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Meet The 2022 Music Educator Award Recipient: Stephen Cox On His Philosophies & Strategies For Teaching
Stephen Cox

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Meet The 2022 Music Educator Award Recipient: Stephen Cox On His Philosophies & Strategies For Teaching

Stephen Cox, the newly announced 2022 Music Educator Award recipient, shares his tried-and-true philosophies and strategies for reaching and nurturing his students

GRAMMYs/Mar 31, 2022 - 03:23 pm

The Music Educator Award, presented by the Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Museum, recognizes current educators who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the music education field and demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in the schools. The recipient will be recognized during GRAMMY Week 2022. Below, 2022 Music Educator Award recipient Stephen Cox, who is the band director at Eastland High School in Eastland, Texas, shares his tried-and-true philosophies and strategies for reaching and nurturing his students.

This interview is taken from the 2022 GRAMMYs program book, your ultimate guide to navigating Music’s Biggest Night and its 86 categories and hundreds of nominees.

Teaching today, in 2022, is relationship teaching. You have to get to know the students, you have to get to know what they’re interested in, and you have to relate to them.

I think people had this sense for a long time that being there — being the teacher, the authority person — meant that everyone would listen to what you said. That may have been true 50 or 70 years ago, but now, more than ever, connection and relevance are far more important than authority.

You can’t stop a student that wants to learn and you can’t teach one that doesn’t.

It’s important to take an interest in what students care about. A lot of times, kids bring me music they like. And it may not be music I like, but if there’s any way we can incorporate it in the class, we do it.

You have high expectations, and you have to have high expectations. Whatever the expectations are for your students, it sets a standard in their mind for what is possible.

By setting high expectations for performance, attendance and all these different things, the students will do it because that’s the expectation. But while you have those expectations, you also need to have fun with them.

An example: We programmed a concert once at a historic theater here in town. This is when Star Wars: The Force Awakens was coming out. It coincided with a holiday concert. We did a mix of holiday music and Star Wars music at the theater and performed at the local premiere of the movie.

The kids had a great time going to the movie together, but we also got to nerd out about the music of Star Wars leading up to that. Try to find ways to tie in relevance to things they’re interested in and program it.

It’s really important that we get students outside of the campus. Most school concerts are held at school auditoriums, gymnasiums or cafetoriums, but we try to get the students out around town, performing at nearby venues. Performing at the park, nursing homes or anywhere where the students and community can interact in a way they might not have expected to opens doors for the students.

In any community — especially when it’s small like ours — there’s going to be people that would really love and be excited about the music programs as soon as it’s brought to them. But they’re never going to show up for a concert on campus because it never crosses their radar.

We try to tie specific performances to the history of the town. Sometimes, we’ll find people who have been in the band program before or were connected to it and learn about them.

Then, when we program our regular concerts, we’ll dedicate a piece to them: former students, directors, local musicians, or businesses. That’s been a lot of fun. It creates an extra layer of relevance to everything we’re doing.

Teaching in a small town can feel really limiting. You don't have the same access to resources and culture. By engaging the community, you open up the door to the resources you do have: human resources. Small town people are incredible and an engaged community can amplify the educational opportunities for students.

One benefit of band is that it requires a lot of help. Especially in marching band — there’s loading up trucks and all these things you have to do. There’s a lot of people, and therefore, a lot of work.

We try to get the students to take over — if not the whole process — every single part of it that they can. I think that really, really matters: letting the students have some of the control. This can feel terrifying for the educator, but it can be life-altering for the students.

Students need to know you care, they need to know what’s possible, and they need the resources to accomplish it. It’s our job to provide this to them. This next generation has to be better than us, that’s the only way that humanity progresses. 

See a complete list of the finalists for the 2022 Music Educator Award.

Nominations and applications for the 2023 Music Educator Award are now open.

