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The Recording Academy And GRAMMY Museum Name Jeffrey Murdock As The Recipient Of The 2021 Music Educator Award

Jeffrey Murdock

Photo Courtesy of Jeffrey Murdock

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The Recording Academy And GRAMMY Museum Name Jeffrey Murdock As The Recipient Of The 2021 Music Educator Award

Jeffrey Murdock and nine music teacher finalists will receive cash honorariums, with generous support and resources provided by the GRAMMY Museum's Education Champion, Ford Motor Company Fund

Recording Academy/Mar 11, 2021 - 08:55 pm

The Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum have announced Jeffrey Murdock of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas, as the recipient of the 2021 Music Educator Award. In addition, nine music teachers have been announced as finalists for the award. Initial nominations were submitted from all 50 U.S. states.

A partnership and joint presentation of the Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum, the Music Educator Award was established to recognize current educators (kindergarten through college in public and private schools) who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education, and who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in schools.

The award is open to current U.S. music teachers, and anyone can nominate a teacher— students, parents, friends, colleagues, community members, school deans, and administrators. Teachers are also able to nominate themselves, and nominated teachers are notified and invited to fill out an application.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">JUST ANNOUNCED: The winner of this year&#39;s <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GRAMMYs?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GRAMMYs</a> Music Educator Award is Jeffrey Murdock, an associate professor of music at <a href="https://twitter.com/UArkansas?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@UArkansas</a>.<a href="https://twitter.com/Mistahwax?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Mistahwax</a> spoke w/ Murdock, who prides himself on being not just a teacher of music, but a mentor in life.<a href="https://twitter.com/RecordingAcad?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@RecordingAcad</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/GRAMMYMuseum?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@GRAMMYMuseum</a> <a href="https://t.co/lVp7BsurJn">pic.twitter.com/lVp7BsurJn</a></p>&mdash; CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) <a href="https://twitter.com/CBSThisMorning/status/1370063518167396356?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 11, 2021</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Each year, one recipient is selected from 10 finalists and recognized for their remarkable impact on students' lives. The 2021 honoree will be recognized during GRAMMY Week this month. The winner will also receive a $10,000 honorarium with a matching school grant. The nine additional finalists will each receive a $1,000 honorarium, and their schools will also receive matching grants.

The grants provided to the finalists and schools are made possible by the generosity and support of the GRAMMY Museum's Education Champion, Ford Motor Company Fund. In addition, the American Choral Directors Association, National Association for Music Education, NAMM Foundation, and National Education Association support this program through outreach to their constituencies. 

Nominations and applications for the 2022 Music Educator Award are now open.

A complete list of the 2021 Music Educator Award recipients is below:

Music Educator Award Winner School City State
Jeffrey Murdock University of Arkansas Fayetteville Ark.
Finalists School City State
Justin Antos Dwight D. Eisenhower High School Frankfort Ill.
Stephen Cox Eastland High School Eastland Texas
Pamela Dawson DeSoto High School DeSoto Texas
Michelle Folta Columbus State University Columbus Ga.
Elizabeth Hering Churchill High School Livonia Mich.
Chris Maunu Arvada West High School Arvada Colo.
Brian McMath Northwest Guilford High School Greensboro N.C.
Lynne Ruda

Lancaster High School

Lancaster N.Y.
Donald Walter

Northwest Guilford Middle School and Northwest Guilford High School

Oak Ridge N.C.

GRAMMY Museum Announces 2021 GRAMMY Week Auction

The GRAMMY Museum Celebrates Black History Month 2024 With A Series Of Special Programs And Events

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The GRAMMY Museum Celebrates Black History Month 2024 With A Series Of Special Programs And Events

Throughout February, the GRAMMY Museum will celebrate the profound legacy and impact of Black music with workshops, screenings, and intimate conversations.

GRAMMYs/Feb 9, 2024 - 08:31 pm

The celebration isn't over after the 2024 GRAMMYs. In recognition of Black History Month, the GRAMMY Museum proudly honors the indelible impact of Black music on America and the fabric of global pop culture. 

This programming is a testament to the rich heritage and profound influence of Black artists, whose creativity and resilience have shaped the foundation of American music. Through a series of thoughtfully curated events — including educational workshops, family programs, special screenings, and intimate conversations — the Museum aims to illuminate the vibrant legacy and ongoing evolution of Black music. 

