DOWNLOAD the 2017 Award for Excellence in Music Education Nomination Form here.
Nominations for the 2017 Award are due by Friday, January 13, 2017.
Learn more about the award.

2016 Award Recipient: Christine Hayes

We're pleased to announce that the 2016 Award for Excellence in Music Education honors Whitewater music teacher Christine Hayes!
Christine Hayes has dedicated her life to enriching young people and the communities around her through music education. In her 29 years of working in the Whitewater Unified School District and by contributing to music in her community in a variety of ways, she’s changed the lives of many students and her colleagues. She believes that “inspiring and challenging children today will lead to their embracing music for their lifetime.”
In the nominations by parents, teaching colleagues, church members, and school administrators, Hayes was described as “a power house of creative energy” who “encourages children to express their feelings through music.” Her students at Lincoln/LINCS Elementary School, where she has spent the last 19 years, can take part in diverse musical experiences including world drumming, playing guitar and recorder, composing music, and singing in many languages. All of these experiences for children make her classroom “an exciting, musical adventure.” She has also taught elementary and middle school band, middle school guitar, keyboards and general music.
A former colleague who nominated her wrote, “Mrs. Hayes leads by example by continuing to find ways to improve as an educator by constantly pursuing her own education. She recently completed a trip to Ghana in order to learn about their musical culture.”
In her own words, Hayes said, “My goal is for each student to imagine themselves in musical experiences, provide them authentic learning situations where they create, respond, perform and connect, then collaborate with those students to apply their knowledge and skills to discover their personal musical path.”
Outside the classroom, she founded an after-school orchestra where she volunteers her time as coordinator allowing children to enrich their music education. Currently in its 8th year, the Whitewater Unified School District Strings Program has touched the lives of many school children, with 72 students participating this past year, ranging from fourth grade to high school.
She is also a music leader in her community. Hayes has been serving as the Choir Director for the First United Methodist Church in Whitewater for the past 20 years and served on the board of directors of the Whitewater Arts Alliance for five years. In her free time she plays clarinet with the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Community Band.
Hayes has also been deeply involved with developing Wisconsin state standards for music education by serving on the writing committee for the National Common Core Music Standards from 2012 to 2014. In 2015, she was asked to join the Steering Committee for the Wisconsin Music Educators Association (WMEA), continuing her work to improve music education in Wisconsin. Hayes has served as the Chair of the NAfME National Council for General Music Education and as a President of the WMEA.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in music education from Central Michigan University and a master’s degree in music from Northwestern University. She currently resides in Whitewater, WI.
In 2007 she won the Wal-Mart Wisconsin Teacher of the Year award and in 2008 the Herb Kohl Fellowship Award.

About the Award

The Madison Symphony Orchestra and Ward-Brodt Music have teamed together to present the annual Award for Excellence in Music Education. This award recognizes an outstanding music educator who both advocates for the success of students and champions in-school music education. The recipient receives a commemorative plaque and a monetary award, which is presented in a ceremony at the recipient’s school.
Nominate an Educator! Info for Nominees Past Recipients
The award is open to current public or private K-12 teachers of band, choir, orchestra, or general music who teach within a 75 mile radius of the city of Madison. Nominees for this award should display leadership, passion, dedication, and innovation within the classroom, positively affecting the lives of students and the community at large. Teachers may be nominated by a colleague, associate, current or former student, acquaintance, or friend who will be asked to describe in 500 words or less why the nominee should be considered to receive this award.
DOWNLOAD the 2017 Award for Excellence in Music Education Nomination Form here.
In accepting a nomination for the award, the educator must submit a resume detailing his/her past and current accomplishments in music education along with a one-page personal statement detailing teaching goals and significant contributions made in the lives of students, the community at large, and the field of school music education.
The award review panel will include representation from public and private school administration; elementary, middle, and high school teachers; university staff; community members; and one MSO representative. Award recipients cannot be considered for this award in subsequent years.
2015 - Patty Schlafer
2014 - Margaret Jenks
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