Joani Slawson named Grammy Music Educator Award finalist


Joani Slawson, director of Brevard Youth Chorus

courtesy of Rochelle Pell

Joani Slawson, music teacher at Saturn Elementary, was selected as a quarterfinalist for this year’s Music Educator Award presented by The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation. The award recognizes teachers 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. Slawson was one of 290 music teachers from 264 cities across 41 states selected as a quarterfinalist. 

The semifinalists will be announced in September. Slawson was also a recipient of the Yale 2011 Distinguished Music Educator award.   She was one of only 50 music educators from across the nation selected for her outstanding accomplishments teaching music in public schools.  In addition to teaching at Saturn, Slawson is a private voice teacher and the conductor of the non-profit Brevard Youth Chorus. 

Call 321-432-2770 for more information or visit  

Brevard Youth Chorus Director, Joani Slawson is honored to be in contention for the award.

“I am tremendously honored to be one of the quarterfinalists for the Music Educator Award,” said Slawson.  “I am in the company of the nation's best music teachers; people like me who appreciate the opportunity to impact young lives and do what we love every day.”

The Brevard Youth Chorus is a select group of youth singers who perform at venues and events throughout Brevard.  Recent performances include the Cultural Arts Showcase at the King Center, holiday concerts with the Indialantic Chamber Singers, Relay for Life and more.


For every performer who makes it to the GRAMMY stage, there was a teacher who played a critical role in getting them there. 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. Grammy in the Schools is a 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? Ten finalists, including one winner each year will be recognized for their remarkable impact. The winner will be flown to Los Angeles to accept the award and attend the GRAMMYs, plus pick up a $10,000 honorarium. All finalists will receive a $1,000 honorarium as well.


  1. 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.
  2. Schools that have music programs have significantly higher attendance rates than do those without programs (93.3 percent as compared to 84.9 percent).
  3. 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).
  4. The combined results of 30 studies indicate that music instruction is linked to significantly improved reading skills.

The GRAMMY Music Educator Award is supported by the NAMM Foundation, the National Association for Music Education, and the National Education Association.


The Florida non-profit Brevard Youth Chorus is an auditioned group of singers in grades 4-10 performing quality choral music. More advanced singers belong to the chorus’s Youth Ensemble. Begun in 2004, the mission of the choral organization is to teach and develop musically talented children who aspire to the highest levels of choral artistry. Membership is open to students involved in public, private, charter and home-schools.

The rehearsal location for the chorus is the centrally located Suntree United Methodist Church, at 7400 N. Wickham Rd. in Melbourne. Rehearsals for the ensemble and full chorus are held on Thursday evenings in the church LOFT. More information about the Brevard Youth Chorus is available on their website at or by visiting their Facebook page. Contact director Joani Slawson by emailing or by calling 321-432-2770.

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