Justin Merrick, Hampton University alumnus and Vocal Director/Operations Manager of the Stax Music Academy, has been selected as quarterfinalists, for the first-ever Music Educator Award presented by the GRAMMY Foundation and The Recording Academy.
“My philosophy on music is easy, be yourself, music is meant for everyone because it is a tool, it is a tool toward their journey on self-actualization,” said Merrick. “At the end of the day, I want to inspire every student on every level in helping him or her work towards productive citizenry.”
Merrick graduated from Hampton University in 2007 with bachelor’s degree in music education with an emphasis in sociology. At Hampton University Merrick, served in any and all capacities that were made available to him. He had his hands in everything. Merrick, comes from four generations of Hamptonian men and women and has always been familiar with the vision and mission of the University.
“As student representative to the Board of Trustees, Senior Co-Facilitator of the Student Leadership Program, Honors College Board Member and intern in the Office of Governmental Relations, much of my academics had to be fit around a tight schedule of burning the midnight oil,” said Merrick.
Merrick is now shaping young minds at Stax Music Academy. He lives in the moment and his largest challenge is staying connected with the rest of the world, friends and family. He said he is so passionate about his work that it becomes easy to become disillusioned with the day-to-day interactions of the rest of the world.
The Music Educator Award was established to recognize current educators teaching K – college, in both public and private schools who have made a noteworthy and lasting contribution to the field of music education. These teachers demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in the schools.
The award was open to current United States music teachers, and anyone could nominate a teacher — students, parents, friends, colleagues, community members, school deans and administrators. Teachers were also able to nominate themselves, and nominated teachers were notified and invited to fill out an application. This year there are 217 music teachers selected as quarterfinalist.
One recipient will be chosen from 10 finalists each year, and will be recognized for his/her extraordinary impact on students' lives. The honorariums and grants provided to the finalists and schools are made possible by the generosity and support of the GRAMMY Foundation's Education Champions Converse, Ford Motor Company Fund, General Mills Box Tops For Education, and Journeys. The Grammy’s will be held Sunday, January 26, 2014.
Chad Harris '14