From a workshop on the rhythmic storytelling of hip-hop following its 50th anniversary and the soulful echoes of Bill Withers' classics, to the groundbreaking contributions of James Brown and the visionary reimagination of "The Wiz," these GRAMMY Museum programs encapsulate the enduring legacy and dynamic future of Black music.

The GRAMMY Museum invites audiences to delve into the stories, sounds, and souls that have woven Black music into the tapestry of our shared human experience. Through this journey, the Museum and the Recording Academy honor the artists, visionaries, and pioneers whose talents have forever altered the landscape of music and culture. 

Read on for additional information on the GRAMMY Museum's month-long tribute that explores, appreciates and celebrates the invaluable contributions of Black music to our world.

Thurs., Feb. 8

History of Hip-Hop Education Workshop

WHAT: In celebration of the 50 years of hip-hop, this workshop examines the unique evolution of Hip Hop from its origin to where the genre is today. Highlighting the golden age of Hip Hop, this lesson will provide students with a greater understanding of the struggles and triumphs of the genre.

WHEN: 11 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 

REGISTER: Click here.

Sat., Feb. 10

Family Time: Grandma’s Hands

WHAT: Join us for a very special family program celebrating the recently released children’s book Grandma’s Hands based on one of Bill Withers’ most beloved songs. Bill’s wife, Marcia, and daughter, Kori, will participate in a book reading, conversation, audience Q&A, and performance, followed by a book signing. The program is free (4 tickets per household.)

WHEN: 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. 

REGISTER: Click here.

Mon., Feb. 12

Celebrating James Brown: Say It Loud

WHAT: The GRAMMY Museum hosts a special evening on the life and music of the late "Godfather of Soul" James Brown. The program features exclusive clips from A&E's forthcoming documentary James Brown: Say It Loud, produced in association with Polygram Entertainment, Mick Jagger’s Jagged Films and Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson’s Two One Five Entertainment, followed by a conversation with Director Deborah Riley Draper, superstar Producer Jimmy Jam, and some surprises.

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.  

REGISTER: Click here.

Sat., Feb. 17

Backstage Pass: "The Wiz"

WHAT: Presented in partnership with the African American Film Critics Association, join us for an afternoon spotlighting the famed Broadway Musical, "The Wiz," with the producers and creative team responsible for the Broadway bound reboot. The program will feature a lively conversation, followed by an audience Q&A in the Museum’s Clive Davis Theater, and will be hosted by AAFCA President, Gil Robertson, and GRAMMY Museum Education & Community Engagement Manager, Schyler O’Neal. The program is free (four tickets per household).

WHEN: 1 p.m.

REGISTER: Click here.

Thurs., Feb. 22

History of Hip-Hop Education Workshop

WHAT: In celebration of the 50 years of hip-hop, this workshop examines the unique evolution of Hip Hop from its origin to where the genre is today. Highlighting the golden age of Hip Hop, this lesson will provide students with a greater understanding of the struggles and triumphs of the genre.

WHEN: 11 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 

REGISTER: Click here.

Reel To Reel: A Hip Hop Story

WHAT: In conjunction with the GRAMMY Museum's exhibit, Hip-Hop America: The Mixtape Exhibit, the GRAMMY Museum is thrilled to host a special screening of A Hip Hop Story with a post-screening conversation featuring Affion Crockett to follow.

WHEN: 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.  

REGISTER: Click here.

Sun., Feb. 25

Lunar New Year Celebration

WHAT: Join us for a special program celebrating Lunar New Year as we usher in the Year of the Dragon with a performance by the South Coast Chinese Orchestra. The orchestra is from Orange County and uses both traditional Chinese instruments and western string instruments. It is led by Music Director, Jiangli Yu, Conductor, Bin He, and Executive Director, Yulan Chung. The program will take place in the Clive Davis Theater. This program is made possible by the generous support of Preferred Bank. The program is free (four tickets per household).

WHEN: 1:30 p.m.

REGISTER: Click here.

Tues., Feb. 27

A Conversation With Nicole Avant

WHAT: The GRAMMY Museum is thrilled to welcome best-selling author, award-winning film producer, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Ambassador Nicole Avant to the museum’s intimate 200-seat Clive Davis Theater for a conversation moderated by Jimmy Jam about her new memoir Think You’ll Be Happy – Moving Through Grief with Grit, Grace and Gratitude. All ticket buyers will receive a signed copy of the book.

