Earlier this month, Vestavia Hills Elementary East music teacher, Deanna Bell, was chosen from more than 2,800 initial nominations throughout the nation, as a semifinalists for the 2019 Music Educator Award by the Recording Academy and the Grammy Museum.
Revealed on “CBS This Morning,” 25 music teachers from across 16 states were selected.
The prestigious award recognizes teachers for making a lasting impact on students and music education. The winner will be announced during Grammy Week in February 2019.
According to the Vestavia Hills City Schools, Bell has taught at Vestavia Hills Elementary East since 2013. During her tenure, she has focused on technological innovation in music education through the implementation of Percussa AudioCubes, which enable students to compose music in real-time through the manipulation of small cubes connected to a synthesizer.
Bell also teaches all students how to play guitar starting in kindergarten and record their own songs by the time they reach third grade. The school holds annual music programs showcasing the students’ talent on the guitar and several other world instruments.
During the 2016-17 school year, Bell was named Vestavia Hills City Schools Elementary Teacher of the Year. She is also an adjunct music instructor at UAB and conductor of the Birmingham Wind Ensemble.
Each year, one recipient is selected from 10 finalists and recognized for their impact on students’ lives. The winner will be flown to New York to attend the 61st Annual Grammy Awards and a range of Grammy week events. Nine additional finalists will receive a $1,000 honorarium, and the schools of all 10 finalists will receive matching grants. Fifteen semifinalists will receive a $500 honorarium with matching school grants.
“I’m very excited to be considered for this honor,” Bell said. “It’s only possible because of the amazing community we have in Vestavia Hills and their support of music education.”