ords & Music, based out o f the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, which provides a curriculum for both music and language a rts teachers to develop l anguage skills through the art of songwriting. The Country Music As- sociation Foundation wanted to bring the two t ogether, and the program was born. Rose, who won a Grammy with Swift for best c ountry song in 2010 for “White Horse,” first met her students over Skype. Rose helped them write the lyrics for the song, w hich they performed t his past week at All for the Hall, a benefit concert for education programs at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum at t he Best Buy Theater in T imes Square. Students shared the stage with Brad Paisley, Paul Simon and Carrie Underwood. For many of the New Y ork kids, country music was unfamiliar territory. Corey Stuckey, 12, said he has been inspired to w rite songs in the past by hip-hop and R&B artists such as R. Kelly and Lu- dacris. But now he is opening up to country, t oo. “ I like country music because of the tone of it,” the seventh-grader said. “It’s kind of like reggae, but it’s different because i t’s more calming.” R ose said she applied the same techniques she uses when collaborating with professionals. She had the students shout out w hatever was on their m inds, and they said things like, older kids are tall, ice cream and hallways. She quickly jotted down everything they s aid and then started to place the words together like puzzle pieces. “It’s not different for whoever you’re writing with. It’s about getting t hem to talk,” she said. “And then I would ask them questions and put a line together.” U ltimately they wrote: “Everybody’s Perfect,” an homage to the difficult ies of life at a new school. Moesha Masters, 11, helped come up with the inspiration for the title. “I moved a lot and it was hard making friends,” she said. “And I r ealized I’m not perfect. But after I looked at that I realized everyone’s perfect in other ways.” “ Ice cream, money and MetroCards and full backpacks and school is hard!” the students sang. With lots of oohs and aahs a nd an upbeat, catchy m elody, the students’ song emulated more the contemporary pop-country of Taylor Swift than the old-country twang. P eter Pauliks, director o f programs for Education through Music, urged the students at the rehearsal to enunciate every word so that a diverse a udience would under- s tand the song’s message. “In Nashville, I don’t think they even have Met- roCards,” he reminded them. K yle Young, chief executive officer of the Country Music Hall of Fame, says he was moved when he saw the students from the Bronx onstage a t All for the Hall, dressed in their blue school uniforms under T- shirts for Words & Music a nd Education Through Music. “This is why we go to w ork every day,” he said. “It’s not about the genre, it’s about giving kids an opportunity to express themselves and create.” That New York twang: Nashville calls on Big Apple schools WILLIAM MATHIS ASSOCIATED PRESS WILLIAM MATHIS/AP Liz Rose, second from right, a Grammy award-winning country music songwriter from Nashville, rehearses a song with students at Pelham Gardens Middle School in the Bronx borough of New York.

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