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.