Vivian Gonzalez, the Orchestra Magnet teacher at Miami Arts Studio 6-12 at Zelda Glazer (MAS), has been named one of five winners of Give A Note Foundation’s 2018 Music Education Innovator Award. The annual awards are granted to school music programs led by creative music educators, who utilize innovative strategies in non-traditional or traditional music courses to attract students not typically enrolled in music education courses.
Gonzalez, who has been a teacher in Miami-Dade County Public Schools for more than 13 years, has been at MAS for a year and a half. She has been awarded a $4,000 grant to build upon the successful music program at MAS. She and the other winners will attend the Country Music Association’s Music Teachers of Excellence Awards dinner in Nashville, April 30, 2019 to present on their schools’ innovative programs.
“MAS Orchestra was created to give string instrument education access to an entire segment of the Miami-Dade County community that had no access to string-instrument education,” said Gonzalez. “Nearly 97 percent of our students come from Latino households. I strategically use music of their cultures to strengthen their interest in participation in orchestra.”
No stranger to winning, Gonzalez has been a two-time finalist for the Grammy Music Educator Award, and while assigned to South Miami K-8 Center’s music magnet, she was among seven winners of the country music group Lady Antebellum’s 7FOR7 campaign.
(Pictured left-right) Miami Arts Studio Principal Miguel Balsera, Give A Note Foundation’s Board Chair/President Sean Smith, and music teacher Vivian Gonzalez with her string orchestra class.