As told to Morgan Enos

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The GRAMMY Museum Announces 'Shakira, Shakira: The GRAMMY Museum Experience,' Honoring Her Creative Legacy; Opening March 2023
Shakira performs at Super Bowl LIV in 2020

Photo: Focus On Sport / Contributor / Getty Images

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The GRAMMY Museum Announces 'Shakira, Shakira: The GRAMMY Museum Experience,' Honoring Her Creative Legacy; Opening March 2023

To showcase Shakira's enduring career, the GRAMMY Museum presents 'Shakira, Shakira: The GRAMMY Museum Experience,' opening on Saturday, March 4, as part of the Museum's permanent Latin Music Gallery

GRAMMYs/Jan 26, 2023 - 03:20 pm

On Saturday, March 4, The GRAMMY Museum will open Shakira, Shakira: The GRAMMY Museum Experience, showcasing Shakira's enduring creative legacy spanning more than three decades as a singer, songwriter, producer, dancer, visual artist, philanthropist, and global icon.

Visitors can see the exhibit on display in downtown Los Angeles at the Museum's permanent Latin Music Gallery.

A multi-GRAMMY-winning and Latin GRAMMY Award-winning artist, Shakira has sold more than 85 million records worldwide and has won numerous awards in addition to those from the Recording Academy. Her albums and releases consistently break records, and she is the most-viewed and -streamed Latin female artist of all time on YouTube and Spotify. She was also honored as the Latin Recording Academy’s Person of the Year in 2011 for her artistic achievements in the Latin music industry as well as their humanitarian efforts.

"It's an honor to have the journey of my career displayed at the GRAMMY Museum," Shakira said in a statement. "These pieces are a testament to so many indelible moments that I cherish, and I'm so happy to be able to relive these memories with those who have and continue to support me as an artist."

Shakira, Shakira explores the artist's musical evolution, from her origins as a Latin rock-loving singer/songwriter in Barranquilla, Colombia, to a global superstar whose catalog spans multiple genres, from bhangra and bachata to rock and reggaetón.

Read More: 2023 GRAMMYs Performers Announced: Bad Bunny, Lizzo, Sam Smith, Steve Lacy, Mary J. Blige & More Confirmed

Early in her career, Shakira began fusing elements of her ethnicities and multicultural roots to construct a richly layered sonic universe that allowed her to grow as a creator while appealing to a worldwide audience. Partly by incorporating her Lebanese heritage on her father's side — along with Arabic dancing and the mainstream pop rock that she grew up with — she achieved international crossover success and broke boundaries for Latin artists.

To deepen visitors' appreciation and understanding of how these cultural elements have shaped every aspect of her songs, music videos, performances, and world tours, the first museum exhibit about Shakira features interactive features that provide fresh insights into her creative process.

It also includes a songwriting notebook with handwritten lyrics from her personal archive along with 40 other artifacts, acoustic and Swarovski-studded electric guitars, iconic outfits from her performances and album covers, three original films, and an immersive space that draws inspiration from her El Dorado tour.

Highlights from the Shakira, Shakira: The GRAMMY Museum Experience include:

  • Forty artifacts from Shakira’s personal archive

  • Shakira’s two 2020 Super Bowl LIV outfits (one red, one gold) and her Gibson Firebird electric guitar, covered with 70,000 black Swarovski crystals

  • Taylor acoustic guitar that Shakira uses for songwriting

  • Fender Stratocaster, covered with pink Swarovski crystals, that Shakira played on her Oral Fixation tour (2006-2007)

  • Gold Yamaha Revstar electric guitar Shakira played on her 2018 El Dorado tour

  • Iconic outfits from Shakira’s 2018 El Dorado tour

  • Leaf-covered bikini Shakira wore on the cover of her 2005 album, Oral Fixation, Vol. 2

  • Songwriting notebook with handwritten lyrics

  • And more!