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.  

REGISTER: Click here.

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Teezo Touchdown, Tiana Major9 & More Were In Bloom At The 2024 GRAMMYs Emerging Artist Showcase
Musical group Aint Afraid

Photo: Unique Nicole/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

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Teezo Touchdown, Tiana Major9 & More Were In Bloom At The 2024 GRAMMYs Emerging Artist Showcase

Part of the all-new GRAMMY House programming for GRAMMY Week 2024, PEOPLE and Sephora teamed up to highlight some promising new talent from around the country with the Beats & Blooms Emerging Artist Showcase.

GRAMMYs/Feb 7, 2024 - 12:00 am

Artists on the rise got their metaphorical flowers on Feb. 1, when GRAMMY House played host to the Beats & Blooms Emerging Artist Showcase. The performance-heavy event was produced in conjunction with PEOPLE and Sephora and hosted by comedian Matt Friend.

Some took the floral theme quite literally — like Texas rapper and singer Teezo Touchdown, who took to the stage clasping a giant flower bouquet, his microphone tucked somewhere inside. With his crisp white leather jacket and white gloves, Teezo looked fresh as he performed tracks from his recently released debut album, How Do You Sleep at Night? It wasn't hard to see how late legends like Prince and Rick James have influenced his artistry, and the audience appreciated his fly sartorial style.

Another dynamic performance came from Cocoa Sarai, a Jamaican-American singer/songwriter who has worked with artists such as Dr. Dre and Anderson .Paak (the latter of whom helped Sarai earn a GRAMMY in 2020 for her work on his Best R&B Album-winning project, Ventura). The Brooklyn-born artist — who is part of the new Music Artist Accelerator initiative presented by MasterCard, GRAMMY House’s primary sponsor — delivered an impactful set that included her bird-flipping anthem "Bigger Person" and was assisted by a great beatboxer named Fahz.

As many attendees got glammed up at Sephora's makeup station, the event co-sponsor also presented one of the night's performers. Sephora Sounds highlighted twin sisters Inah and Yahzi of the viral group Ain't Afraid, whose energetic performance hit home. During their charismatic set, which featured the sisters both singing and rapping, the pair told the crowd that their lighthearted stage presence is a way to turn some of their trauma into positive art.

Inah and Yahzi weren't the only sibling duo to take the stage at Beats & Blooms. Brandon and Savannah Hudson — aka BETWEEN FRIENDS — first got national attention as quarter-finalists on "America's Got Talent" in 2013, and have since racked up millions of monthly plays on Spotify for what they like to call "laptop dream pop". BETWEEN FRIENDS performed songs from their 2023 album, I Love My Girl, She's My Boy.

Tiana Major9 closed out the event with an exciting performance that featured a song debut and a sing-along. After premiering a new track called "Braids," the Motown artist got everyone to join together for an exquisite cover of Faith Evans' smoldering "Soon As I Get Home". 

GRAMMY House's three days of events are a place for a diverse array of music industry professionals, musicians and social creators to immerse in the pulse of culture, take the torch and carry it forward — and Beats & Blooms was a powerful example of just that.

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Inside The Inaugural Gold Music Alliance GRAMMY Week Reception, Highlighting Growth And Visibility Within The Music Industry
Kev Nish, Jon Yip, Harvey Mason, jr., Grace Jun Baca, Frankie Yaptinchay, Bing Chen, Hiba Irshad, and Dr. Annie V. Lam

Photo: Anna Webber / Getty Images

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Inside The Inaugural Gold Music Alliance GRAMMY Week Reception, Highlighting Growth And Visibility Within The Music Industry

The Recording Academy's new GRAMMY Week event, presented in collaboration with Gold House and Pacific Bridge Arts Foundation, celebrated Pan-Asian contributions to the music industry and beyond.

GRAMMYs/Feb 2, 2024 - 01:51 am

In the midst of GRAMMY Week, The Recording Academy, Gold House and Pacific Bridge Arts Foundation came together for the first-ever Gold Music Alliance reception — an intimate, yet powerful celebration of the Pan-Asian community's vast contributions to the music industry.

