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Four El Paso ISD Teachers Awarded Grants to Develop, Support Music Education

Four EPISD elementary-school teachers received grants from the Texas Music Educators Association to develop and support music education in innovative and impactful ways at 13 campuses throughout the District.

Elementary vocal specialists Mary Jane Maus, Katie Genevro and Sarah Mayne, as well as music teacher Alison Bocanegra were awarded the Elementary Music Instructional Support grants.

“EPISD Fine Arts commends these teachers and all of our Elementary Music Specialists for their hard work and opportunities they provide our EPISD students to develop their musical talent,” fine arts facilitator Gail Manago said.

TMEA approved funding for grants to benefit elementary music programs for active TMEA members who teach elementary music.

Campuses are eligible for funds not to exceed $800 to purchase music, music equipment, instruments, instructional software and other music educational materials.

“These teachers will receive resonator bells, Music-Go-Rounds manipulatives, bongos, hand bells, desk bells, pBuzz Kid’s Musical instruments, recorders, Orff instruments and instructional music books and CDs to complement the (state curriculum) for elementary music,” Manago said.

Maus was awarded an impressive total of 10 grants — one for each campus she visits as part of the District’s Mobile Melodies program. Having instruments and instructional materials at the campuses will allow her to focus on create fun, active music curriculum for the students.

“I was just thrilled to receive the grants. I teach at 13 schools, which is unusual in the state of Texas for elementary music teachers,” Maus said. “I did not think they would give me grants for 10 schools but applied anyway.”

She is looking forward to using the Music-Go-Rounds materials to spark students to be creative when making music

“They are wonderful rubber discs that can be used over and over on a whiteboard or smartboard without damage to the surfaces, Maus said. “They have music rhythms, emojis for feelings, pictures of various rhythm instruments and music vocabulary terms. There are so many ways for students to learn about music with these as well as create their own music.”

Tippin Elementary vocal specialist Katie Genevro is excited to start a recorder ensemble and use the sight-singing cards to help students build their aural skills.

“The ensemble will consist of soprano, alto, tenor and bass recorders. Playing in a recorder ensemble will immerse students in an environment that nurtures 21st century skills that are critical for our student’s success,” Genevro said. “Music provides an opportunity for students to participate and perform a living art.

Sarah Mayne at Guerrero Elementary, was able to purchase the new “pBuzz” instruments to help students learn how to play instruments with a mouthpiece like those in the brass family.

“I am very thankful for the generosity of TMEA,” she said. “Music connects all subjects and helps students be more successful across the board. I love being a music teacher. I want students to leave class feeling positive, confident and excited for their adventures of the day. A singing child is a happy child.”

 Author – Alicia Chumley | Photos by Leonel Monroy

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