Did you know that music teachers can win Grammys? I honestly didn’t know until last year when I attended the annual conference of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME).
Anyone can nominate a music teacher to the Recording Academy who then selects ten finalists, and from those ten finalists, one winner. All finalists receive $1000 while the winner receives $10,000. What an honor! According to the Grammy in the schools website, there are also semi-finalists (it is unknown how they are chosen) who will receive $500.
For every performer who makes it to the GRAMMY stage, there was a teacher who played a critical role in getting them there. And really, that’s true for all of us who are making music today. Maybe they introduced you to your first instrument. Or they showed you how to get over your stage fright. Or maybe they just inspired you to have the confidence to go for it when you were ready to give up. – Grammy in the Schools
Local newspapers proudly profiled both semi-finalists and finalists, more than half who are current members of NAfME. Eight of the ten finalists are members.
The 2019 finalists included Jeremy Bradstreet (Dublin Coffman HS, Dublin, OH), Victor de los Santos (Santa Ana HS, Santa Ana, CA), Elizabeth Hering (Churchill HS, Canton, MI), Henry Miller (Sierra Vista MS, Irvine, CA), Amy Rangel (Glendale HS, Glendale, CA), Scott Sheehan (Hollidaysburg Area Senior HS, Hollidaysburg, PA), Mickey Smith, Jr (Maplewood MS, Sulphur, LA), Craig Snyder (Penncrest HS, Media, PA), and John Weatherspoon (Lake Worth Community HS, Lake Worth, FL). The winner for 2019 Music Educator Award is Dr Jeffery Redding, who teaches at West Orange HS in Winter Garden, Florida.
I invite you to look at the local articles for each of the finalists and the winner.
Victor de los Santos (also a finalist for the 2018 award)
Henry Miller (also a finalist for the 2018 award)
Mickey Smith, Jr
Congratulations to all the nominees, and thank you to the schools, families, co-workers, and students who nominated them! I’ll definitely be keeping up to date on the 2020 winner.