What it Means to Win
March 6, 2023
While teaching is an incredibly rewarding job, it can also be a thankless one. The MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award, presented by CST Foundation, is meant to highlight the important role educators play in ensuring Canadian kids have access to music in their schools, but also to say thank you to those who are on the ground and leading the charge.
MusiCounts caught up with two past award recipients to hear about the impact this recognition had on themselves and their teaching practice.
Laura Lee Matthie, 2018 MusiCounts Teacher of the Year:
“I was truly surprised and honoured to be recognized as the 2018 MusiCounts Teacher of the Year as there are so many deserving music educators across Canada. It was an extremely special moment and the entire experience was unbelievable!
I feel that the award is a testament to my students, as they have shared in my learning and growth as an educator over the years. The students have truly been my inspiration throughout my years of teaching. They push me to continue my learning and evolving as a teacher.
Receiving this recognition has just motivated me to continue to go above and beyond for my students. Because really, what we do is for and about the students and their experience in music!”
Darren Hamilton, 2022 MusiCounts Teacher of the Year:
“It was an honour to be selected as the 2022 MusiCounts Teacher of the Year. As a racialized and non-traditional music educator, receiving this award was a symbol of validation that all forms of music matter and that all students deserve to feel that their cultural music and musical practices are welcomed in the music classroom. I am grateful for the work that MusiCounts is doing to support and promote diversity and equity in music education. I am also excited that music educators across the country are accepting the challenge to diversify their curriculum and are taking tangible steps to ensure that all students have equitable access to music education.”
This year, five exceptional educators are 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.