Cultural Quarterly
Fall 2008
Volume XXI, Number 4
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2008 Arts Teacher of the Year
Nicole Greggs

Leads Children on a Musical Journey
By Susan F. Davis

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Nicole Greggs and her son Hunter
Nicole Greggs and her son Hunter

“I didn’t choose music.  Music chose me!”  These words of Nicole Greggs do the perfect job of tracing her journey from music-loving child to music student to music teacher – and not just any music teacher, mind you, but Broward County’s Arts Teacher of the Year for 2008!

For the past 17 years, Greggs has been the music teacher at Plantation Park Elementary School.  Believing that music provides the perfect foundation for any child’s future, she says, “I do what I do because I care about my students’ learning.  Today’s students are tomorrow’s decision makers!”  

And Greggs more than “does” for her students.  She sponsors the Plantation Park Singers, a non-audition chorus made up of children from grades 3-5.  This group has a full schedule of specialized events which allows them to travel to other venues and perform.  “These performances give kids a sense of self-worth and positive self-esteem that is amazing,” Greggs explains.  Practicing after school, the chorus energetically prepares for full-scale productions like last fall’s The Wizard of Oz.  As the school year progresses, these chorus students also perform a holiday show, sing at the Music USA Festival and present a season finale which includes a Festival of Music combined with a show honoring “One Hundred Years of Broadway.”

As if that weren’t enough, Nicole Greggs is the founder, director and administrator of an innovative, creative and extremely energetic summer camp called “MusicMakers!”  This novel program was developed for students from ages 6-14.  Additionally, Greggs is the curriculum and program designer and head instructor.  “We try to give them everything,” she explains, “general music, singing, percussion, keyboard, strings and even woodwinds.  If they play in their school’s band, we encourage them to bring their band instruments with them.  We just try to tailor to these kids’ needs!”  The instructors are other music teachers and musicians.  “My fellow instructors are amazing.  We write and transpose music every day, and staying on top of that keeps everyone fresh and energized!”

Greggs takes a “whole child” approach to the teaching of music that is extremely visual.  For

Nicole Greggs receives Proclamation
Nicole Greggs receives Proclamation from
Cultural Division Director Mary Becht

example, once the students enter her room, they are quickly immersed in a world of music, music vocabulary and motivational phrases like “Put your heart in your art!”  A hand-painted mural circling the room cleverly disguises important words, music familie