The Power of the Voice: Heidi Wood

February 28, 2023
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Heidi Wood is virtually synonymous with choral education in Alberta. She is a committed and engaging high school, community, and post-secondary choral music educator, adjudicator, vocal coach, festival organizer, clinician, curriculum consultant, soloist, arranger, editor, and chorister. For the third time in her 20-year career, Heidi Wood is a nominee for the MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award, presented by CST Foundation.

A lifelong learner herself, Heidi knows that connection is key. Students respond to educators who teach what she calls “the whole student”, and the results in the music room at Joane Cardinal-Schubert High School in Calgary, Alberta are proof. Students from all walks of life find their voice - quite literally - in Heidi’s choral program. She leads by example, and models empathy, vulnerability, teamwork, tolerance, excellence, and musicianship. It’s always collaboration over competition, and students take notice.

Heidi is a fierce advocate for the place music holds not only in schools, but in kids’ lives. Music belongs at home, in school, and in communities, and as part of the “Save Our Fine Arts” movement, Heidi successfully pushed back against the proposed curriculum changes that would have severely eroded music education in the province. She helps facilitate community connections by working closely in organizations like our JCS Music Parents Association, Choir Alberta, and the Calgary Association for the Development of Music Education, where she sits on the board.

She’s a lifelong learner, citing those who influenced her growth as a teacher as the inspiration and model for her to be the same positive force for others in the profession. Music teachers are often isolated in their work, and Heidi’s habit of reaching out by phone to troubleshoot, brainstorm, and share has positioned her as a respected leader in her community. She’s a mentor and a friend to many.

Heidi Wood of Joane Cardinal-Schubert School in Calgary, Alberta, is one of five exceptional educators nominated for the 2023 MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award, presented by CST Foundation. The award recognizes an exceptional music educator with a $10,000 cash prize, a generous donation to their school through the MusiCounts Band Aid Program, and a JUNO statuette.

The MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award was established in 2005 to recognize and honour an exceptional Canadian music teacher each year. This award is generously presented by CST Foundation. To date, this award has celebrated the accomplishments of 17 music educators across Canada who strive to preserve the livelihood of music education in their school and community.

The MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award is presented by