NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There were high honors at the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards Sunday for a Bronx music teacher recognized for playing an instrumental role in her students’ lives.
P.S. 48’s Melissa Salguero received the 2018 GRAMMY Music Educator Award.
It was a submission video that Salguero put together with her students that helped catapult her to GRAMMY gold, an honor acknowledging her commitment and dedication.
“I’m very, very proud of her,” parent Alexandra Carnegie, whose son Deshawn is one of Salguero’s students, told CBS2’s Janelle Burrell. “She’s a great, great music teacher. The children really love her, she shows them how to express themselves, not be shy or worry about what other people think.”
Salguero began the music program seven years ago in a school community where 22 percent of the students are homeless. The school had been without a music program for 30 years.
Her method of teaching may be a bit unconventional, but that’s why students say Salguero, who commutes two hours each way to school every day, has such an impact.
“I like when she makes new music because she’s interesting and it’s fun,” said student Jazmin Lorenzo.
“I never had a teacher like this,” said student Iseel Sierra. “She’s different in so many ways. It’s like amazing.”
“Not every day you get to meet a person that is so important in your life and that will teach you all the important things about life and stuff,” said student Luis Galvez.
Salguero was featured with some of her fifth graders on “CBS This Morning” after the honor was announced.
“Teaching this age, especially, it has to be something dramatic,” she said. “It has to be something that is going to grab their attention.”
And she earned the attention and admiration of her fellow educators as well, cheering her on for her lessons in music and in life.
“It’s very emotional — look at these children, these wonderful children who go to this school, and she draws them in,” said school staff member Ronnie Scaduto. “Oh my God, it’s a gift and she is a gift. The kids love her, love her.”
Salguero received $10,000 for her school and another $10,000 check for herself, which she says she will use to pay off some of her student loans.