Yale To Honor Outstanding Music Education Teachers from Across the Nation

Fifty music educators from schools around the country will be honored for their outstanding work June 10–11 at the second biennial “Symposium on Music in Schools” hosted by Yale School of Music.

Fifty music educators from schools around the country will be honored for their outstanding work June 10–11 at the second biennial “Symposium on Music in Schools” hosted by Yale School of Music.

The symposium will include a keynote address by arts activist Lucia Brawley. Trained as an actress at Yale School of Drama, Brawley is a well-known advocate for arts education who frequently contributes to the Huffington Post.

When members of the Yale College Class of 1957 made a 50th reunion gift to the School of Music to “improve the quality of public education,” they made a provision to fund biennial meetings for dedicated teachers who transform their students’ lives through music. The teachers, who are selected for their outstanding accomplishments, travel to New Haven, all expenses paid, where they will take part in discussions and workshops, and receive the Yale Distinguished Music Educator Award.

“Music educators impart the gift of music to students across this nation, and their efforts bring hope and dignity to our society. The Symposium is an occasion for us to honor these teachers and to thank them for enriching our lives, and for us in turn to enrich theirs,” comments Yale School of Music Dean Robert Blocker.

This year the School of Music reached out to school superintendents and principals across the country, as well as to members of the Class of 1957, for nominations. The effort yielded a pool of 448 candidates from 46 states and Washington, D.C.

Among those selected are Loralie Heagy, who initiated a number of music and other arts programs in Juneau, Alaska; Stephan Riddle, who has created a school-wide keyboard program for his students in a rural Appalachian elementary school; Joanne Tubbs, who has developed programs using music to teach math and reading and is working on adapting the celebrated Venezuelan music education program El Sistema for public schools in Des Moines, Iowa; and Peggy Wegener, who helped middle and high school students in St. Bernard Parish recover from hurricane Katrina through the power of singing and performing in musical theater.

The Symposium on Music in Schools begins on June 10 with a welcome dinner and keynote address and a ceremony to recognize the teacher honorees. There will be sessions on June 11 focusing on two topics: linking music to the general classroom curriculum, and the feasibility of adopting a comprehensive system like the Venezuelan El Sistema, a national network of youth orchestras and music training programs, in the United States. In addition to taking part in facilitated discussions on these topics, participating teachers will attend workshops presented by two winners of the 2007 Distinguished Music Educator Award.

View a list of the winners of the 2009 Distinguished Music Educator Award.

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Media Contact

Dorie Baker: dorie.baker@yale.edu, 203-432-1345