Petway Elementary School Vineland music teacher Jeanne Andrews knew at an early age that she loved music.
Now, the Deptford Township resident is one of 219 music teachers from across the country named quarter finalists for the 2022 Music Educator Award, presented by the Recording Academy and the Grammy Foundation.
“There was always music playing in my home, and I knew all the words to every song that I heard on the radio,” she recalled.
The educator award was established to recognize teachers from kindergarten through college who have made a significant and lasting impact on music education and demonstrate a commitment to maintaining music education in the schools.
Andrews never thought a Grammy would be attached to her name.
“I never thought I would be connected with the Grammy Foundation, and I never even dreamed it was a possibility,” she noted.” I am honored, proud and surprised all at the same time.”
Anywhere Andrews went as a child — school, church, around family — she made sure her voice was heard.
“I always loved music class, and I practiced my flute for hours and wanted to share my talents with others at church and school performances,” Andrews explained.
She has taught in Vineland for the last eight years and runs a program that includes over 500 students from kindergarten through fifth grade. Andrews has gifted them with vocal, instrumental, movement and composing capabilities in an innovative curriculum based on gaining new experiences without the fear of failure.
“I love teaching children to love music,” she related. “My classroom slogan is ‘I Try = I Can,’ which means that if you try something new, regardless of whether you are successful or not, that with practice, you can do amazing things.
“This honor,” she added of the Grammy recognition, “is a tribute to my wonderful elementary students, the amazing staff and administration at Petway (Elementary School) and the Vineland community for their support of music education.”
Andrews also serves as a Donors Choose Advocate for the district having had twenty projects fully funded, worth over $6700.00, to purchase materials for movement, books with musical themes, music resources, and instruments for her classroom.
Andrews founded the Gloucester County Flute Ensemble, a community group of adults who perform quality music for events in the South Jersey area. She wanted to provide flutists from the surrounding area an opportunity to perform in a choir and to educate them on a flute repertoire. The ensemble brings live concerts to those unable to venture out because of medical or financial incapabilities.
“I am excited and extremely proud to be honored for this amazing award as one of 219 quarter finalists from across the country,” Andrews offered. “I have had some amazing mentors and opportunities in my educational journey which have provided me with unique insight to each of my lessons.”
Fifteen Grammy semifinalists will be chosen in September and from there, 10 finalists will be announced. The winner of the Music Educator Award will be recognized during Grammy Week in 2022 and will be flown in to accept the award, attend the awards and receive a $10,000 honorarium.
For more information, visit grammymusicteacher.com