ELON, N.C. -- Western Alamance High School Band director Michael Jefferson was nominated for the Grammy Music Educator Award.
The award recognizes educators who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education.
"I thought this is ridiculous. I got an email from the Grammy's saying a parent had nominated me for the award. So I thought OK. I'll do my part I'll fill out this application or this questionnaire and everything and send it in and we will see what happens. I thought it was going to end there completely," Jefferson said.
But it didn't. Out of more than 3,000 nominees, Jefferson made it to the top 25 music educators in the nation.
He said being nominated was gratifying but making it to the semifinals was humbling.
"Sometimes, in teaching, you feel like you don't make a difference sometimes or you're working hard every day and working and trying to make a difference in people's lives. You don't always get the feedback. We don't need the feedback. That's not why we do this, but it is certainly humbling and nice to get that," Jefferson said.
He feels he has somewhat of an advantage because his students are genuinely interested in music and want to be in his class.
He says it's his job to foster growth in them and watching them learn and perform is fun.
"It's never the same. Right? Every time we do something it's a little bit different. If I pick a piece of music this year and I play it with a group and then do it again four years from now, it's not going to be the same thing because the people in the room change," Jefferson said.
Plus he knows he is making a difference in his student's lives, whether they decide to pursue music after graduation or not.
"Hopefully, everybody who comes out of this band room every four years has a love and a passion for music and they can carry this with them whether they are listening to music, playing music in a community band, playing in a community jazz band, singing in the choir at church or whatever. Hopefully, they will carry that with them throughout their lives," Jefferson said.