Grammy Awards

My Journey with the 2019

by Deanna Bell

When I think of the Grammy Awards, I think of Adele, Alison Krauss, Stevie Wonder, and John Williams. I think about the glitz and glamour of the evening, and wonder… “Who will win ‘Record of the Year?”

favorite musicians perform and I love seeing everyone in their designer clothes.

How did I become a part of this? How did I become a part of the Hollywood glitzy Grammy awards?

In May, I received an email from the Grammy Museum that I had been nominated by my friend Joy Smith for the Grammy Music Educator Award. Joy had filled out an application and sent it in without me knowing about it. I was so honored and excited. I thanked her for thinking of me. I thought that was it.


had been nominated by my friend and colleague and it was the best feeling in the world.

I get excited when I see my

A few weeks later, I received another email saying that I had been selected as a Grammy Music Educator Award Quarterfinalist. I was on a list of 188 music educators in the country that was being considered for the 2019 Music Educator Award. They wanted me to create a portfolio and submit a biography. Gulp! This is when I became nervous! What should I say to the Grammys about my music program in Vestavia Hills, Alabama? So, I let the kids do the talking for me. The kids shared their favorite lessons about MIDI, guitars, song writing, and singing. We sent them recordings of our concerts and of our classes. We sent them a recording of a traditional Kodály lesson where we played a southern game, called “Black Snake.”

In September, I received another email that said: “Congratulations! It is my pleasure to inform you that you have been selected as a Semifinalist for the 2019 Music Educator Award. You have been selected as a semifinalist because the Grammy’s consider you to be an outstanding example of a music educator. As a Semifinalist, you will receive a $500 personal honorarium and a $500 matching grant for your school’s music program.” I screamed, jumped, danced, hugged everyone in sight, and I felt like I had just won the lottery! I was now on a list with 24 of the best music educators in the country.

In 2014 the Recording Academy and Grammy Museum created the Music Educator Award. It was established to recognize current music educators 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 the schools.

The Grammy Museum along with the Grammy Music Education Coalition support music teachers and music programs all across the country. They support music programs by giving donations, arranging partnerships with the music industry, and by bringing communities together to share the importance of Music Education.

The Grammys are no longer just about the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. They now support music teachers and what we do in our classroom. They donate money and bring in huge sponsors, such as Ford Motor Company and Best Buy, to support to music programs all around the country. They have Grammy camps for kids and award grants to music teachers.

I have had an amazing journey with the Grammys this year. You can have this journey too. Nominate your friend for this award. Learn more about the Grammy Museum and the Grammy Music Education Coalition. They are here to support us and what we do.

Even though I did not make the finals, I feel like I am a winner.

I am just as

excited now as I was when I was first nominated. And, I am most proud that the Grammys and Grammy Museum are recognizing music educators across the country.

February/March 2019

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