VA instructor Annie Ray wins Grammy Music Teacher Award: NPR

Virginia music teacher Annie Ray postures in journalism space throughout the 66th yearly Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Richard Shotwell/Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP.

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Richard Shotwell/Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP.

Virginia music teacher Annie Ray postures in journalism space throughout the 66th yearly Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Richard Shotwell/Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP.

Grammy Awards do not just go to individuals who produce and carry out tunes. For simply over a years, they have actually likewise been offered to those who teach others how to make music.

The Music Teacher Award, provided by the Recording Academy and Grammy Museum, acknowledges those who have actually made a “considerable contribution and show a dedication to music education.”

This year it went to Annie Ray, the carrying out arts department chair and orchestra director at Annandale High School in Fairfax County, Virginia. She was honored for her efforts to make music available to all trainees, especially those with impairments.

Ray got to go to the awards event in Los Angeles, take selfies with pop stars and bring home both a $10,000 reward and matching grant for her school’s music program. However talking to NPR’s Early Morning Edition, she stated she does not think about the award to be hers at all.

” This is the trainees’ award,” she stated. “I’m simply fortunate adequate to have actually belonged of their journey and their procedure and to have actually been taught by them.”

Her orchestra teaches trainees more than simply music

Ray produced the Crescendo Orchestra for trainees with extreme intellectual and developmental impairments, along with a moms and dad orchestra that teaches almost 200 caretakers a year to play the very same instrument as their kid.

She was motivated in big part by the variety of the Annandale neighborhood, which she states represents over 60 nations, consisting of lots of refugees and immigrants.

” There’s a great deal of cultures that may normally clash, and they come together in this really gorgeous consistency, for absence of a much better word,” Ray discussed. “Which’s actually distinctively revealed in the orchestra class, where we’re simply all music-ing together.”

Ray states the Crescendo Orchestra, which was substantiated of the pandemic, does not always share the social objectives of a program like Finest Friends or the Unique Olympics. The focus is on mentor trainees how to play an instrument, through individually direction customized to their requirements.

That includes tools like music headscarfs, egg shakers, rhythm sticks and cardboard instruments, according to a 2022 Washington Post profile of the orchestra. Ray likewise deals with a regional charity to offer broken instruments a 2nd life in her class.

The orchestra has to do with a lot more than simply making music, nevertheless. Ray states the program provides trainees an opportunity to establish their cooperation abilities, make errors and find out the art of refining something.

” I actually press my trainees to be vibrant, go outside their convenience zone and understand … we need to find out how to make bad noises before we find out how to make great noises,” she stated.

And they teach her a lot in return– more in a day, she states, than she might ever teach them.

” They totally altered my academic viewpoint and method of what it genuinely suggests to fulfill a trainee where they’re at and use that in other places,” she included. “I think they have a really effective message to show everybody, and specifically with how we take a look at approaching music education and what that appears like.”

Music instructors alter lives, states Meryl Streep (amongst lots of others)

Ray, who originates from a household of artists and has actually played harp because the age of 5, understands firsthand the effect that a terrific instructor can make on their trainees.

” That’s why I am where I am, is since an instructor altered my life and made me wish to be a music teacher,” she stated.

And she found out at the Grammys– where she fulfilled the similarity Taylor Swift and Oprah– that a number of the most popular entertainers on the planet feel the very same.

” I got to talk with Meryl Streep for a minute, and she informed me that a music teacher altered her life,” Ray stated. “Which was actually touching, since if I might alter and simply touch one trainee’s life, I have actually done what I wished to do.”

Ray was honored at the Recording Academy’s benefit award event on Saturday and participated in the Grammys on Sunday. She states a number of the artists she fulfilled at the Grammys were delighted to use congratulations– and possibly even team up.

Eilish used to make a video for her trainees, while SZA crashed her backstage interview to pass a message to them straight: “Remain in school and listen to whatever she states.”

In the meantime, Ray includes, her kids are enjoying all the selfies she’s sent them.

Ray states her warm reception was specifically significant since few individuals comprehend exactly what music teachers carry out in the class or just how much their work matters. She states while her administration is encouraging, that absence of understanding is among the greatest difficulties dealing with the occupation in basic.

Another difficulty, obviously, is resources. She states her school “frantically” requires brand-new instruments, specifically low string instruments like the bass and cello. Ray states she will utilize a few of her grant cash to purchase more.

” So when I discovered that belonged of the formula, which I did not understand, it was simply frustrating,” she included. “We have actually been attempting to raise cash all year for brand-new cellos. And I resembled, ‘Well, issue resolved.'”

Ray likewise prepares to put a few of the cash towards a continuous scholarship for trainees who wish to pursue music when they finish, in any capability. She understands of numerous who wish to enter into music education themselves, which she discovers specifically fulfilling.

” It is a difficult occupation, however it’s one that is genuinely, deeply individual and satisfying,” Ray stated. “And there’s absolutely nothing else like it.”

The broadcast interview was produced by Milton Guevara and Paige Waterhouse, and modified by Alice Woelfle.


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