THE JANE ORTNER EDUCATION AWARD PROGRAM
For more information about the program and our FREE professional development resources for teachers, please see below.
Jane Ortner was a devoted and beloved public school teacher who valued music as a powerful tool for teaching academic subjects. Through the daily use of music in her classroom, Mrs. Ortner instilled in her students creativity, confidence in their abilities, a sense of community, and a love of learning. In her memory, the GRAMMY Museum and the Ortner family are proud to honor K-12 academic educators who foster a creative learning environment and incorporate music into their lessons.
The Jane Ortner Education Award is a FREE program for K-12 educators who integrate music into teaching academic subjects (e.g. social science/history, English language arts, math, science, etc.). Applicants submit one original curriculum that incorporates music and are then eligible for prizes and professional development opportunities. Educators can also access our online library of music-integrated curricula at no cost.
The Jane Ortner Artist Award recognizes an artist who embodies the Museum's educational mission and shows passion and dedication to education through the arts.
What are the requirements?
- Complete the FREE application
- Submit one original written curriculum for a standard academic subject. The curriculum must incorporate music as a way to help teach content standards. It can be designed for a single class period or multiple lessons
- There are no restrictions in terms of formatting, layout, number of pages, etc.
- A curriculum can focus on foreign language instruction (e.g. lessons for Spanish class) but the submission itself must be in English
- Each teacher must complete his/her own application. There is no nomination process for the Jane Ortner Education Award
Who can participate?
- Elementary, middle, and high school educators who teach any standard academic subject (e.g. social science/history, English language arts, math, science, etc.)
- Teams are permitted (no more than two teachers per submission)
- Previous recipients of the Jane Ortner Education Award are ineligible
Do I have to sing or play an instrument?
No – educators don’t have to sing or play an instrument, although we encourage the exploration of artistic abilities!
What are some examples of a curriculum that incorporates music?
- The Award’s 2014 recipient, Sunshine Cavalluzzi, created a “Musiconomics” curriculum for her high school students that explored the relationship between economics and the music industry
- The Award’s 2015 recipient, Kylie Ko, developed a “Broadway Stars” theme-based curriculum for her dual-language 4th and 5th grade students. Students created songs and movement to help them learn about plant structures and life science
- Additional curricula can be found at the bottom of this page
What are the prizes?
Applicants will be eligible for:
- Scholarships and prizes
- Professional development opportunities
- FREE class trip to the GRAMMY Museum or a cultural institution in your area (we will pay for your transportation and admission!)
- The 2017 recipient will be honored at our annual event along with a prominent recording artist
How do I apply?
The adjudication process:
Submissions will be reviewed and evaluated by a panel of teachers and education administrators.
Our judges recommend that you keep these criteria in mind when preparing your curriculum:
- Teachability – can the curriculum be implemented successfully and with ease?
- Transferability – can the general design of the lesson(s) be modified for students of different ages/grade levels?
- Level of engagement – will students be actively engaged in a number of ways? (e.g. writing, discussing, working in a group/individually, and so on)
What if I have additional questions?
Please write to us at [email protected]
Nathan Strayhorn – 10th Grade English
Fayetteville High School – Fayetteville, AR
The Ballad of the American Dream: Songs of The Great Gatsby
Nathan's own love for listening to and making music led to his creation of a songwriting-centered curriculum used to bolster students’ understanding of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic American novel The Great Gatsby. After reading The Great Gatsby, students learned about the poetic and musical origins of the ballad and how it became an American narrative song tradition. The class studied different approaches to ballads by artists such as Joan Baez, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, and Warren G. Students were ultimately tasked with writing their own ballads in groups, utilizing both the musical talents of their peers and digital music resources. Each composition adhered to a class rubric, relayed the individual narrative of one of the characters, and communicated a major theme from the novel: the gain and loss of the American Dream. The project culminated in a live performance and recorded album of Gatsby ballads.
Jonathan Bernal – 8th Grade English
Topaz Preparatory Academy – Hesperia, CA
The Outsiders: A “Tuff” Study of the Novel Through Music
Jonathan’s curriculum is built around the exploration of identity—specifically group identity versus individuality—using S. E. Hinton's coming-of-age novel The Outsiders as the central component. In this unit students unpack the novel, study the role of identity in key movements of the 1960s, and analyze notable songs, poetry, and other supplemental written works. For their final project, students work in groups to create and record a radio show.
Kylie Ko – 5th Grade Science (Dual-Language Korean/English)
Mark Keppel Elementary School – Glendale, CA
Kylie’s “Broadway Stars” theme-based curriculum was developed to teach her students about plant structures and life science, incorporating both Korean and English. Together with their teacher, students create a mini-musical consisting of songs, dialogue, movement, and technology.
Sunshine Cavalluzzi – 11th and 12th Grade Economics
El Dorado High School – Placentia, CA
Money, Money, Money: Musiconomics!
Sunshine’s curriculum teaches concepts in economics through activities that explore the music industry and its financial relationships. Students also study songs that focus on socio-economic conditions and work in groups to create an original song that incorporates course content.
Erica Amann and Sunshine Cavalluzzi – 11th and 12th Grade Social Sciences
El Dorado High School – Placentia, CA
Give Peace - or Amazing Grace! - a Chance
In this team-created project, students collaborate in groups to analyze protest songs and sacred songs. They explore the meaning and context of songs, the effectiveness of expression through music, and seek out similarities and differences between songs from a wide variety of cultures, faiths, movements, and religions. (*Note: this activity is undertaken as a collaborative exercise between two elective classes—Contemporary World Affairs and Comparative Religions—but the structure would work in any class.)
Bianca Wilson Cole – 9th and 10th Grade English
Washington Preparatory High School – Los Angeles, CA
Fences: An Odyssey Through Music
Bianca’s curriculum is built around August Wilson’s Fences. Students analyze how song lyrics from a variety of genres reflect the conflicts (either internal or external) characters from the play endure. They are also tasked with writing an essay that demonstrates the evolution of a dynamic character in Fences, using specific examples and textual evidence.
Nicole Naditz – High School French
Bella Vista High School – Fair Oaks, CA
Noteworthy Language: Using Music to Build Second Language Knowledge and Cultural Proficiency
Nicole’s curriculum contains activities and ideas for teachers of world languages and English language development. The class activities, broken down into six sections, are described in English but are intended to be done in the target language. As a result, the curriculum is designed to work with music in any language.