For more than 19 years, music specialist Meredith Regan has been bringing music into the lives of elementary school students in Davidson County.
“It is truly inspiring to start and see and lay that foundation for kids from kindergarten through fifth grade to instill a love of music in them and, and see them experience making music for the first time. Some of them don’t have access to piano lessons or things, so being able to experience that in class is really fun to watch the joy,” she says.
Whether she is teaching in the classroom or getting the students ready for a performance, she takes it all in.
“I love all the emotion and the feeling that comes with teaching music and singing, music and performing and playing music. Just all the different elements and aspects that it can make you feel.”
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She says every day is different but also rewarding. She realizes she has the power to open doors to talents some students never knew they had.
“It is an incredible feeling that they have those aha moments when they’re practicing or playing and then they, they get it and they say, ‘Ms. Reagan, I’ve got it,’” she says. “Or ‘can we send this to my family so they can see me play this or, sing this song?’ So it is really amazing.”
When students aren’t musically inclined she improvises.
“We all have different gifts and abilities and strengths and weaknesses, and so I want to be able to find some way to connect to each student that I teach and find something that they enjoy in my class, whether it’s singing or playing an instrument of some sort or being a part of a group that plays together. Just trying to make a connection for all of them.”
Her principal says she is a special person.
Principal Kim Walker has worked with Meredith for over five years.
“So I’ve seen what she does in the classroom and her passion for students and teaching mesh very well with teaching music and passing that along to her students,” Walker says.
That’s exactly why she nominated her for a North Carolina Symphony Music Educator Award. Last month Regan received the Jackson Parkhurst Award for Special Achievement in the classroom.
“I was truly blown away,” says Regan. “And very, very humbled. There are so many talented and amazing music educators that it was a very, very humbling experience for me.”
She was presented her award on stage during a North Carolina Symphony performance, with her family and friends in attendance.