Keith Hancock, 2017 Music Educator Award recipient
Photo: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic
Keith Hancock: Music Educator Award "Means The World To Me"
It goes without saying: Keith Hancock, the Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum's 2017 Music Educator Award recipient, is a big believer in the benefits of music education.
And there is plenty of research to back him up. Indeed, a variety of studies point to music having a profound effect on children, from helping to raise IQs, increasing vocabulary and reading skills, and boosting reading and mathematics aptitude.
"Funding the arts is such a crucial part of the well-rounded child. Even Congress has come out and said that," said Hancock, who will be among the Academy's Special Merit Awards recipients honored during "GRAMMY Salute To Music Legends," airing on PBS on Oct. 13. "So it's our duty as public citizens to support public education and specifically music education. It really helps to feed the whole child. [For] some students, this is the way they connect to campus: being involved in a music program."
Hancock, who has taught choral music for more than 15 years at Tesoro High School in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif, directs more than 250 students across various ensembles, in addition to overseeing the school's music production/audio engineering program. In paying music education forward and making a difference in his students' lives, Hancock is thankful for the tutelage he received from some of his own teachers.
"My university professor, Dr. William Hall from Chapman University, who was one of the leading choral conductors in the world, really mentored me musically and taught me how to teach music," says Hancock. "And my high school music educator, Carlita Hutton, from Brethren Christian high school, showed me really how to teach people."
Tune in to "GRAMMY Salute To Music Legends" on PBS on Oct. 13 at 9 p.m. on PBS. In addition to Hancock, honorees will include Lifetime Achievement Award recipients Sly Stone, Charley Pride and Shirley Caesar, and Trustees Award recipient Thom Bell. Artists scheduled to pay tribute to the honorees include Andra Day, Dwight Yoakam and Kirk Franklin.