Dierks Bentley visits Bronx elementary school

September 13, 2012 2:21:24 PM PDT
It was a big surprise for some Bronx students when country music star Dierks Bentley showed up.

He talked about the importance of music education programs in schools and the impact music has had on his life.

They had practiced his new song and so when the kids at PS 103 got to sing it with Dierks Bentley, well, it blew the country music superstar away.

"They lift you up and inspire you and show you, they bring out what's great in people," Bentley said.

He was at the Bronx elementary school for just a short visit to talk about something that will have a long lasting effect on these kids.

You see this is the first year the nearly 1,200 students will have a music program, taught by two teachers.

Kara Simpson will lead K through 2nd grade.

"It will make them become more empathic, that they learn how to relate to others through music and helps them tap into those emotional sides," Simpson said.

All of this is the result of "Keep the Music Playing", a program created by the Country Music Association.

It teamed up with "Education through Music" and was able to donate $20,000 to PS 103, money they will use for their new music program.

"New York is a growing country music market and we're wanting to create more relationships here, so this was the perfect match for us," said Matt Seaton, of the CMA.

Elementary schools in the city are not required to have a certified arts teacher, some do but programs like this are vital since the budget for things like materials and supplies has drastically decreased.

"Learning an instrument from the ground up is as an incredible task and learning how to read music and learning how to play with others in the school band and putting on performances in front on people, there's so much to be gained out of that whole process," Bentley said.

It's a process these kids are finally able to be a part of.

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