Mount Horeb Middle School Teacher Wins Award for Excellence in Music Education
The Madison Symphony Orchestra (MSO) in partnership with Ward-Brodt Music will present its Award for Excellence in Music Education to middle school band teacher Patty Schlafer at the Mount Horeb Middle School Band’s Spring Concert in the Mount Horeb High School gymnasium Thurs., May 14, at 7:30 pm.
This annual award celebrates an educator who displays leadership, passion, dedication, and innovation within the music classroom, positively affecting the lives of his or her students and the community at large and is designated for one outstanding music educator in southern Wisconsin. The MSO and Ward-Brodt developed the award to recognize that cultivating the artistic growth of young students is one of the most unique and challenging jobs for teachers in Wisconsin.
Patty Schlafer is a proud member of the music faculty in Mount Horeb, where she currently directs concert band and co- teaches jazz band with colleague Kellen Dorner at Mount Horeb Middle School. Ms. Schlafer began teaching beginning instrumental music in Wisconsin’s schools after completing an undergraduate degree in music education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1981. Inspired by two remarkable UW-Madison music educators, Gerald Olson and Douglas Hill, Ms. Schlafer subscribes to “the pedagogy of potential.” To provide students with the opportunity to feel they have the potential to be the best possible musician is Ms. Schlafer’s goal for every student who enters her classroom.
Since 1995, Ms. Schlafer has worked with a committee of teachers from the state of Wisconsin to help teachers implement the Comprehensive Musicianship through Performance Project, a model for planning music instruction.
In 2005, Ms. Schlafer completed a master’s degree in Curriculum Theory and Design from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research included a study of musical tastes of the adolescent band student. She is a regular guest conductor at summer music camps throughout Wisconsin including UW-Whitewater, Madison, Stevens Point and Green Bay. She has served as a guest conductor and clinician for schools in Sun Prairie, Middleton, River Ridge, Royall, Muscoda, the Kalahari Band Festival, and the UW-Milwaukee Middle Level Honor Band.
Ms. Schlafer is a lifelong horn player and has been a member of the Madison Symphony Orchestra, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Artemis Horn Quartet, Madison Wind Ensemble, and Acme Brass. Ms. Schlafer’s love for community theater led her to serve as the music director for the Verona Area Community Theater’s productions of 42nd Street, Guys and Dolls, and White Christmas. Ms. Schlafer worked with fellow Mount Horeb music teacher Will Janssen to found the Mount Horeb Community Blended Band, which began its inaugural season in February 2015.
Schlafer will be awarded a commemorative plaque and a $500 prize. These prizes have been made possible through the generosity of Ward-Brodt Music of Madison, Wisconsin. To be qualified for the award, a nominee must have taught within a 75-mile radius of Madison in a public or private K-12 school and instructed a band, orchestra, choir, or general music course.
Colleagues, current or former students, parents of students, or friends were eligible to nominate a music educator for the award. The review panel consisted of representatives from public and private school administration, veteran teachers, university staff and knowledgeable community members.
For more information regarding the Award for Excellence in Music Education, visit http://madisonsymphony.org/award.