Miriam Brown Named 2022 NCTM Teacher of the Year

Miriam Brown – 2022 NCTM Teacher of the Year

Each spring, the Ohio Music Teachers Association (OMTA) highlights a leader in the organization – a Nationally Certified member who excels as a teacher, serves as a role model, and who volunteers time to our organization. This year, Miriam Brown, has been awarded the 2022 Music Teacher of the Year.

Miriam taught elementary music in Gahanna, Ohio where she incorporated music techniques of Kodaly, Orff and Dalcroze. In total, Miriam taught public school music for 33 years. After she left public school teaching to concentrate on private instruction, she joined OMTA in 2010. Since 2014, Miriam has served as “Out and About” Chairman, organizing volunteer playing opportunities for students at local hospitals, senior living facilities, malls and more.

For the past eight years, she has also served as Vice President of Student Activities for OMTA, helping to bring Pianorama, Scale Olympics and student recitals to the Central Ohio music community. Miriam maintains a piano studio at her home and enjoys teaching students of all ages including adults. She is also a member of the American Harp Society and the National Guild of Piano Teachers.

Miriam earned her Bachelor of Music Education degree (piano major) from Wittenberg University and her Masters in School Counseling from the University of Dayton. While a student at Wittenberg, she began to learn the harp. Now, as a professional harpist, Miriam regularly performs for weddings, corporate events, and private parties in the greater Columbus area. Her long-term engagements have included Franklin Park Conservatory Candlelight Tours, Sunday Brunches at the Hyatt Regency, and she also performs in a flute-harp duo.

Six years ago, Miriam took steps to become a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM.) In her Philosophy of Teaching, she wrote: “As a piano teacher, I want to develop musicians, not just piano players. The musical and emotional characteristics of music mirror our own feelings as human beings. A technically, skilled performance, although impressive, can be void of emotion and feeling. We need to learn to play the notes AND play musically… to connect to the heart and soul of the audience; to help students look inside themselves to extract experiences and feelings to create expression and a beautiful work of art.”

CEOMTA Earns National Recognition

The Central East District of the Ohio Music Teachers Association (CEOMTA) has been selected as Local Association of the Year 2020 by its national affiliate, Music Teachers National Association (MTNA). Each year, MTNA selects one of its 500+ local associations from around the country for making “the most significant contribution to the music teaching profession through participation in MTNA national programs and additional programs established within their state and local area.” CEOMTA is a dedicated group of 92 teachers, built up over many years to support both students and teachers in the community.

CEOMTA offers a variety of events for students, including:
• Pianorama – a biennial event featuring multi-piano ensembles in concert, with up to 20 pianos on stage.
• Scale Olympics – a biennial event focusing on piano technique and musicianship skills.
• Out & About – a monthly community service event where students provide music at St. Ann’s Hospital, Riverside Hospital, and various retirement homes around Columbus.
• Solo & Ensemble Recitals – a formal opportunity for students wishing to gain performance experience.
• Buckeye Auditions – district winners of this local competition go on to compete at the state level each June.
• CEOMTA/Graves Solo & Ensemble Competition – a local piano competition co-sponsored by Graves Piano & Organ Company for over 55 years. Elementary through adult Young Artist pianists from all over the state compete in this prestigious event.
• Summer Jam Camp (2018 only) – a 1-day piano camp offering 5 classes: Taiko drumming, Music & Movement, Composition, History of the Piano, and Music Apps. Students in the performance track of this event also rehearsed with a bassist and drummer for the final concert at the end of the day.

Professional development opportunities for teachers include:
• District Conferences, Piano Workshops, and Masterclasses – consistently featuring nationally and internationally recognized artist teachers and pedagogues
• Independent Music Teachers Forum – informal meetings exploring topics of interest
• Grants for Professional Development to support teachers’ continued education
• Support for teachers who wish to become Nationally Certified Teachers of Music

The Local Association of the Year Award was to be presented at the MTNA National Conference in Chicago this past March, however, the conference was canceled and instead presented online. MTNA plans to present the award to the district in person at the 2021 National Conference in Atlanta next March.

Sally Sansbury Named Ohio Music Teacher of the Year

The 2020 Ohio Nationally Certified Music Teacher of the Year is Sally Liew Sansbury, NCTM, of Columbus. Sally was selected as our district’s Nationally Certified Teacher of the Year and was then selected out of all the districts to be the Ohio (state winner) Nationally Certified Teacher of the Year. Sally started teaching at a young age and is now recognized as a Master Teacher, with a home studio in Northwest Columbus. She became nationally certified by Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) in 2004. Area piano teachers seek Sally’s help with their own playing and teaching, and with their advanced students. Sally has earned three Diplomas from Trinity College, London; a Bachelor Degree in Piano Performance and Music Education from Ohio Wesleyan University; and Master of Arts and Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance and Piano Pedagogy from the Ohio State University School of Music.

Sally has been very actively involved in MTNA and its state affiliate, Ohio Music Teachers Association (OMTA) for over 20 years. She served four years Co-Chair of the Graves Competition, five years as chair of Buckeye Auditions, four years as Publicity Chairman, two years as Co-Chair of Summer Music Scholarships, and is currently Vice President of Student Competitions. She is a leader in the field of music teaching, giving freely of her time to MTNA.

Sally Sansbury is an active performer in the Central Ohio Community. She is a collaborative pianist with Simply Classique and the Trois Femmes de Musique chamber music trio, and accompanist for vocalists, instrumentalists, and choral groups. She is also active in Columbus Piano Guild, Women in Music, Worthington Music Club and Ohio Federation of Music Clubs.

Congratulations to Sally Sansbury, NCTM. We salute you as our Nationally Certified Teacher of the Year and thank you for being such a fine role model for our profession.