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Laurier student wins prestigious music education scholarship
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Kristen Morrison, a Master of Education student at Wilfrid Laurier University, has won the Ontario Music Educators’ Association’s (OMEA) 2012 George Bishop Pre-Service Scholarship. The award recognizes Morrison’s commitment to music and music education.
Morrison graduated from Laurier with a Bachelor of Music in 2011 and a Bachelor of Education in 2012. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree part-time while working as a research assistant to Faculty of Education Dean Colleen Willard-Holt. She is also the inaugural president of the Education Graduate Students’ Association, works as tutor for students in Grades 3 to 7, and delivers extracurricular educational programs in local schools.
“This is the first award of this magnitude for a Laurier Faculty of Education graduate. We're very proud of Kristen's accomplishments. She will be a first-rate teacher who also has a depth of understanding about research and its importance to the everyday practice of teaching,” said Willard-Holt.
As a trumpeter, Morrison performs regularly with the Markham, Ont.-based Not Affiliated Big Band, and has performed with the Toronto Youth Wind Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in New York City and the National Youth Band of Canada at venues across the country.
“This award is an important one, since it recognizes the tremendous potential of young music educators to transform lives and communities by their example and leadership,” said Glen Carruthers, dean of Laurier’s Faculty of Music.
Morrison is an advocate for music education and an integrated approach to the arts in the classroom. During her teaching practicums, she created engaging lessons for her students by incorporating music into the classroom.
“Music should be present in all aspects of a child’s learning, not just packed into two periods a week,” she said. “It is my intent to approach elementary music education in a slightly less traditional way, but hopefully one that will foster a deep appreciation for and lifelong love of music in my students.”
Morrison will receive her award, which consists of a $500 scholarship and a plaque, at the annual OMEA conference in November.
“It is quite humbling and assuring to know that others have taken notice of my work,” said Morrison. “It lets me know that I am headed in the right direction.”