Beyond the Notes on the Page:
Music Educator Award™ Finalist Melissa Salguero
The GRAMMY Museum Foundation and the Recording Academy have chosen 10 finalists for the 2018 Music Educator Award. Eight of the finalists are NAfME members as was last year’s winner, Keith Hancock of Tesoro High School in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA. Teachers are encouraged to apply for the 2019 award by March 31 by visiting GRAMMYMusicTeacher.com. Participating in the application process makes you part of our overall music education advocacy movement so teachers, apply this and every year.
NAfME member Melissa Salguero teaches music at P.S. 48 Joseph R. Drake in the Bronx, New York. She appeared on the talk show “Ellen” after the school was broken into and musical instruments were stolen; host Ellen DeGeneres replaced instruments and gave the school $50,000.
Q: What inspired you to become a music teacher?
I am who I am today because of music education! Drum and Bugle Corps played a HUGE role in my character-building as I grew up. My teachers instilled a work ethic in me that won’t quit until it is done right! The Boston Crusaders taught me that you have to set goals and take steps toward that goal every day. They also taught me that sometimes the size of those steps is small, but the important part is to keep moving toward your goal.
Q: What goals do you establish for the music program at your school?
The main goal of my music program is to connect my students through music. I want them to experience what it is like to work as a team and overcome all the challenges they may face along the way.
I also want my students to get used to asking questions and be curious to learn. I incorporate a lot of science into my lessons, but I don’t explain everything at first. I’ll do an experiment and wait for them to ask me questions about it. That way the students are taking the lesson where they want to go.
There are many times that I see my students “light up” with amazement. Those are the moments they will take with them forever.
Q: What role do you believe your NAfME membership has had in the professional development aspects of your career?
It is so important to surround yourself with great knowledgeable educators. Every year I look forward to going to the NAfME national conference. I learn so much, and I really enjoy meeting other music teachers from around the nation.
The variety of professional development offered is a wonderful way to connect with teachers who share your interests and passions. The more we learn from each other the better we can serve our students.
Q: What would you say to students interested in studying music education?
There will be lots of challenges you will face on the way to becoming a music educator (like aural theory class), but never give up! One day you will be the reason your students want to go to school. You will inspire so many students to love music.
“One day you will be the reason your students want to go to school. You will inspire so many students to love music.”
Q: What role do you believe music education plays in the overall learning experience of students?
Music education teaches our students what it is like to be human. It helps them express emotions.
We can teach so much through music beyond the notes on the page. History, language, math, and science all play a role in the music classroom. Every student deserves access to a high-quality music education.
For more information on the GRAMMY Music Educator AwardTM process – and to enter your name for consideration in the 2019 competition – please visit GRAMMYMusicTeacher.com. Nominate a teacher by March 15, 2018. Applications due by March 31, 2018.