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Arkansas professor honored with Grammy for work in music education

The Grammy Educator Award recognizes active educators how have made a lasting contribution to the field of music education.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — A University of Arkansas professor has been named the winner of the prestigious 2021 Grammy Music Educator Award. 

Jeffery Allen Murdock is an associate professor of music education at the university. 

Murdock prides himself on being not just a teacher of music but a mentor in life, he said in a CBS This Morning interview

The Grammy Educator Award, presented by the Recording Academy and Grammy Museum, recognizes active educators how have made a lasting contribution to the field of music education.

Murdock is internationally known as a conductor, clinician and adjudicator. Along with being an associate professor of music, he also serves as associate director of choral activities. He conducts the Inspirational Chorale, the Razorback Chorus, and teaches courses within the choral music education curriculum. He is a 2016 Connor Endowed Faculty Fellow in the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, a 2018 Golden Tusk Awardee, and a 2019 Faculty Member of the Year. His research interests include cultural hegemony in choral music education, social justice in music education, culturally responsive pedagogy in music education, and music in urban schools. 

Murdock will receive a $10,000 honorarium and matching grant for the U of A's music department. 

Thousands of educators were nominated for the award, and Murdock was selected as this year's winner from among 10 award finalists. 

“This is absolutely surreal,” Murdock said. “There are so many deserving music educators in this country who are in the trenches doing this work. I’m honored to have been chosen from among them.”

“We are so thrilled for Dr. Murdock! He is the epitome of an outstanding music educator and is beyond deserving of this award and type of recognition,” said Todd Shields, dean of the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, which is home to the U of A’s Department of Music. “And during this unusual pandemic year, Jeff has stepped up in even more amazing ways,” Shields added. “He makes sure his students are safe, but that they also still feel connected, and are able to create amazing music together no matter what – such as they did in the Inspirational Chorale’s recent ‘I Dream’ video.”

Murdock said he hopes that students who see him receive this award will envision themselves at an institution like the University of Arkansas. 

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