Keith Urban Once Failed Music Class

The CMA Foundation has been recruiting country stars to share stories about their music education and the teachers who made a difference to them.  It’s part of their “Starts With M.E.” campaign.

KEITH URBAN’s story started early.  He picked up a guitar at the age of six and pretty much never set it down again.  He was fortunate to have a lot of great teachers, but there was one who really stood out.

“Her name was Mrs. Grimmer, my music teacher in 8th, 9th, and 10th grade.  I failed music as a subject because I couldn’t read and had no [music] theory, but she knew I was naturally talented so she rewrote this whole test that we were supposed to take.”

The new exam was more about “playing” and less about “theory.”  It veered away from the school’s curriculum but it played into Keith’s strengths.  At the end of the year the school officials didn’t approved of the changes and the entire class failed.

He says, “She was so distraught.  But that meant the world to me that she would want to recognize our natural talents like that.”