"This is the first gathering, but it's definitely not going to be the last," promised Harvey Mason jr., CEO of the Recording Academy, in opening remarks at the Jan. 31 event, which was held at the Fairmont Century Plaza in Century City, California. "We're going to continue to grow, we're going to continue to evolve. This organization and this group of constituents, music makers — it's going to be a powerful platform to make a difference. The importance of this group is so the Academy can listen and learn and understand."

As the son of Harvey Mason Sr. — the acclaimed jazz drummer from Fourplay and original drummer of Herbie Hancock's The Headhunters — Mason jr.'s entire life has revolved around music. Even though he's always been immersed in sound, Mason jr. understands that he needs to keep his ears open to other perspectives within the industry.

"We don't know everything that's going on in every group of music makers or music people," he said, "so having different groups being able to get together, have insight and give us feedback — how can we serve better? How can we represent your group, your constituency, your community better? We need to understand what's missing, what's lacking, how can we get it better?"

Harvey Mason jr. at Gold Music Alliance Reception 2024

Harvey Mason jr. speaking with guests at the Gold Music Alliance Reception on Jan. 31, 2024 | Anna Webber / Getty Images

"Thank you, Harvey, for listening," said Jonathan Yip, who is currently serving as a Trustee, and is the first AAPI+ Trustee elected to the Recording Academy's National Board of Trustees from the Los Angeles Chapter. "You nailed it! That is exactly what we need. We need allies and, with you and the Recording Academy backing us and what we're trying to do here, it means everything to us. So thank you very much for that.

"When I first moved out to LA in 2001, I worked at a couple different record labels, and when I would go in there, I didn't see anybody that looked like me," Yip, a two-time GRAMMY winner for his producing work as part of Stereotypes on "That's What I Like" by Bruno Mars, which took home golden gramophones for Song Of The Year and Best R&B Song in 2018, added. "But, what I did notice 20 years forward, I see a lot, and I think the growth of our community within the music industry is something to be proud of."

Yip acknowledged how important it is to have the Recording Academy's support in pushing the Gold Music Alliance initiative, which he said will "help bridge the gaps in the future and the younger people in our community to give them opportunities to be creative." And the GRAMMY Week reception wasn't just impactful because of the promise in the room, but because it's a moment that the community has long hoped for. 

"We've all been in the music industry where we've always wanted a voice, we've always wanted that visibility," Yip noted. "So for us to be here, to be able to reach out to the community and let them know that it's accessible, that we're here and we have a voice — that to me is a huge moment."

With its mission grounded in lifting Asian founders, creative voices, and leaders, Gold House has played a pivotal role in working with major media companies to help reshape screens in TV and film, with successes like Beef and Everything Everywhere All at Once. Now, the nonprofit organization is bringing its passion to the music business by sponsoring the Inaugural Gold Music Alliance GRAMMY Week reception.

"We all know that awards are so critically important to all of our creative industries, and voting bodies have historically looked very singular," noted Gold House CEO Bing Chen. "So we are so excited to be able to diversify, not just for representation, but for creative excellence, the next waves of artists, producers, musicians and companies."

DJ Virman at Gold Music Alliance Reception 2024

DJ Virman at the Gold Music Alliance Reception on Jan. 31, 2024 | Anna Webber / Getty Images

As Frankie Yaptinchay, Amazon Music's Senior Product Manager, Audience Development & Creative Partnerships,  added, the hope and vision of the Gold Music Alliance is that it will be around for generations to come.

"I think the big thing the Gold Music Alliance is doing is we want to build accessibility," said Yaptinchay, who also serves as governor of the Pacific Northwest chapter of the Recording Academy. "We want to build accessibility, for not only us and the creators, and executives, but for the next generation. We want to use the vehicle that the Recording Academy has built and the prestige and share that with our community. I think this is our time to be visible, our time to speak up, and I'm really really excited we can do this.”

"We are all about uplifting the next generation in music," agreed Annie Lam, executive director of Pacific Bridge Arts Foundation. The nonprofit was founded by Far East Movement, the first Asian-American group to top the Billboard Hot 100 charts with their 2010 party hit "Like a G6". The group's Kev Nish is integrated in every aspect of the event, serving as PBA's Chair of the Board and founder, a Gold House board member, and the Recording Academy's Los Angeles Chapter Governor; his bandmate DJ Virman provided the musical accompaniment for the reception.

