NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — International country music star Keith Urban surprised some Nashville high school students Tuesday when he dropped in to Hillwood High School to talk about finding the joy in music.

Urban answered questions from the choir and orchestra director before opening the floor to students, many of whom are songwriters. 

  • Keith Urban at Hillwood
  • Keith Urban at Hillwood
  • Keith Urban at Hillwood

Students asked Urban about writer’s block, performance anxiety and listening to other’s opinions.

Urban encouraged them to relax and not worry so much about what other people might think about them and their songs.

“You guys are hitting things I still work through,” Urban said. “It’s easy to sit and wax philosophical and say all this stuff, but it’s really hard to do. It just is. We need at least some bits of guidance, little tidbits, little things that can break us out of it.”

An exceptionally gifted guitarist, Urban said he’s never studied music theory and can’t read music, but he started playing guitar at age 6 and began writing words that he would put to music in fourth or fifth grade as a child in Australia.

He also got to hear some of the students perform. A string ensemble performed Urban’s own “Wasted Time” to kick off the event. Urban’s visit was arranged by the CMA Foundation.

Urban announced the schedule for his North American tour Wednesday, which includes a stop in Nashville at Bridgestone Arena on Oct. 7, 2022.