Country News

Country News

Country News

Today is World Teachers Day, an international day held annually on 5 October to celebrate the work of teachers. Established in 1994, it commemorates the signing of recommendations by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Country music and teaching come together when CMA Fest plays out every year in Nashville, and millions of people come from all over the world to see their favorite country stars perform. Some may not know that the performers at CMA Fest do not get paid; much of the money raised by CMA Fest goes back to music education. The CMA Foundation focuses on improving and sustaining music education programs everywhere while supporting worthwhile causes important to the Country Music Association.

Ashley McBryde served as the CMA’s inaugural Artist Ambassador, meeting virtually with music teachers last year (2022) 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 for teachers and students to use in both their in-person and virtual classrooms.

McBryde participated in the high school marching band before attending Arkansas State University, where she studied French horn.

Last year (8/2022), Gabby Barrett returned to her roots during her last weekend of shows on Jason Aldean’s “Rock ‘n Roll Cowboy Tour” playing in Pittsburgh. While on stage, Gabby invited her former high school teacher, Casey Stapleton, as a special guest and gifted him with a platinum plaque for her breakout debut album, Goldmine.

Barrett later said, “In my community, Mr. Stapleton was one of the only people – and teacher in my high school – who encouraged me to pursue music when I needed it most. I was balancing school while performing in malls, grocery stores, Chick-fil-A, really anywhere I could, and he continued to uplift and inspire me to keep going.”

She added, “I don’t know if he had any idea how much of a positive impact he has made on my life and career. So, to be able to honor him near my hometown and have him see how I have grown as an artist while I’m now living my dreams is a moment I’ll never forget.”

As we celebrate teacher’s hard work today (10/5), we take a look at the relationship between country music stars of today and teachers.

RELATED: Carrie Underwood And Fans Donate To American Heroes

  • Carrie Underwood

    Carrie’s mother, Carol, and her two sisters are teachers. Carrie said in a 2020 CMT special honoring teachers, “I have a special place in my heart for this particular group as my sisters are both teachers, and my mom is a retired teacher. Now more than ever, we recognize what an important and difficult job they have.”

    Carrie posted to Twitter about her family of teachers in 2020, “My mom was a teacher, and my 2 sisters are also teachers. It’s so great to see a teacher and her students making a difference in the world! Of course, I’m happy to help!”

    Carrie Underwood on Twitter: "My mom was a teacher and my 2 sisters are also teachers. It's so great to see a teacher and her students making a difference in the world! Of course I'm happy to help! #LoveWins ❤ https://t.co/gHC5H0dlnn / Twitter"

    My mom was a teacher and my 2 sisters are also teachers. It's so great to see a teacher and her students making a difference in the world! Of course I'm happy to help! #LoveWins ❤ https://t.co/gHC5H0dlnn

  • Thomas Rhett

    Thomas told Good Morning America in 2019 that even though his dad, Rhett Akins, is a successful singer/songwriter, he owes his career to music education at school. He said that he formed a band in sixth grade because of his band teacher. He said that playing the drums was his first instrument. He noted, “I did one football game as a pit band drummer, and that really encouraged me to start this terrible band called the High-Heeled Flip Flops. That really sparked my fire for being in front of people and writing songs.”

    Rhett has played the stage at CMA Fest many times in his career helping the Fest raise money for music education.

  • Kane Brown and Lauren Alaina

    Kane and fellow country star Lauen Alaina not only went to the same middle school in Georgia, they actually sat next to each other in choir class. Alaina said of first meeting Kane at Lakeview Middle School, “I was in choir class one day, and there was a guy sitting next to me. I sat with him every day, but that day, I heard him singing, and he was very shy.” Brown and Alaina credit a music teacher for sparking their love of country music.

  • Luke Combs

    Luke was another country superstar inspired to sing by his choir teacher. Luke attended A. C. Reynolds High School in Ashville, North Carolina. That teacher helped him perform with multiple vocal groups, including performing a solo at a performance at Carnegie Hall. Every year, as school starts in the fall, Luke and his wife Nicole pay off Amazon wish lists for teachers as a surprise, spending thousands of dollars of their own money.

  • Reba McEntire

    Reba enrolled at Southeastern Oklahoma State University and studied to become a public school teacher before being discovered singing at an Oklahoma rodeo and changing her career choice to country singer in the late 1970s. While she never taught her own class, she did complete student teaching and later graduated with a Bachelor’s degree.

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