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Stories from the Field

California Casualty Awardees Corderyl Martin: Connecting to Music

Great educators have great stories. This series gives a glimpse of the ideas, practices, and experiences of the recipients of the NEA Foundation’s California Casualty Awards for Teaching Excellence. Today, we’re sharing the words of Corderyl Martin, a music educator at Whitthorne Middle School in Columbia, TN.

One of the beautiful things about music is the fact that it is a direct reflection of the society and culture of a specific period. In my class, I cover music from diverse backgrounds and cultures to expose my students to a varied repertoire of music. I strive to select music from various cultures with the intent of exposing my children to music as it relates to culture and creating equal opportunity for student engagement.

I use storytelling to help students connect with the music we are playing, and I try to incorporate other core subjects into the music curriculum for the students to connect prior learning and enhance the relevance of the music. Good music educators can relate music to history, social studies, mathematics, and other core curriculum areas. This has become a regular part of my pedagogy.

Meet more of the 2018 NEA Foundation awardees here. We’ll celebrate them at the 2018 Salute to Excellence in Education gala in February. Hope to see you there!

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