GRAMMY’s Music Educator Award

Photo by Kevin Winter,

The GRAMMY Foundation will recognize outstanding music educators with a new Music Educator Award, announced during the 55th GRAMMY Awards broadcast in February 2013 by President/CEO of The Recording Academy and GRAMMY Foundation Neil Portnow (right in picture), Honorary Chair of the GRAMMY Foundation Board Ryan Seacrest (left in picture), and GRAMMY-winning artist Justin Timberlake.

“The GRAMMY organization is founded on great music being written, recorded and performed, and we recognize that the best way to ensure that there continues to be great music is to support great music education,” says Kristen Madsen, senior vice president at GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares Foundation. “Anytime you go into a school and find a great music program, you find a committed and selfless great teacher. There’s no question about that.”

Anyone from current and former students to parents, administrators and community members—including the teachers themselves—may make a nomination. Current U.S. music teachers from Kindergarten through college are eligible. The nomination period ends April 15th, when a committee will review the submissions and narrow the pool down to a select few who will be invited to submit a more detailed application.

“People love this idea—nominations can be made by anybody, and it takes about two minutes,” Madsen says. “We want to make sure that everybody who wasn’t watching or might be sitting by the sidelines knows that you can still nominate as many people as you want. We’d love for as many people to apply as possible.”

Nine finalists will receive a $1,000 honorarium, and one winner will fly to Los Angeles to attend the 56th GRAMMYS in 2014 and accept a $10,000 honorarium at the Special Merit Awards during GRAMMY Week.

Honorariums will be provided by grants from the Ford Motor Company Fund. The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) and the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation have partnered with the GRAMMY Foundation to provide support and guidance throughout the process.

For more information and to nominate someone, go to

About author

Elizabeth Geli

Elizabeth Geli is the assistant editor of Halftime Magazine and a journalist/communications professional in Southern California. Her 11 years at the University of Southern California (USC) Trojan Marching Band included time as a flute player, graduate teaching assistant, and student advocate. She holds a bachelor's degree in Print Journalism and master's degree in Specialized Journalism (The Arts) from USC.


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