KINGSTON — Wolfle Elementary School music teacher Michael McCurdy remembers his first days as a music teacher.
“I had to pull over in the mornings to throw up I was so nervous,” he said.
Ten years later, nervousness is a distant memory, replaced by the sweet sounds of his students’ symphony being performed at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall. And for guiding his students to new heights of success in learning, McCurdy is the latest recipient of the Outstanding Educator Award presented by the Kitsap County chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma.
He will be presented with the award on March 21 at Poulsbo City Hall. Delta Kamma Gamma is international society of women educators.
Earlier in the school year, McCurdy and his group of 67 fifth-grade music students won the Seattle Symphony’s Link Up competition. Their collaborative composition, entitled “David Wolfle Symphony,” was chosen based on musical interest, instrumentation choice and melodic ideas.
Their symphony, along with a video interview of the students explaining their inspiration and composition process, will be premiered at Link Up concerts in March before an audience of more than 10,000.
McCurdy and his winning music class will take a field trip to Benaroya Hall to hear their symphony debut on March 9.
Though McCurdy admits he feels like he “swept the Grammys,” he was proud Delta Kappa Gamma recognized a music teacher for the award.
“It didn’t have to be me,” he said. “It was just nice that people are recognizing the efforts of music teachers.”
McCurdy believes music has a place in daily life. He’s been a drummer since he was a boy and a music enthusiast his whole life. He performs for the Kingston 4th of July in the local band Blues Counselors, teaches drum lessons at the Drum Den in Poulsbo, and hosts open mic night from 6-9 p.m. on Thursdays at Kingston’s Downpour Brewery. And he shares his passion for music with his students.
“I love music, I have a huge passion for music,” he said. “The fact that they recognized a music teacher makes me very happy.
“Music is important and when it’s recognized, that’s a good thing. There’s a lot of learning targets surrounding music, but basically, I want [my students] to be rhythmically and melodically competent. I want them to leave here loving music with a desire to make more.”
— Sophie Bonomi is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. Contact her at email@example.com.