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GRAMMY Foundation

2018 Music Education Award Quarterfinalists

2017 Music Educator Award Winner
2017 Music Education Award Finalists
2016 Music Educator Award Winner
GRAMMY Signature Schools

2018 GRAMMY Foundation Music Education Award Quarterfinalists


A total of 197 music teachers from 187 cities across 45 states plus Washington, D.C., have been announced as quarterfinalists for the Music Educator Award presented by the Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Museum. In total, more than 2,300 initial nominations were submitted from all 50 states. See the full list of quarterfinalists here.

2017 GRAMMY Foundation Music Educator Award Winner

Keith Hancock

CONGRATULATIONS TO KEITH “Mr. H” HANCOCK of Tesoro High School in Rancho Santa Margarita, California

Music Teacher Keith Hancock has been announced as the recipient of the 2017 Music Educator Award presented by the Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation. One of ten finalists, Hancock was chosen out of an initial pool of 3,400 nominees, submitted online. Hancock will receive a $10,000 honorarium. Each of the nine finalists will receive a $1,000 cash honorarium. The 10 schools will receive matching grants. Journeys joins Converse, Disney Performing Arts and Ford Motor Company Fund as the Founding Sponsors of this award.

Nominations for the 2018 Music Educator Award are now open.

2017 GRAMMY Foundation Music Educator Award Finalists


A total of ten (10) music teachers from 10 cities across 7 states have been announced as finalists for the Music Educator Award™ presented by The Recording Academy® and the GRAMMY Foundation®. The Music Educator Award was established to recognize current educators (K through college, public and private schools) 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 their schools.

Each year, one recipient is selected from 10 finalists and recognized for their remarkable impact on students’ lives. The fourth annual honoree will be flown to the host city of the GRAMMY Awards to be recognized during GRAMMY Week 2017. The nine additional finalists will receive a $1,000 honorarium, and the schools of all 10 finalists will receive matching grants. Additionally, 15 semifinalists will receive a $500 honorarium with matching school grants for the first time in the award’s history. The honorariums and grants provided to the finalists and schools are made possible by the generosity and support of the GRAMMY Foundation’s Education Champions: Journeys, Converse, Disney Performing Arts, and Ford Motor Company Fund.

A complete list of finalists is below:

  • Erica Breitbarth: Reagan IB High School - Milwaukee, WI
  • David Dehner: Monte Vista Christian School - Watsonville, CA
  • Jose Diaz: MacArthur High School - Houston, TX
  • Keith Hancock: Tesoro High School - Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
  • Elizabeth Hankins: Lakewood High School - Lakewood, OH
  • Keith Hart Sr.: KIPP Believe College Prep - New Orleans, LA
  • Henry Miller: Sierra Vista Middle School - Irvine, CA
  • Richard Nickerson: Windham High School - Windham, MA
  • Ulli Reiner: Bernardo Heights Middle School - Poway, CA
  • Nicole Thompson: Taylor Road Middle School - Johns Creek, GA

2016 GRAMMY Foundation Music Educator Award Winner

CONGRATULATIONS TO PHILLIP RIGGS of North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham, North Carolina

Music Teacher Phillip Riggs was flown to Los Angeles to accept the Grammy Foundation's Third Annual Music Educator Award presented by the Recording Academy and the Grammy Foundation. One of ten finalists, Riggs was chosen out of an initial pool of 4,500 nominees, submitted online. Riggs received a $10,000 honorarium and each of the nine finalists received a $1,000 cash honorarium. Each of the 10 schools also received a matching grant.Journeys joins Converse, Disney Performing Arts and Ford Motor Company Fund as the Founding Sponsors of this award.


GRAMMY Camp is a live-in music industry camp where participants with varied interests learn how the music business works. They leave with a greater sense of how they can develop a strategy that will increase their chances at having a successful career in music.

GRAMMY Camp is available to students enrolled in grades 9-12. They get to spend more than a week living, breathing, eating, drinking music – with students from all over the country and music industry pros who know how it all works. They will meet guest artists, write and record new music, visit cool music sites, and finish strong with a final concert in a professional venue. For more information about GRAMMY Camp, check out the FAQs.
GRAMMY Camp Nashville tuition is $100 (regular price $1,000) for a five-day nonresidential camp for those living in the greater Nashville area. Through the generous support of Journeys and Converse, 90% of the tuition ($900) has been underwritten resulting in the reduce price of $100. In addition, the $25 application fee will be subtracted from the $100 rate of a student is accepted, bringing the total cost to $75.

To apply for GRAMMY Camp, click here.

GRAMMY Camp Nashville 2016

Jim Estepa (President & CEO, Journeys)
Kari Irons (Sr. VP Marketing, Journeys)
Rebecca Bowman (Sr. VP Employee Development & Training, Journeys)
David Sears (Executive Education Director, GRAMMY Foundation)



Music is more than just a hobby and passion for some students, it’s a means of expression and a way they identify with and shape their cultural identity. The GRAMMY Museum’s mission is to help students use music as a gateway to learning and as a way to inspire and cultivate creativity and critical thinking. Students will leave inspired to continue learning and will be more aware of how music impacts many aspects of society. The Grammy Museum is an interactive, educational museum devoted to the history and winners of the Grammy Awards.

For more information about the Grammy Museum, visit www.grammymuseum.org


GRAMMY Signature School awards are given to high school music programs that are keeping music programs alive and well despite budgets and school politics. Each school gets a GRAMMY Award and a cash prize of up to $10,000. Schools compete in different categories based on excellence or need.

We have GRAMMY Signature Schools from every size city and town across the country.The award is part of the GRAMMY in the Schools program and is supported by Journeys and Converse.

Congratulations to the 2015 GRAMMY Signature Schools Award Winners!
McCallum High School Fine Arts Academy - Austin, TX
Pioneer High School - Ann Arbor, MI
Allen High School - Allen, TX
Tesoro High School - Las Flores, CA
Allendale High School - Allendale, MI
Canyon Springs High School - North Las Vegas, NV
Girard Academic Music Program - Philadelphia, PA
Lakewood High School - Sumter, SC
Margarita Muñiz Academy - Jamaica Plain, MA
Osbourn High School - Manassas, VA
Phillip and Sala Burton High School - San Francisco, CA
Pleasure Ridge Park High School - Louisville, KY
L-R: Jim Estepa, President and CEO, Journeys; Laurie Schell, Executive Director, Music Makes Us; Steve Ball, Principal, East Nashville Magnet High School; Frank Zimmerer, music teacher, East Nashville Magnet High School; And Scott Goldman, Vice President, the GRAMMY Foundation® at the GRAMMY Foundation’s GRAMMY® Signature Schools Community Award program where they teamed up with Journeys and Converse to provide 16 public high schools across the United States — highlighted by an event at East Nashville Magnet School in Tennessee — with $2,000 cash grants to support their music programs. This initiative is one of the Foundation’s GRAMMY in the Schools® offerings and is supported in part by Journeys and Converse. Photo courtesy of The Recording Academy® © 2014
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