Kelsea Ballerini was on hand Tuesday (Dec. 6) at Oliver Middle School in Nashville to announce a million-dollar grant to support music education in Metro Nashville Public Schools. The grant aims to strengthen music education programs throughout the city.

"Oliver middle school!!! Thanks for serenading me and inspiring me with your talent. Was so stoked to be a part of such an important morning for music education with @cma and Music Makes Us donating 1 MILLION dollars to Nashville public schools," Ballerini captions an Instagram photo with the band's wind ensemble.

The donation was raised by the CMA Foundation through the CMA Music Festival, which is held in Nashville each June. The CMA’s support of music teachers and education in Nashville tallies at $11 million since 2006. Over the years, the CMA Foundation has contributed $17.5 million to 44 public schools for classes and after-school music education programs across the country.

"I think it is so important to give kids the opportunity to learn what they are passionate about,” Ballerini says in a press release. “When I was in middle and high school I took as many chorus and theater classes as I could, and I use the tools I learned then in my career today!”

The grant will go directly to providing instruments and teacher support to more than 89,000 students in the Metro Nashville district.

“When this program began, it was important to fund instruments, which hadn’t been purchased in decades,” says Joe Galante, Chairman of the CMA Foundation and a member of the CMA Board of Directors. “Now that we have instruments in every Metro school, the CMA Foundation is expanding our focus to include teachers by providing recognition of their work, which is critical in developing and maintaining strong, sustainable music programs.”

Ballerini was recently nominated for Best New Artist in the 2017 Grammys, topping off the massive success of her debut album, The First Time, and Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, who also attended the announcement, congratulated the "Yeah Boy" singer.

“It’s been so cool to see this album be embraced by radio, embraced by fans and then embraced big enough to make a headline tour out of it,” Ballerini tells Taste of Country. “The Grammys are just the pinnacle of music. For this album to get me a nomination like that, I’m so proud.”

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