LINCOLN – Weeping Water teachers and students enjoyed a sweet-sounding round of applause this past week as they were honored for their notable interest in music.
Weeping Water received the Nebraska Music Educators Association (NMEA) Music Participation Recognition Award at the NMEA Convention on Friday. Weeping Water was honored with a Class D Exceptional Level plaque.
Hundreds of students and teachers from schools across Nebraska traveled to Lincoln for the state music conference Nov. 21-23. The weekend included educational workshops, concerts and an awards ceremony that covered vocal and instrumental music categories.
Kim Hammer is Weeping Water’s K-12 vocal music teacher and Kevin White teaches instrumental music for grades 6-12. Hammer said she was proud of students for choosing to be involved in many district music programs. More than 65 percent of Weeping Water’s high school population is involved in a musical activity.
“I feel it is a great recognition for our kids as it shows they take pride in representing their school and community in many different areas, not just athletics,” Hammer said. “I hope that the students realize that receiving a state award is something special and doesn’t happen to every school. This is the third time in four years that we have received this award.”
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Nebraska schools can earn the NMEA Music Participation Recognition Award for having music programs that demonstrate high student involvement in music courses and activities. The award recognizes the effectiveness of programs that offer attractive music curricula and those that excel in the recruitment and retention of students.
The award also provided Weeping Water with the opportunity to serve as a “resource school” for the NMEA. Other state districts will be able to contact Weeping Water on music-based topics such as recruitment and retention of students, strategies for scheduling of classes and concerts and overall music programming.
Hammer said she has seen more students become interested in music programs during the past few years. She said their enthusiasm has led to a positive cycle in which students encourage their friends to join the groups as well. This has helped the Indians capture several top district and state awards.
“I think the participation rate has helped both programs become stronger as the student leadership in each group improves,” Hammer said. “This definitely is an incentive for our students to continue to work hard and take pride in everything they do, including concerts and other performance venues.”