Caitlyn Smith Joins The CMA Foundation As Newest Artist Ambassador Committed To Equitable Music Education Initiatives

Smith to Release Songwriting Workshop in June Geared Toward Students
via CMA Foundation Socials 

School may be out for the summer, but the CMA Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Country Music Association, continues advocating for equitable music education opportunities with the announcement of Caitlyn Smith as the program’s newest Artist Ambassador. Smith revealed the news during a takeover on CMA’s Instagram where she discussed the importance of music education, her past CMA Fest experience and the important role the festival plays in supporting music programs in schools. During her time as a CMA Foundation Artist Ambassador, she will participate in various web-based programming and offline activities to engage students and empower educators. 

“We are thrilled to have Caitlyn Smith join the CMA Foundation Artist Ambassador collective and use her voice to continue to amplify the power of music to students and music teachers,” says Tiffany Kerns, CMA Foundation Executive Director. Starting in music from an early ageCaitlyn knows firsthand the positive impact music can have on a student’s life. Hepassion and support in driving the CMA Foundation’s mission to ensure that all students have equitable access to quality music education across the U.S. is invaluable.”  

“I am so honored to partner with the CMA Foundation as their next Artist Ambassador,” shares the Minnesota native. “They are doing incredible, life changing work… coming alongside school districts across the country to make sure schools have the resources they need to empower the next generation of musicians, songwriters, engineers, producers and beyond. Without music education, I don’t know where I would be in my own life, and I look forward to collaborating all year with all the amazing music educators and students.” 

During her time as a CMA Foundation Artist Ambassador, Smith will be creating a Songwriting 101 video tutorial, giving viewers an inside look into her songwriting process, while also sharing songwriting tips and tricks she has learned throughout her career. The CMA Foundation will also be partnering with Smith and Monument Records during their “Tuesday Night Music Club” at Basement East on July 13. The CMA Foundation writers round will feature Smith with more soon-to-be-announced artists. “Tuesday Night Music Club” debuted June 1 in partnership with SMACK Songs and featured headliner Walker Hayes followed by a songwriters session with Shane McAnallyKylie MorganJosh Osborne and Teddy Robb. 

Smith joins the CMA Foundation’s Artist Ambassador collective alongside Jimmie Allen, Russell Dickerson, Lindsay EllMaddie & Tae and Ashley McBrydeall who have promoted music education in soon-Snowden Elementary in Memphis, TN to share his story and discuss music and songwriting with the students. He also participated in the CMA Foundation’s Teaching Artist Webinar Series to discuss culturally relevant teaching, music discovery and parenting in a pandemic. Dickerson visited with band students at his former high school in May and appeared on the Grand Ole Opry during Teacher Appreciation Week. Ell shared the healing power of music with Nashville’s Mt. View Elementary students during a virtual songwriting session in March, as well as teaching student guitarists how to restring and tune a guitar. In April, Maddie & Tae met virtually with high school choir students and then sat down with female band directors. McBryde served as the inaugural Artist Ambassador, meeting virtually with music teachers last year to discuss the obstacles faced while teaching amid the pandemic and sharing how music education led to her career in Country Music. She created a music lesson on building the major scale for teachers and students to use in both their in-person and virtual classrooms. 

Since its inception in 2011, the CMA Foundation has been committed to improving and sustaining music programs throughout the U.S. so all students have equitable opportunity to participate in a high-quality music education. The CMA Foundation believes music and the arts are part of a well-rounded educationinvesting $27 million to support these efforts over the last 10 yearsDuring this time, the CMA Foundation has observed why music programs are not thriving, seeing first-hand the challenges educators are facing and, most importantly, the systemic issues that must be addressed in order for every child to have access to music. Committed to its vision, the CMA Foundation is working directly with school districts to identify needs, understand their challenges, build community support and develop local and national resources from partners as part of the non-profit’s systems change model. 

The CMA Foundation will continue to provide unique opportunities and support for music teachers and students as more Artist Ambassadors are announced throughout the year.

Caitlyn Smith joins the CMA Foundation Artist Ambassador program.
Photo Credit: Shervin Lainez