Homework. Sports. Social Media. With so many demands, it can be easy for busy students to overlook something valuable in their daily lives. That’s why Give a Note Foundation and Disney Performing Arts will join forces with 17-year-old Danielle Bradbery, the youngest-ever winner of The Voice, for the Music In Our Schools national bus tour. From March 2-8, they will travel across America, bringing a compelling message to students, parents, teachers and community leaders: don’t forget the importance of music education.
Kicking off National Music In Our Schools Month (March), the cross-country bus tour will spotlight music education and the benefits music teachers bring to their students and school communities. A highlight of the tour stops will be a special performance at each high school by 17-year-old Bradbery, who will address students and perform songs from her self-titled Big Machine Records debut, including the Top 15-and-rising “The Heart of Dixie.”
Departing March 2 from the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif., the tour will visit high schools in five cities: Eldorado High School in Albuquerque, N.M. (March 3); Cypress Ranch High School near Houston, Texas (March 4); Classen School of Advanced Studies in Oklahoma City, Okla. (March 5); Antioch High School near Nashville, Tenn. (March 6); and Northwest School for the Arts in Charlotte, N.C. (March 7). The tour will conclude March 8 at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., where Bradbery will perform at Festival Disney, a national competitive music festival where top school bands, instrumental and vocal ensembles compete with other schools from across the country.
The five schools to be honored as part of the Music In Our Schools tour were selected by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME)’s Give a Note Foundation, in partnership with NAfME’s state music education association leaders. Each school will be recognized for the outstanding achievements of their music programs, and for the important role music education plays in their students’ daily curriculum.
Bradbery hopes the tour’s message will inspire America’s students. “This is a great way to reach kids my age and show them that the skills they learn in music can help them to be successful in life. Through music, I’ve learned the value of persistence and working hard to make my dreams come true, and I look forward to sharing that with students and others during the tour,” said Bradbery.
“Studying and making music, whether it’s playing an instrument or singing or composing, is one of the most valuable ways kids can spend their time,” said Jane Balek of NAfME and Give a Note Foundation, “Music education reinforces 21st century skills like creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking – all qualities kids need to be successful in their schoolwork. In addition, the inherent benefits of learning music, including emotional awareness, reflective learning, and development of ‘grit,’ are things that help students grow into successful and productive citizens.”
For Disney, performing arts have long been part of the company culture since Walt Disney personally invited California high schools to perform at the 1955 grand opening of Disneyland Park. “It’s an honor to be a part of the Music In Our Schools national bus tour,” said Tim Hill, Director, and Special Program Sales for Disney Destinations. “Our support is rooted in our understanding of the tremendous value music education offers to everyone, and Disney relies on the talents of musicians, composers and other artists across our many businesses every day.”