Asheville music teachers receive national recognition

(Photo: Citizen-Times File Photo)

(Photo: Citizen-Times File Photo)

Julie Ball, jball@citizen-times.com 2:38 p.m. EDT April 17, 2015
 

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ASHEVILLE – Two Asheville music teachers will be recognized with the Yale Distinguished Music Educator Award at a symposium this summer.
Melody McGarrahan and Emily Talley work with students at Hall Fletcher Elementary’s MusicWorks! program. They have been invited to attend a symposium on music in the schools at Yale University in June.
They are among teachers from across the nation who are involved in programs that partner with professional music organizations. Teachers from 38 programs in 19 states were invited to take part in the symposium and will be recognized.
“It’s obviously a huge honor,” Talley said.
Talley is the assistant band director at Asheville High. She also works with students at Hall Fletcher after school.
McGarrahan is the site coordinator for the MusicWorks! Program. She is also the music teacher at Hall Fletcher.
The free afterschool program is a partnership between the Asheville Symphony, the Leever Foundation and the school.
The foundation provided $610,000 to fully fund the program for three years. The program began last summer, working mainly with kindergarten and first graders. Next year, it will include second graders.
“We have a few older students in it and they act as mentors, but predominantly, it’s kindergarten and first graders,” McGarrahan said.
Students get academic support and a snack after school, and then they get an hour and a half of music lessons.
McGarrahan said she is looking forward to the summer symposium.
“There’s going to be guest speakers from all over the country because this is a national meeting place,” she said. “There will be music teachers that I get to work with and learn from.”
Talley hopes to learn more about ways schools can expose students to music before they reach middle school.
“I think for us it’s a huge opportunity to kind of expand what we’re doing with MusicWorks! Not only that, but also to expand what we’re doing throughout our school system at Asheville High School and in connection with the other elementary schools and the middle school,” she said.
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