Eastern Michigan University lecturer Yael Rothfeld named semifinalist for 2022 GRAMMY Music Educator Award

Yael Rothfeld
Yael Rothfeld

YPSILANTI -- Part-time lecturer Yael Rothfeld from EMU’s School of Music and Dance was named one of 25 semifinalists for the Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum’s 2022 Music Educator Award.

The Music Educator Award “recognizes current educators who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the music education field and demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in the schools,” says the GRAMMY Museum’s website.

Rothfeld says she was very surprised and honored when she learned she was nominated. “Over 400 people were in the running to be chosen as a semifinalist, so I didn't think I would be picked. It was very exciting to hear that I was chosen for the next level. A few months before, I didn't even know that there was a category for music teachers to win a Grammy award,” Rothfeld said.

Rothfield teaches at Thurston Elementary School in Ann Arbor. Throughout her 19 years as a vocal music educator, Rothfeld has been no stranger to appreciation. She received the DTE Energy Foundation Educator of the Year Award in 2018, and was also named Michigan Music Education Association’s Music Educator of the Year in 2020. She credits her prowess in educating to her strong foundation of knowledge from Michigan State University, where she earned her bachelor and master's degrees, as well as her certifications in Elementary General Music, Early Childhood Music, and Piano through the Gordon Institute for Music Learning. She also appreciates being surrounded by colleagues with whom she can brainstorm ideas.

“I create my lessons to challenge my students, structuring them in a fun and engaging way. I am passionate about what I do and feel strongly that I am not only working to help my students become independent musicians, but I am also striving to help them build relationships, give them a voice, help them develop self-confidence, create a safe environment for them to learn, grow, and make mistakes, and help my students become well-rounded human beings,” Rothfeld said.

Eastern Michigan University’s School of Music and Dance is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music and offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in music education. Additional post-baccalaureate certificates in elementary and secondary education are also available.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest university in Michigan. It currently serves  20,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Health and Human Services; Technology, and its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

January 19, 2022

Written by:
Teddy Bigelow

Media Contact:
Darcy Gifford