Sarah and George William Grier, Jr. Scholarship
“My scholarship, the Grier Scholarship, is for future educators. I’m going to Valdosta, and I want to major in music education and hopefully come back home and be a music teacher for middle and high schoolers.
My band director, Mr. Hill, he’s inspired me a lot with wanting to be a teacher. I’ve always been fascinated by teachers and how they do it. Mr. Hill is so candid, and he’s really grounded in his ideals.
One of my hopes is to be able to come back to my roots. What my dream is to hopefully, one day, inspire different forms of growth. It’s that diversity of playing which makes music, music. I want to…help further the education and experience for beginners.
“Music is an underrepresented category in public education and really just in education in general, the way things are headed. That almost breaks my heart. I don’t want that to slip away.”
If you take a student…that is doodling in their book. They could use that doodling and go to art class. Or, they’re beating on the table…they could play drums. It’s a type of boost for creativity.
Downtown Macon, it’s so music oriented. You can go down there, and it’s just always music playing.
Music matters because it’s part of who we are. It goes across barriers. Music’s music. It allows people to connect and just have a good time. It’s innate in all of us. It’s one of those powerful things that you can’t understand.
The trumpet is my favorite. It’s the best instrument. I actually learned how to play it wrong. In my sophomore year, the way I learned it started causing problems. Mr. Hill was like, ‘You need to relearn how to play trumpet.’
So I practiced day in and day out, and I relearned how to play trumpet. There’s a scale; it’s the first scale you learn, the B-flat major scale. I could only play half of it. What I was doing sounded like hot garbage coming out of the garbage disposal. It was pretty tragic. That took a real hit on my self-esteem.
But, I eventually got over it. I kicked those feelings to the side and actually practiced…and, I sit first chair in the wind ensemble now and in the jazz band. I could have easily given up.
Regrets. There are some. Of course I didn’t practice enough.”
Story written by Susannah Maddux. Photo by Maryann Bates.