"The work that we do is really shaped by their journey and experiences," Lam continued, highlighting some of their programs, including The Bridging Arts Talk, which features GRAMMY nominees, GRAMMY winners and music executives. "We are so proud that all of these leaders are part of our network to give back, because we know the value of mentorship and how important they are and we are working step by step to knock down those barriers. We're still fighting the good fight and hope that you will continue to work with us to keep up with the movement."

Before the event came to a close, Grace Jun Baca, Recording Academy Director of Governance, Member & Industry Relations, expressed her thanks for those who helped make the event a success.

"Tonight was made possible because of the support of Ryan Butler, VP DEI and DEI's DREAM (Diversity Reimagined by Engaging All Musicmakers) Initiative, serving underrepresented groups at the Academy, and of course the ultimate green light from CEO Harvey Mason, jr. Like Harvey said, this is only the beginning. There's much more to come!"

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Virginia's Annie Ray To Be Honored With 2024 Music Educator Award
Annie Ray

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Virginia's Annie Ray To Be Honored With 2024 Music Educator Award

Presented by the Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Museum, 2024 Music Educator Award recognizes educators who have made a significant contribution and demonstrate a commitment to music education.

GRAMMYs/Feb 1, 2024 - 02:32 pm

Ahead of the 2024 GRAMMYs, Virginia educator Annie Ray will receive the 2024 Music Educator Award during the Recording Academy's Special Merit Awards Ceremony on Sat, Feb. 3.  

Ray is both the Orchestra Director and Performing Arts Department Chair at Annandale High School in Virginia's Fairfax County Public School (FCPS) system. She advocates for universal access to quality music education, and has developed creative opportunities to make music accessible to students of all demographics. 

For example, her FCPS Parent Orchestra enables just under 200 caregivers to learn to play their child’s instrument each year. Ray also created the Crescendo Orchestra program to bring the joy of orchestra to high school students with severe developmental or intellectual disabilities. In January 2022,  the program was featured in The Washington Post. 

Based on this work, TEDx reached out and asked Ray to give a talk in April 2022. She has presented at numerous colleges and conferences on the topic and was named the 2023 FCPS Outstanding Secondary Teacher of the Year for her work on equity in education. Ray is also a member of the StringRise professional development team and was a 2023 Wolf Trap Educator Guarantee for the AHS partnership with GRAMMY-nominated artist Christylez Bacon

She currently resides in Arlington, Virginia, with her husband Irving and their girls Eloise and Millie. She is an adventurer at heart, and her biggest bucket list item is to one day win "The Amazing Race."

As the Music Educator Award recipient, Ray will receive a $10,000 honorarium and matching grant for her school's music program. Nine additional finalists will receive a $1,000 honorarium and matching grants. The remaining 15 semifinalists will receive a $500 honorarium with matching school grants.

The nine semifinalists are:

Meg Byrne: Pleasant Valley High School  Bettendorf, Iowa

Ernesta Chicklowski: Roosevelt Elementary   Tampa, Florida

Michael Coelho: Ipswich Middle and High School Ipswich, Massachusetts

Antoine Dolberry: P.S. 103 Hector Fontanez School  Bronx, New York

Jasmine Fripp: KIPP Nashville Collegiate High School   Nashville, Tennessee

J.D. Frizzell: Briarcrest Christian School  Eads, Tennessee

Coty Raven Morris: Portland State University  Portland, Oregon

Kevin Schoenbach: Oswego High School  Oswego, Illinois

Matthew Shephard: Meridian Early College High School  Sanford, Michigan

The award is open to current U.S. music teachers, and anyone can nominate a teacher — students, parents, friends, colleagues, community members, school deans, and administrators. Teachers are also able to nominate themselves, and nominated teachers are notified and invited to fill out an application. Initial nominations were submitted from all 50 states.

Nominations and applications for the 2025 Music Educator Award are now open via grammymusicteacher.com.

The Music Educator Award program, including honorariums, is made possible by the generosity and support of The Chuck Lorre Family Foundation. In addition, the American Choral Directors Association, National Association for Music Education, NAMM Foundation, and National Education Association support this program through outreach to their constituencies.

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