Nashville School of Traditional Country Supports Education and Musicians

If you ever thought that there should be an institution in Nashville to help preserve traditional country music, and to help teach it to the public and future generations, well there is. It’s called The Nashville School of Traditional Country Music, and not only does it offer music education classes for young and old alike, it also happens to help support many of the traditional country artists in Nashville trying to keep the music alive.

Over the last few years, The Nashville School of Traditional Country Music has offered classes such as Western Swing Guitar, Clawhammer Banjo, and Advanced Old-Time Fiddle. Upcoming classes include Fundamentals of Country Songwriting, Beginner Old Time Banjo, and The Fiddling of John Hartford.

And the instructors for many of these classes are probably performers you’ve heard of before, and have been featured on Saving Country Music over the years. This includes Kristina Murray, JP Harris, Pat Reedy, Cristina Vane, Timbo, Miss Tess, and Brittany Haas.

The Founder of The Nashville School of Traditional Country Music is singer, songwriter, and fiddle/guitar player Meredith Watson, and Kristina Murray is the Administrative Director. Nikki Lane serves on the organization’s board, and fiddle player for The Cowpokes and the Hogslop String Band, Kevin Martin, is a board member as well.

Over the last five years, The Nashville School of Traditional Country Music has been mostly a bootstrapped, grassroots organization trying to build into something similar to Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music, or Brooklyn’s Jalopy Theatre and School of Music. But the organization just achieved an important benchmark by officially receiving its 501(c)3 non-profit status, which they hope portends big things for the future.

“This nonprofit status is huge because it gives us the opportunity to connect with the financial resources we need to expand these one-of-a-kind learning opportunities to so many more families and aspiring musicians in Nashville,” says Meredith Watson. “In addition, further funding will enable us to employ dozens of local teaching artists without compromising our commitment to paying them fairly, for both their time and their expertise.”

Upcoming programming from the school includes:

–The Fiddle Tunes of John Hartford with Megan Lynch Chowning (presented in conjunction with the John Hartford Fiddle Tune Project)

–“What Makes it Country?”: a guitar centered class with Timbo

–Fundamentals of Country Songwriting with Kristina Murray (A “flagship” class that will continue to be offered in four week sessions throughout the year with a rotating cast of accomplished songwriters as instructors.)

They also have dedicated programs for kids including their Ukulele Sprouts, which is offered in Nashville area elementary schools.

For more information on The Nashville School of Traditional Country Music, how to get involved and to donate, visit

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