Follow Your Heart Arts
Grenada School District is proud to partner with Follow Your Heart, a music education and advocacy program located in north Mississippi and available to elementary and high school students free of charge.
When he comes home to visit, Charlie Worsham recognizes himself in the high school kids he meets around town. Charlie, a Grenada High School graduate and Nashville singer-songwriter, remembers the struggles of being a teenager and how a guitar and a song can sometimes be the only friend you need.
Worsham has toured all over and performed with some of Nashville’s biggest names, from Taylor Swift and Miranda Lambert to Vince Gill and Marty Stuart. Throughout his travels, he talks about his hometown and says the people he meets are always interested to hear stories from back home.
With the help of generous friends, Charlie started the Follow Your Heart scholarship. The fund offers aid to Grenada County graduates with “a demonstrated passion for the arts” and a desire to turn that passion into an academic degree. The non-profit Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee manages the scholarship and independently reviews the applications, which are available to graduating Grenada High School students.
Charlie took the scholarship a step further when he created the Follow Your Heart Arts Program, a series of instructive guitar workshops that directly benefits the students of Grenada Schools. The program enlists Music Education majors from local universities to teach students the basics of instrumental performance on the guitar and ukulele. It also provides participants with a deeper understanding of Mississippi’s rich musical heritage and invites them to explore the many careers available within today’s music industry.
Students in Follow Your Heart meet seasonally after school to learn guitar and ukulele. Recently the program expanded to in-school instruction at GES 4-5, where Amy Killebrew’s music students learn ukulele once a week.
This innovative program encourages students to continue their education by becoming apprentice teachers to the next group of guitar students and emerging teachers themselves. Students have gone on to teach guitar lessons to their own students, to meet with national leaders and advocate for the program in Washington, D.C., and even to perform on the Grammy Museum Mississippi stage with the likes of Garth Brooks, Mississippi bluesman Big T, and Charlie Worsham himself.
To learn more about the program as well as apply for a class or scholarship, visit the Follow Your Heart Arts website.