This announcement comes on the heels of Shakira's latest release with Argentinian producer and DJ Bizarrap, "SHAKIRA || BZRP Music Sessions #53," which has made history in its own way. With the most streams in a single day for a Spanish-language song, it raked in more than 14 million streams in the first 24 hours and became the fastest Latin song to reach 100 million streams. Another historic moment for Shakira, the song debuted at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100, making her the first solo woman to reach the Top 10 on the chart with a song recorded in Spanish. She has also broken the all-time record for most monthly listeners for a Latin artist in Spotify history. The video amassed 160 million views on YouTube in the first week. 

"Shakira is the rare superstar who has discovered a way to keep evolving as an artist while growing her expansive audience along with her," said Jasen Emmons, Chief Curator & Vice President of Curatorial Affairs at the GRAMMY Museum. "She's a serious student of music, and the GRAMMY Museum is excited to offer a dynamic exhibit that reflects her intelligence and artistry."

The GRAMMY Museum Announces Official GRAMMY Week 2023 Programming Schedule

The GRAMMY Museum Announces Official GRAMMY Week 2023 Programming Schedule
(L-R): Merck Mercuriadis, Nile Rodgers and THE-DREAM

Photo: Jill Furmonvsky; courtesy of THE-DREAM

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The GRAMMY Museum Announces Official GRAMMY Week 2023 Programming Schedule

Join in on the GRAMMY Museum's GRAMMY Week 2023 education programs and panels ahead of Music's Biggest Night. Here's the lineup for the upcoming, can't-miss events from Jan. 30 - Feb. 3.

GRAMMYs/Jan 23, 2023 - 02:00 pm

With the 2023 GRAMMYs just around the corner, the GRAMMY Museum has announced its official GRAMMY Week 2023 programming schedule ahead of GRAMMY Sunday.

Flush with unique education and community engagement programs, the events offer conversations, live performances and exclusive content from GRAMMY Award-winning and -nominated musicians and industry professionals. From panels discussing what it takes to have a career in the music industry to a celebration of GRAMMY nominee Muni Long, you won't want to miss the GRAMMY Museum’s GRAMMY Week programming.

Join in on these GRAMMY Week festivities from Monday, Jan. 30, to Friday, Feb. 3, with the full lineup as listed below.

Watch the 2023 GRAMMYs, officially known as the 65th GRAMMY Awards, on Sunday, Feb. 5, live on the CBS Television Network and live and on-demand on Paramount+ at 8-11:30 p.m. ET/5-8:30 p.m. PT.

Mon, Jan. 30:

EVENT: Careers in Music: Music Producers Panel with Isla Management

WHAT: A conversation with GRAMMY® Award-winning and -nominated producers Boi-1da, Jahaan Sweet, Sevn Thomas, Leon Thomas, and Isla Management Founder and Manager Simon Gebrelul on the creative process, working with artists, and what it takes to have a career in the music industry as a music producer.

WHEN: 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

REGISTER: Click here.

EVENT: Careers in Music: Latin Music Panel

WHAT: A conversation celebrating the culture and impact of Latin Music with singer-songwriter, Gaby Moreno, Vice President of Latin Division at Peermusic, Yvonne Drazan, and Founder and President of Cosmica Records, Gil Gastelum.

WHEN: 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

REGISTER: Click here.

Tues, Jan. 31:

EVENT: Backstage Pass: Global Music Panel

WHAT: A conversation celebrating music from around the world with GRAMMY-nominated artist Zakes Bantwini, CEO of Creative Agency GridWorldwide Adam Byars, TV/Radio personality and entrepreneur Anele Mdoda, Talent Manager and Music/Entertainment Executive Sibo Mhlungu, and Entrepreneur CEO & Founder of Bathu Sneakers Theo Baloyi. This program will also include a live performance by Zakes Bantwini and Nomcebo Zikode.

WHEN: 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

REGISTER: Click here.

EVENT: Backstage Pass: LGBTQ Panel & Performance presented by the Ally Coalition

WHAT: Backstage Pass is a career exploration program that gives students a first-hand look at what it takes to get a job in the music industry. This Backstage Pass program will consist of a question-and-answer session with music industry professionals from the LGBTQ community.

