Keith Urban Failed High School Music, But Pays Tribute To Teacher

17 June 2024 | 11:53 am | Mary Varvaris

“That kind of passion and caring from the teacher is extraordinary.”

Keith Urban

Keith Urban (Source: Supplied)

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Keith Urban has recalled the moment he failed music in high school and shared praise for his teacher, Mrs Groomer.

In an interview with Country 103.7 at CMA Fest, Urban talked about the impact Mrs Groomer had on his life as a passionate music fan who couldn’t read music and was about to fail his music class.

“I was very lucky to have a great music education program in Australia growing up, just in state schools,” he began. “You know, basic state schools always had music class. It was a basic room, piano, and a few little instruments floating around.”

Mentioning his “amazing” teacher, the Blue Ain’t Your Color performer continued, “I had a great teacher; her name was Mrs Groomer. She was my music teacher in the tenth grade and was amazing. She was a great teacher because I couldn’t read music, I couldn’t write music, and I didn’t have any theory. It’s just all by ear.”

Determined to save Urban and the other kids from failing the unit in their music class, Groomer developed a task in the curriculum that wasn’t solely focused on music theory but instead created something practical: she wrote a play.

“Because she was looking at several kids in our class, and several of us were going to fail music, she actually wrote us a play,” Urban explained. “It was called ‘Music Is As Music Was,’ and it was about the history of music.”

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Mrs Groomer wrote multiple songs for the play: a country song, a punk song, and more. “The school was okay with it, so we did this performance,” Urban said. “Then the school changed its mind and said it wasn’t part of the curriculum, so we all failed, and she quit. She was like, ‘This is crazy and makes no sense.’”

“That kind of passion and caring from the teacher is extraordinary.”

In 2024, Keith Urban released two singles, Straight Line and Messed Up As Me, that will feature on his twelfth album, set for release later this year.

Last month, he surprise-dropped another track, Go Home W U with Lainey Wilson, which may just be his teased “one duet on the album”.

Urban said his friend suggested making the track a duet, and Wilson immediately came to mind. “Besides the fact that I love her voice, she’s got the swagger and attitude that fit so well with the song.”

On working with Urban, Wilson commented, “Keith has been someone in the industry I’ve taken notes from for a while now. From watching him at CMA Fest every year growing up to hearing the way he treats people up and down music row, he has taught me a lot.

“He’s a genuine supporter of mine, and I am honoured to continue to learn from one of the best. Getting to do a song with Keith is a notch on my belt I am very proud of.”