Orchestra teacher Abigail Alwin is going on a four-day, all-expenses paid trip to Yale this summer to attend its Symposium on Music in Schools.
She’ll join the other 50 teachers, out of over 300 applicants, who were named Yale Music Distinguished Educators for 2013.
To apply for the award, Alwin submitted her resume and an essay about the importance of music education in school reform.
“Music education needs to be something all students have the opportunity to participate in and experience,” Alwin said. “Music teaches discipline, artistic expression, cooperation and learning in a group.”
Alwin has taught at Clague for 11 years and is a product of Ann Arbor education. She’s a graduate of Ann Arbor Open, Community High School and the University of Michigan, where she earned a bachelor’s in cello performance and a master’s in music education.
She has also conducted the Ann Arbor School for Performing Arts Youth Orchestra. Last summer, she taught violin classes in Kenya for a month as part of a string and band program created by Larry Dittmar, a retired orchestra teacher from Huron and Clague.
Alwin encourages her students to participate in service and composition projects. Last year her students wrote music to accompany Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax” and celebrated Earth Day by performing for some of the elementary schools. Her students also play for local retirement homes or raise money for charity.
Alwin is excited for her trip to the symposium in June.
“It’s wonderful to have recognition for our music department,” she said. “I couldn’t really do the things I am able to do without such support from my colleagues and a really terrific music department district-wide.”
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