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Music Educator Award





The next Music Educator Award Winner will be announced during GRAMMY Week.

For every performer who makes it to the GRAMMY stage, there was a teacher who played a critical role in getting them there. And really, that's true for all of us who are making music today. Maybe they introduced you to your first instrument. Or they showed you how to get over your stage fright. Or maybe they just inspired you to have the confidence to go for it when you were ready to give up.

It's time to say thank you to ALL of those teachers who put in ALL of those hours to make sure that ALL of us love and play music today! And who better to do that than the people who bring you the GRAMMY Awards?

We will select 10 finalists including one winner each year to be recognized for their remarkable impact. The winner will be flown to Los Angeles to attend the GRAMMY Awards, receive the Music Educator Award at a ceremony during GRAMMY Week, plus pick up a $10,000 personal honorarium. All finalists will receive a $1,000 honorarium, while semifinalists receive a $500 honorarium. All honorariums are accompanied by a matching school grant.

You do not need to be nominated to qualify or apply for the Music Educator Award.


Current, full-time educators in the U.S., who teach music in public or private schools, Kindergarten through College. Teachers in after-school, private studios, or other educational settings are not eligible. Teachers who are planning to retire at the end of the current school year are not eligible.

The facts about the importance of music education don’t lie.

Here are a few we think are important. (Source Credit: National Association for Music Education)

Students in high-quality school music programs score higher on standardized tests compared to students in schools with deficient music education programs, regardless of the socioeconomic level of the school or school district.

Schools that have music programs have significantly higher attendance rates than do those without programs (93.3 percent as compared to 84.9 percent).

Schools that have music programs have significantly higher graduation rates than do those without music programs (90.2 percent as compared to 72.9 percent). In addition, those that rate their programs as "excellent or very good" have an even higher graduation rate (90.9 percent).

The combined results of 30 studies indicate that music instruction is linked to significantly improved reading skills.



Anyone can nominate a teacher for the Music Educator Award.  

  • Teachers 
  • School Administrators 
  • Recording Academy Members 
  • Students, Parents and Everybody Else 


Please select the appropriate button on this page. 

Here is your chance to give something back to the passionate and committed teachers who help shape students into the people they are today. What a great way to say, “thank you!” You know who those fantastic teachers are in your community who are too shy or too humble to raise their hand for this terrific honor. And that means some really deserving teachers won’t even be considered. You can make sure that doesn’t happen by completing the nomination process.  


So, get them into the game. All you need to get started is the nominee’s name, school, city, and email address. Your nominee will then be provided with what they need to complete the full application. 

*Music teachers who do not receive any nominations are still eligible and encouraged to apply for the award. 

Current elected leaders and staff of the Recording Academy and its affiliates are not eligible to apply. 

Why did The Recording Academy and GRAMMY MUSEUM Foundation launch this award?

To bring attention to the excellent and impactful work being done by thousands of music teachers across the U.S.

When is the deadline?

The deadline for nominations is March 15. The deadline for teachers to apply is March 30.

What is the decision making process?

  • Initial applications are electronically scored and ranked.
  • Quarter-finalists will be identified and asked to submit supplemental materials (video and/or written essays, testimonials, etc.).
  • Semi-finalists will be chosen after supplemental material submissions go through a series of Screening Committee reviews.
  • A Blue Ribbon Committee will select up to ten finalists and recommend one of these to be recognized during GRAMMY Week activities.
  • The Board of Trustees of The Recording Academy will approve the Blue Ribbon Committee selections.

What are the criteria for selection?

Music Educator applicants will be evaluated based on the demonstrated evidence that they:

  • Have made a measurable difference in the lives of students.
  • Have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education.
  • Are exemplars of the best in the field.
  • Have shown a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in our schools.
  • Have made a significant impact on their school and community.

When will Quarter-Finalists be notified?

Quarter-finalists will be notified by email no later than May 1.

Is there an Application Fee I should know about?

No. It is free to apply and/or nominate a teacher for the Music Educator award.

Can I apply for this award every year?

Yes, however there will be restrictions on past recipients.

What do the winners receive?

The winner receives a custom award and a $10,000 honorarium. Finalists receive a $1,000 honorarium, while semifinalists receive a $500 honorarium. All honorariums are accompanied by a matching school grant.

Will multiple nominations increase my chance of winning?

No. Only one submission per teacher will be reviewed. Multiple submissions and nominations will not be considered in our review process.


A celebration of the past 10 years of the Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum’s Music Educator Award™

2023 MEA Winner Pamela Dawson Acceptance Speech

GRAMMY Music Educator Award

Keith Urban GRAMMY Music Educator Award PSA


With the help of your generous support, we can continue to share the gift of music.