Finney Music Director on a High Note

Finney's Crystal Pridmore Named GRAMMY Music Educator Award Semifinalist
Posted on 10/22/2019
Finney Music Director Crystal Pridmore says music is a universal language that all students can understand.

Myrtle S. Finney Elementary music director Crystal Pridmore is the kind of teacher who will bring parents in to her class to play instruments with their children, who brings joy to her lessons in a way that students readily connect to her instruction, and who helps teach other music teachers about their craft.


Pridmore is now a GRAMMY semifinalist in music education as well. Pridmore is one of 25 music teachers from 25 cities announced as semifinalists for the Music Educator Award™ presented by the Recording Academy™ and GRAMMY Museum®. In total, more than 3,300 initial nominations were submitted from all 50 states.


The Music Educator Award recognizes current educators who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education and who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in the schools. The finalists for the Music Educator Awards will be announced in December. The recipient will be recognized during GRAMMY® Week 2020.


“Ms. Pridmore is just an amazing music teacher,” said CVESD Superintendent Francisco Escobedo, Ed.D. “It is just a blessing having her in our District. She has been a tremendous influence on music education in our system. Music is an amazing way to process difficult emotions and feelings. Ms. Pridmore opens up that gateway for our students.”


Each year, one recipient is selected from 10 finalists and recognized for their remarkable impact on students’ lives. The seventh annual honoree will be flown to Los Angeles to attend the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards® and a range of GRAMMY Week events. The nine additional finalists will receive a $1,000 honorarium, and the schools of all 10 finalists will receive matching grants.


“I am honored to be included in the semifinalists for the GRAMMY Music Educator Award,” Pridmore said. “Working to re-establish music in Chula Vista elementary schools has been a dream come true for me. I wake upFinney Music Director Crystal Pridmore believes music is a universal language that all students can understand. every day excited to see my students and open up a world of creativity for them. Being recognized by the GRAMMY Museum for my work has been such an adventure for me and for my students. They deserve every opportunity that comes their way, and I am thankful that this honor has brought awareness of the magic taking place in our music program here in CVESD.”


Pridmore is the kind of colleague who is easy to root for as she shares her lessons with others.


“I believe when you find something that works when teaching kids, you have to share it,” Pridmore said. “It’s an open source. We need to be sharing ideas with each other. We need to be making each other better and that high-quality education reaches every single child regardless of what neighborhood they live in.”


Pridmore has the ability to reach students regardless of the students’ language proficiency. “It doesn’t matter if a child comes into my classroom unable to speak any English at all,” Pridmore said. “They can participate in music. They can keep a beat. They can hold rhythm sticks. …They can follow along perfectly well because music is the universal language.”

View one of her award application video submissions here. You'll quickly hear and see the passion she brings to her work.


Finney Principal Beverly Prange, Ed.D., said Pridmore’s classroom is a showcase of quality music instruction. “People come from all over California, all over the world, to see what’s going on in her classroom and learn because of her innovative teaching techniques,” Dr. Prange said.


About the Music Educator Awards:
According to GRAMMY in the Schools, “For every performer who makes it to the GRAMMY stage, there was a teacher who played a critical role in getting them there. And really, that's true for all of us who are making music today. Maybe they introduced you to your first instrument. Or they showed you how to get over your stage fright. Or maybe they just inspired you to have the confidence to go for it when you were ready to give up.

“It’s time to say thank you to ALL of those teachers who put in ALL of those hours to make sure that ALL of us love and play music today! And who better to do that than the people who bring you the GRAMMY Awards?”


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