NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s Grammy-award winning Aristocrat of Bands Director, Dr. Reginald McDonald, has achieved yet another first. McDonald is a recipient of the Tennessee Music Education Association (TMEA) award for Outstanding University Music Educator of the Year. McDonald, who is also a tenured associate professor in the music department, is the first music professor at the university to receive this award.
“Anytime you win something of this magnitude, it is a huge honor and confirmation in regard to you as a teacher,” McDonald said. “This is confirmation that hard work pays off. Not for me, but for my students.”
The TMEA is a voluntary, non-profit organization representing all phases of music education at all school levels in the state. McDonald has been teaching music for more than 30 years.
As an experienced and committed teacher, over the years McDonald’s objective and expectations for his students has stayed the same. “My objective is to teach individual life coping skills and to develop the highest level of musicians.” He noted that life coping skills is his main priority due to teaching K-12 grades his entire career to minority students.
McDonald said his main goal for his students is to help development thick skin, a strong mind and to dream big. “My goal for them is to be able to accept the challenges of life and not run away from them.”
He has won teacher of the year five times throughout his career, including three awards from TSU. He has been a part of the TMEA since 2001 and was nominated to be the award recipient this month.
“Out of all the music professors in the state, I was chosen. I am honored and shocked,” he said. The award was not just a recognition of McDonald’s past achievements, but a reminder to him of the responsibility to continue being an outstanding music educator for years to come.
The Tennessee Music Education Association was officially formed in 1945 as a voluntary, non-profit organization representing all phases of music education at all school levels. The mission of TMEA is to promote the advancement of high-quality music education for all.