Music Row in ‘Boro brings industry pros to campus

For more information on the Academy of Country Music's Lifting Lives Foundation, click on this logo.

For more information on the Academy of Country Music’s Lifting Lives Foundation, visit

MTSU songwriting students will have more opportunities to learn from visiting professionals in the first phase of a new “Music Row in Murfreesboro” project
funded by a $10,000 grant from an arm of the Academy of Country Music. The ACM’s “Lifting Lives Foundation” made the donation to support the Department of Recording Industry’s ongoing commercial songwriting program expansion.

“We’ve had several of our Advanced Songwriting classes up at the ASCAP headquarters in Nashville so we can be close to professionals,” said Odie Blackmon, head of the songwriting concentration, “and even with the kindness of ASCAP letting us use space, we still had a lot of obstacles for our students.”

Those obstacles involved both time and money, Blackmon said, when students who had other classes or off-campus work had to add a two-hour, round-trip, with gas and parking costs, to a three-hour class.

Blackmon wrote the grant request in hopes of getting extra funds to reimburse the pros’ expenses for their MTSU songwriting-class visits.

“The Lifting Lives Foundation apparently liked the fact that 30 percent of our students at MTSU are first-generation college students,” he said, “and then they saw that we have 16 full-time music business professors, 14 audio professors and one full-time songwriting professor, so I think they felt it would be a good opportunity for us to bring some real industry pros and even more diversity to our students.”

The foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Academy of Country Music and develops and funds music-related therapy and education programs. It uses donations from artists and fans to fund programs ranging from disaster relief to music camps and music therapy for people with disabilities and military veterans.

To view a brief thank-you video from the commercial songwriting students to the ACM Lifting Lives Foundation, click here.

For more information about MTSU’s commercial songwriting program, click here.

Songwriting students




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