WHEN: 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

REGISTER: Click here.

EVENT: Celebrating GRAMMY® Nominee: Muni Long

WHAT: Join us for this exclusive GRAMMY Week event to celebrate this year’s three-time GRAMMY nominee, Muni Long, just ahead of GRAMMY Sunday. Nominated for Best New Artist, Best R&B Song and Best R&B Performance, Long was an in-demand songwriter for Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Madonna, Ariana Grande, and more before breaking through as a solo artist.

WHEN: 7:30 p.m.

TICKETS: Click here.

Wed, Feb. 1:

EVENT: Careers in Music: 1500 Sound Academy

WHAT: 1500 Sound Academy is a trailblazing music education institution that strives to produce passionate sound creators through mentorship, positive mindset and professional development. Join us for a moderated Q&A with founders of the 1500 Sound Academy and of the legendary musical ensemble, 1500 or Nothin', GRAMMY Award winners James Fauntleroy and Larrance "Rance" Dopson.

WHEN: 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

REGISTER: Click here.

EVENT: Live Out L!ve Presents: Beyond the Mainstage – Black Professionals in Live Music

WHAT: Join us as we go beyond the mainstage and explore the success, challenges and reality of being a Black professional in the live entertainment industry. In this conversation, we will hear from professionals of color who are leading innovation and change in their respective roles. Our panelists will share their journey of becoming a live industry leader and resources for breaking into the industry, and answer questions from the next generation of music industry leaders.

WHEN: 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

REGISTER: Click here.

Thurs, Feb. 2:

EVENT: Backstage Pass: Hawaii Day w/ Bobby Moderow, Jr. & Kawika Kahiapo

WHAT: A celebration of the music and culture of Hawaii, this Backstage Pass program will consist of a question-and-answer session as well as a live performance of two to three songs.

WHEN: 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

REGISTER: Click here.

Fri, Feb. 3:

EVENT: Careers In Music: Merck Mercuriadis, Nile Rodgers and 2023 Six-Time GRAMMY®-nominated Singer/Songwriter/Producer THE-DREAM

WHAT: A conversation with Merck Mercuriadis, Nile Rodgers and The-Dream discussing their background in the music industry, the importance and power of the songwriter, sustaining a career, and celebrating the songs past and present that have led to The-Dream having more than 20 GRAMMY nominations and five wins throughout his career. The-Dream is one of the first nominees for the inaugural Songwriter Of The Year, Non-Classical Award and we are here to celebrate his achievements and those of the other great songwriters being honored including his collaboration with Nile Rodgers, Beyoncé and others on "CUFF IT."

WHEN: 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

REGISTER: Click here.

Where, What Channel & How To Watch The Full 2023 GRAMMYs

Mayor Of Los Angeles Karen Bass To Give Keynote Address At 25th Annual Entertainment Law Initiative During 2023 GRAMMY Week Event
(L to R): Peter Paterno, Mayor of Los Angeles Karen Bass, and Aron Lichtshein

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Mayor Of Los Angeles Karen Bass To Give Keynote Address At 25th Annual Entertainment Law Initiative During 2023 GRAMMY Week Event

The Recording Academy Entertainment Law Initiative will welcome Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass as the keynote speaker for its annual GRAMMY Week Event.

GRAMMYs/Jan 20, 2023 - 02:00 pm

Ahead of the 2023 GRAMMYs, the Recording Academy Entertainment Law Initiative will welcome Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass as the keynote speaker for its annual GRAMMY Week Event. Mayor Bass will join leaders in the legal and creative communities at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on Fri, Feb. 3, as they celebrate the work of their peers and the year-round efforts of the Entertainment Law Initiative, which aims to encourage discussion and debate around the impact of legal affairs on the music industry.

