In Nashville, Music sustains us.
Although the doors of Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum remain temporarily closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, two of its most popular programs have now opened to the public via Instagram Live to keep the music going.
On Tuesday evenings, the museum will stream the interactive Songwriter Sessions; on Thursday afternoons, the flagship education program Words & Music will provide insight and inspiration for aspiring songwriters of all ages.
“Music is a powerful gift that unites us, stimulates creativity and provides relief while we stay home and implement social distancing,” says Lisa Purcell, the museum’s senior vice president of education, development and community engagement. “This is why the museum will take our most popular songwriting programs live online and invite the world to participate with us.”
Weekly Songwriter Sessions installments take place at 8 p.m. and allow participants to interact with the talents behind country music’s biggest hits.
Launching in mid-April, the program has already featured the likes of Laura Veltz — whose compositions include “Bones” (Maren Morris), “Speechless” (Dan + Shay), and “What If I Never Get Over You” (Lady Antebellum) — and Luke Laird — whose compositions include “Hard to Forget” (Sam Hunt), “American Kids” (Kenny Chesney), and “Space Cowboy” (Kacey Musgraves).
Hosted by Abi Tapia, the museum’s director of public programs, the Songwriter Sessions participants will perform while sheltered in place. Viewers will be able to ask questions via Instagram.
The artists perform while sheltered in place. The lineup is as follows:
Caitlyn Smith, whose compositions include “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” (Meghan Trainor featuring John Legend), “You Can’t Make Old Friends” (Country Music Hall of Fame members Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers) and her own single “Long Time Coming.”
Eric Paslay, whose compositions include “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” (Jake Owen), “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” (Eli Young Band) and his own hit “Friday Night.”
Brandy Clark, whose compositions include her singles “Bigger Boat,” which features Randy Newman, “Hold My Hand” and “Who You Thought I Was.”
Charlie Worsham, whose compositions include “Love You To The Moon” (Kip Moore) and his own singles “Mississippi In July” and “Old Time’s Sake.”
Words & Music at home is the museum’s signature program for young songwriting enthusiasts. Though it typically serves as a school classroom project, the museum has retooled it for the time being into a nifty program that kids can access online from the comfort and safety of their own homes.
The virtual program launched in mid-April with Tenille Townes, whose performance was accompanied by a conversation about songwriting with Adam Ollendorff, the museum’s outreach and music programs manager.
There will be a step-by-step guide to writing your own song lyrics, which will also be available at any time on the museum’s website. Words & Music at Home will be streamed each Thursday at 2 p.m. CT via the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s Instagram feed. Viewers are also encouraged to share their lyrics and completed songs on social media, using the hashtag #WordsandMusicatHome.
The museum has added a brand-new page on its website specifically for kids. Fun at Home features a variety of coloring and activity sheets that you can download and print for your kids.
For more information, visit CountryMusicHallofFame.org.
Photos courtesy of Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum.