Meet the 2020 MEIA Recipients

Ashleigh Spatz
Burgess-Peterson Academy | Atlanta, Georgia
Composing for Community
Composing for Community is an innovative elementary music project that focuses on the important and useful 21st century skill of composing digital music. 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students engage in composing digital music with three technology programs: Quaver’s Marvelous World of Music, Chrome Music Lab, and Incredibox. Students work with music production industry experts from the local community and share their work at community concerts.

Cale Patton
Dawes Elementary | Chicago, Illinois
Community Parade Project

Everyone loves a parade. Parades and processions are part of many cultures around the world. Costumes, parades, and culturally responsive music have invigorated our elementary school band program, making band a fun and dynamic experience for our entire community. When we parade in the neighborhood, we create music in an exciting way that celebrates diverse cultures, reclaims public space, and ignites the imaginations of all ages.

Courtney Powers
South Philadelphia High | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Merging Latin and Hip-Hop: The South Philly Story

Bridging the gap between Latin and Hip-Hop music at South Philadelphia High School helps curb the cultural and musical mode of our school. Our three studios allow student groups to collaborate and work on their music in a safe, social-emotional project-based learning environment. Visiting community artists lead masterclasses and work with students on the styles of Hip-Hop and Latin music, developing a learning culture where students become proud leaders that feel confident to share with the community, growing South Philly together.

David Greenbaum
Visitacion Valley Middle | San Francisco, California
Rhythm of Life Project

The Rhythm of Life Project (ROLP) provides an opportunity for students to create a working percussion art piece/expression out of recycled materials. Reflections and conversations are inspired by the artist/musicians to bring about awareness and action to aid in the healing of the planet/environment. Blending the ROLP with a Korg drum clipkit, percussion beats are created to accompany original compositions of varying forms.

David Milnes
Egg Harbor Township High | Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey
Eagle Records

Eagle Records is EHTHS record label that was founded in 2017. The goal of Eagle Records is to provide an avenue for students to create and produce their own original music in a program other than band or chorus.

Jordan Lee
Western Guilford High | Greensboro, North Carolina
Shaping the “U” in Music

Shaping the “U” in Music is dedicated to cultivating honest, openminded, intellectual and respectful people. Through the use of practical and culturally responsive music education, all students have the ability to create music in eclectic ways that bring them joy and promote growth. Students should know that music is for all, so let us all make music.

Liesl Purviance
Waltersville School | Bridgeport, Connecticut
Future GRAMMY® Winners

Future GRAMMY Winners is heavily based in student choice and independence and structured to support students in selecting, arranging, writing, rehearsing, and performing their own musical selections. Students will graduate the program with the skills and desire to continue creating, recording, and performing music in the local and global community well beyond their 8th grade year.

Logan Caywood
Jardine STEM & Career Explorations Academy | Wichita, Kansas
Culturally Relevant & World Music Pedagogy in the Choir Classroom

Incorporating music of our students’ & others’ cultures allows for a small insight into the lives, celebrations & stories from children outside of our city, country & continent.

Nick Popovich
Shea Middle | Phoenix, Arizona
Music Technology

Students are making music in a style they prefer while learning about creating, recording, mixing, performing and producing. They explore development and production of sound in a progressive, rigorous curriculum to gain music making skills. They explore and experience this through engaging classes that involve field trips to fine art staples and Guest Artists from the fine arts community, providing presentations, workshops and master classes.

Rosa Rabinovich
Norman S. Edelcup Sunny Isles Beach K-8 School | Sunny Isles Beach, Florida
Norman S. Edelcup Sunny Isles Beach K-8 Middle School Music Technology Program

The NSE SIB K-8 Music Technology Program is a part of our school’s STEAM program and a collaborative effort of the faculty to develop students’ technology skills and musical abilities. Learning music through coding helps students not just improve their musical skills, but develops their critical thinking skills, computer literacy and opens up possibilities to explore careers in music that requires a strong technology background.

Ryan William Mack
P.S. 52K Sheepshead Bay | Brooklyn, New York
Bars & Beats

Bars & Beats started as an extension of P.S. 52’s Black History Month Celebration, but has since grown to explore hip-hop on a deeper level through learning the history, function, and culture of hip-hop. Of the other music programs offered at P.S. 52, it provides the most room for the students’ independent voices and encourages creativity, collaboration, and celebration of oneself.

Suzanne Spencer
Arts Academy at Benjamin Rush | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Mental Health Awareness, Social Justice and Building Community through Music

The Vocal and Modern Band program at Rush focuses on using music to create a safe environment for students of all levels of ability to express their feelings and use music as a creative outlet. We use music as a vehicle to look at and discuss social justice issues, specifically: civil rights, LGBTQ issues, women’s rights, sexual abuse and trauma, depression and anxiety, race related issues, and the current political climate.

Thomas Insall
Newburg High | Newburg, Missouri
Audio Engineering

Newburg High School’s Audio Engineering program provides students a holistic immersion into a STEM-oriented field that marries arts, science, and business skills. From learning how to operate or repair vintage recording equipment to scheduling recording sessions or even practicing instruments and developing their musical ear, students develop habits that not only serve them in the arts, but in becoming a productive member of society.

Tiffany Cox
Lake Worth High | Lake Worth, Florida
Sound Engineering in the Instrumental Music Classroom

High school students today are surrounded by technology in their everyday lives. Lake Worth High School’s Sound Engineering program supports the technological growth of our band students. Through this program, students learn how to design and manage professional-level audio recording and amplification equipment for real-life performance applications.

Zachary May
White Plains High | White Plains, New York
Mariachi Juvenil Los Tigres

Mariachi Juvenil Los Tigres is the only public high school mariachi program in New York State. Our mission is to reflect the culture of our community, enrich our students’ musical lives through varied performance opportunities, and provide a model for mariachi education in the Northeastern U.S.A.

Our thanks to founding sponsor of the Music Education Innovator Award, CMA Foundation.

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