Kindergarten through college teachers are eligible for the new annual award, which will be presented at a special ceremony the day before the Grammy Awards. Students and colleagues can nominate candidates online. Recording Academy president Neil Portnow says the group has established a music educator award that will be presented for the first time next year.
Recording Academy president Neil Portnow announced the new award Thursday at the Grammy Foundation’s 15th annual Music Preservation Project event at the Saban Theatre.
“We’re dedicated to preserving the great music of the past, present and future,” he said. “Music education is perhaps the most vital part of the Grammy Foundation’s mission.”
There is a small poster on a wall I pass by every day. It consists of a brief musical excerpt with a brief inscription below: “If you can read this, thank a music teacher.” Artists in every musical genre know of a music teacher who played an important part in their lives; perhaps when they were in grade school. A special educator who inspired them to go to on to achieve big musical goals.
An award from the Grammys finally acknowledge and validate the importance of music education in our school. When musical programs are cut because of budget, one needs to step back and realize the deleterious effect this can have on the students as well as the community. Music education is not a frill, not a throw away or a whim.
Learning music from these dedicated music teachers in all types of communities is a right. It’s status should be on equal par with math, science, and language arts. When you kill a music program you are killing off an integral part of cultural. And once it’s dead, it soon becomes forgotten.
Congratulations to the Grammy Foundation for recognizing these outstanding musical warriors!