"We are honored to welcome Mayor Karen Bass to the ELI GRAMMY Week Event as we gather and celebrate with the trailblazing professionals and students who are paving the way forward in the entertainment law industry," Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr. said. "Mayor Bass has been a longtime supporter of music creators' rights in her legislative roles, and she has a unique understanding of how the creative industries intersect with law and policy that we look forward to hearing at this year's event."

"I'm proud to support GRAMMY Week because of the role that our entertainment industry plays in powering our local economy and to encourage efforts to increase equity and opportunities for Angelenos to break into the music business," Mayor Bass said.

Mayor Bass was sworn in as L.A.'s mayor on Dec. 11, 2022, after representing California's 33rd Congressional District from 2011 to 2013 and its 37th Congressional District from 2013 to 2022 in the U.S. House of Representatives. Between 2004 and 2010, she served in the California State Assembly and was elected as Speaker in 2008. 

The event will also honor the winner and runners-up of the Entertainment Law Initiative Writing Contest, co-sponsored by the American Bar Association (ABA). The contest challenges students in Juris Doctorate and Master of Laws programs at U.S. law schools to research a pressing legal issue facing the modern music industry and outline a proposed solution in a 3,000-word essay. The winner of this year's Writing Contest is Aron Lichtschein, a JD student at NYU School of Law, for his essay, "Tickets to Ride: NFTs and the Future of Concert Ticketing." Lichtschein will receive a $10,000 scholarship as well as tickets to the 2023 GRAMMY Awards and other GRAMMY Week events. As well, his essay will be published in the ABA's journal Entertainment & Sports Lawyer. Runners-up Gina Maeng and Amanda Sharp, students at Georgetown Law School and University of San Diego School of Law, respectively, will each receive $2,500 scholarships for their essays.

The Recording Academy announced last month that Peter T. Paterno, Partner at King, Holmes, Paterno & Soriano, LLP, will receive the 2023 Entertainment Law Initiative Service Award at the ELI GRAMMY Week Event; the award is presented each year to an attorney who has demonstrated a commitment to advancing and supporting the music community through service. 

Where, What Channel & How To Watch The Full 2023 Grammys

Global Spin Live: LAY Combines East And West With A Magnetic Performance Of "Veil" At The GRAMMY Museum
LAY

Photo: Zhang Yixing Studio

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Global Spin Live: LAY Combines East And West With A Magnetic Performance Of "Veil" At The GRAMMY Museum

Chinese rapper LAY combines traditional Chinese instruments with contemporary Western choreography in this live performance of "Veil."

GRAMMYs/Jan 17, 2023 - 06:00 pm

With every release, singer/songwriter LAY has paid homage to his Chinese heritage. His latest EP, West, is no different, as he croons over the sounds of traditional instruments.

Released as a sequel to his 2021 EP, East, West continues LAY's global exploration and comprehension of western culture through the lens of his upbringing in China. "I'm a proud Chinese person first before an artist," LAY detailed in a media conference. "I just want to share the good things about my culture. I hope it inspires others to do the same."

In this episode of Global Spin Live, LAY offers a highly energetic performance of West's lead single, "Veil," at the GRAMMY Museum. He smoothly transitions between English and his native language, Mandarin.

It's a metaphor for LAY's multicultural mindset that's not only manifested in his lyricism, but additionally in the song's choreography and production; he balances contemporary hip-hop moves with the soft tapping of the Chinese erhu.

Though West presents two versions of "Veil" — one in Mandarin and one predominantly in English — LAY performs the latter on the GRAMMY Museum stage. "'Veil' is [asking listeners to] be more real. Take off your mask and show me the real you," he shares, further emphasizing the message of "Veil" that encourages listeners to share our most authentic selves.

Global Spin Live is held in conjunction with GRAMMY Museum and GRAMMY.com as a live event extension of the popular online series, Global Spin, showcasing Global Music artists. Press play on the video above to watch LAY's suave performance of "Veil," and check back to GRAMMY.com for more episodes of Global Spin.

It Goes To 11: The Rose Introduces The Acoustic Guitar That's Been Part Of Their Career Since The Beginning