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Summer Archives

Cayla Mackey

Nashville, TN - W.O. Smith Community Music School


I proposed to work with the W.O. Smith Music School in Nashville to encourage low-income youth to create original music. Following my passion for music, I aimed to use my skills and knowledge as a musician, student, teacher, and community volunteer to work with the staff at W.O. Smith in order to incorporate a creative music curriculum into the organization’s class offerings. I planned to spend a large portion of my summer conducting research on the organization, music creation, and modern music education in order to build a sustainable curriculum that would be permanently adopted. Even though I had a clear vision of what I wanted to do when I started, what I ended up doing exceeded my planning. Not only did I complete my final curriculum proposal for the school which I submitted at the end of the summer to the W.O. Smith Program Committee, but I was also able to teach a pilot class. This class, titled “Basics of Music Creation”, was a chance for me to test various methods of teaching musical creativity. Through this application of theoretical knowledge, I formulated a sustainable class curriculum for a year-long course which will be offered to students at the school starting in the spring.


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