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Noblesville music teacher in semifinals for Grammy educator award

Noblesville teacher named GRAMMY semifinalist

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A central Indiana high school teacher is running for a major award: a Grammy for being an outstanding music teacher.

Bethany Robinson teaches at Noblesville High School and is a semifinalist for the 2023 Grammy Music Educator Awards. Robinson was previously a finalist for the 2022 award. Now, she is one of 25 semifinalists selected from over 2,000 nominees across the country.

Robinson stopped by News 8 on Wednesday to share more about this feat and her history as a music teacher.

“So, this award is for lasting contributions in the field of music education,” Robinson said. “I have been teaching at Noblesville for about 19 years now, which is wild to think about. But I absolutely love what I do each day and my students are wonderful, so to be recognized is really an honor.”

Robinson, a bass player, says that being able to help her students with her musical skills is a “practice what you preach” situation.

“I have these experiences weekly, if not multiple times a week, where I’m playing with really amazing musicians in the Indianapolis area, and all of those skills come with performing live music,” she said. “I can come back to my students and say, ‘Hey, this is what happened at the gig last night,’ or ‘This is what we’re doing.’ I’m trying to help them as much as I can, leave the classroom, or even have real-world experiences.”

She says that those experiences, along with a supportive school administration and community, have helped grow the school’s jazz program. Robinson is credited with growing the program started 15 years ago. It began with a small band that soon grew with the school system.

“As that grew, I think all of these teachers, we had this vision for what this music program could be and just giving our kids as great experiences, as possible,” she said.

Robinson also says that the students responded well to the program, with the classes growing from one jazz band to six. She shares some of the experiences that her students have loved, like attending music festivals and how culture is built in the classroom.

Finalists for the award will be announced in December. The winner will receive a $10,000 honorarium and a matching grant for their school.

In the meantime, Noblesville High School Jazz Band is presenting its Winter Jazz Concert on Nov. 20, with world-renowned trumpet player Marshall Gilkes as a special guest. Tickets are $10 for adults, and students get in for free – just make sure to bring your student ID.

Robinson shared with News 8 for any musicians tuning in. “The more you seek out the best teachers, the best music, and if you can really just fall in love with the music, I think that is the key to making this part of your life and sharing it with others,” she said.