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10 Finalists Announced For The 2023 Music Educator Award
2023 Music Educator Award Finalists

Graphic by the GRAMMY Museum

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10 Finalists Announced For The 2023 Music Educator Award

A total of 10 music teachers have been selected as finalists for the the 2023 Music Educator Award, presented by the Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum, which recognizes educators who have made a significant contribution to the music education field.

GRAMMYs/Dec 19, 2022 - 02:00 pm

A total of 10 music teachers have been announced as finalists for the 2023 Music Educator Award, presented by the Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum. The finalists, who come from 10 cities across eight states, were selected from more than 1,205 initial nominations, which were submitted from 47 states. Semifinalists were announced in October and quarterfinalists were announced in June.

The annual Music Educator Award 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 2023, which takes place ahead of the 2023 GRAMMYs, officially known as the 65th GRAMMY Awards.

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

Each year, one recipient is selected from 10 finalists and recognized for their remarkable impact on students' lives. The final honoree will receive a $10,000 honorarium and matching grant for their school's music program. The 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 Music Educator 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. Nominated teachers are notified and invited to fill out an application.

The matching grants provided to the 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 for the 2024 Music Educator Award are now open.

Learn more about the Music Educator Award. 

See the full list of the 2023 Music Educator Award finalists below:

Name School Name City State
Phil Aguglia Kenmore East High School Tonawanda New York
Ernesta Chicklowski Roosevelt Elementary Tampa Florida
Pamela Dawson DeSoto High School DeSoto Texas
Antoine Dolberry P.S. 103 Hector Fontanez School Bronx New York
Jack A. Eaddy, Jr. Western Carolina University Cullowhee North Carolina
Marisa Frank Explore! Community School Nashville Tennessee
Trevor Nicholas Senn Arts at Nicholas Senn High School Chicago Illinois
Matthew Shephard Meridian Early College High School Sanford Michigan
Tony Small Pallotti Arts Academy Laurel  Maryland
Alice Tsui New Bridges Elementary Brooklyn New York

5 Music Teachers Share The Transformative Power Of Music Education

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.

GRAMMY.com’s 50th Anniversary Of Hip-Hop Coverage: A Recap

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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GRAMMY Rewind: Watch Beyoncé's Heartfelt Speech For Her Record-Breaking Win In 2023
Beyoncé at the 2023 GRAMMYs.

Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

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GRAMMY Rewind: Watch Beyoncé's Heartfelt Speech For Her Record-Breaking Win In 2023

Relive the night Beyoncé received a gramophone for Best Dance/Electronic Album for 'RENAISSANCE' at the 2023 GRAMMYS — the award that made her the most decorated musician in GRAMMY history.

GRAMMYs/Feb 2, 2024 - 05:12 pm

Six years after her last solo studio album, Beyoncé returned to the music industry with a bang thanks to RENAISSANCE. In homage to her late Uncle Johnny, she created a work of art inspired by the sounds of disco and house that wasn't just culturally impactful — it was history-making.

At the 2023 GRAMMYs, RENAISSANCE won Best Dance/Electronic Album. Marking Beyoncé's 32nd golden gramophone, the win gave the superstar the record for most gramophones won by an individual act.

In this episode of GRAMMY Rewind, revisit the historic moment Queen Bey took the stage to accept her record-breaking GRAMMY at the 65th Annual GRAMMY Awards.

"Thank you so much. I'm trying not to be too emotional," Beyoncé said at the start of her acceptance speech. "I'm just trying to receive this night."

With a deep breath, she began to list her praises that included God, her family, and the Recording Academy for their continued support throughout her career. 

"I'd like to thank my Uncle Johnny, who is not here, but he's here in spirit," Beyoncé proclaimed. "I'd like to thank the queer community for your love and inventing this genre."

Watch the video above for Beyoncé's full speech for Best Dance/Electronic Album at the 2023 GRAMMYs. Check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of GRAMMY Rewind. 

Tune into the 2024 GRAMMYs on Sunday, Feb. 4, airing live on the CBS Television Network (8-11:30 p.m. LIVE ET/5-8:30 p.m. LIVE PT) and streaming on Paramount+ (live and on-demand for Paramount+ with SHOWTIME subscribers, or on-demand for Paramount+ Essential subscribers the day after the special airs).

A Timeline Of Beyoncé's GRAMMY Moments, From Her First Win With Destiny's Child to Making History With 'Renaissance'

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!"

The Recording Academy's Los Angeles Chapter Honored Its Musical Family At 2024 GRAMMY Nominee Celebration