Katherine Powell, a student in the online Master of Music in Music Education (MMME) program, and her pupils at Molino Park Elementary School already are reaping the benefits of the teacher’s advanced music education from the University of Florida. The Escambia County School District, Pensacola, Fla., recently honored Powell with a 2016 Champion for the Arts award.
Additionally, the County’s Public Schools Foundation awarded Powell a Grants for Excellence prize of $2,000 to purchase technology for the music room at her school. The grant money is being used to provide students with iPads and MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) adapters.
“This nomination was a direct result of the changes I made to my curriculum and also my advocacy, both of which arose from what I have learned from the music education graduate program and, specifically, Dr. Bauer's technology class,” Powell said.
Powell is referring to William Bauer, Ph.D., area head for music education, director of the MMME online program, and associate professor of music education. Bauer teaches Technology Assisted Musical Learning, a class that explores the role of digital technologies in creating, performing and responding to music, with emphasis on developing graduate students "Musical Technological Pedagogical and Content Knowledge (M-TPACK)."
The Champion for the Arts award recognizes individuals and organizations that make a significant contribution to fine arts education. Powell was nominated for "innovative pedagogy and advocacy for technology in music.” She was the only elementary school music teacher and one of just three teachers to receive the honor this year. Educators who are selected for the award “demonstrate a limitless commitment” to their students and program, according to the School District. In conjunction with honoring Powell, the District has invited her to give presentations on using technology in the classroom at several events.
Powell, in addition to being a music teacher, is a professional soprano and choral director.