Dundee School music teacher is quarterfinalist for a national award.

Dundee Central School band teacher Patrick Dunham has been named as a quarterfinalist for the 2019 Grammy Music Educator Award. He is one of just 188 music teachers nationwide and just seven from New York who have been announced as quarterfinalists for the Music Educator Award presented by the Recording Academy and Grammy Museum.

In total, more than 2,800 initial nominations were submitted.

The Music Educator Award was established to recognize current educators (kindergarten through college, public and private schools) 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 award is open to current U.S. music teachers, and anyone can nominate a teacher — students, parents, friends, colleagues, community members, school deans, and administrators.

“I’m absolutely honored and humbled to be named as a quarterfinalist,” says Dunham, adding, “A solid education in music promotes cognition in every aspect of our lives. My hope is for leading educators around the world to recognize this as a fact, not only in words but in actions and policies. Teaching at Dundee allows me to promote this philosophy in an amazingly supportive small-town community.”

Each year, one recipient is selected from 10 finalists and recognized for their remarkable impact on students’ lives. The sixth annual honoree will be flown to Los Angeles to attend the 61st Annual Grammy Awards and a range of Grammy Week events.

The awards committee states, “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?”

The nine additional finalists will receive a $1,000 honorarium, and the schools of all 10 finalists will receive matching grants. Fifteen semifinalists will receive a $500 honorarium with matching school grants. The matching grants provided to the schools are made possible by the generosity and support of the Grammy Museum’s Education Champion Ford Motor Company Fund. In addition, the American Choral Directors Association, National Association for Music Education, NAMM Foundation, and National Education Association support this program through outreach to their constituencies. The semifinalists will be announced in September. For more information, visit www.grammymusicteacher.com.

According to multiple studies, students in high-quality school music programs score higher on standardized tests compared to students in schools with deficient music education programs, regardless of the socioeconomic level of the school or school district.

Schools that have music programs have significantly higher attendance rates than do those without programs (93.3 percent as compared to 84.9 percent).

Schools that have music programs have significantly higher graduation rates than do those without music programs (90.2 percent as compared to 72.9 percent). In addition, those that rate their programs as “excellent or very good” have an even higher graduation rate (90.9 percent). The combined results of 30 studies indicate that music instruction is linked to significantly improved reading skills.