Music Ed Mentor Podcast #018: Motivation Tips from a GRAMMY-Winning Educator

Music Ed Mentor Podcast #018: Motivation Tips from a GRAMMY-Winning Educator

In this very special episode of the Music Ed Mentor Podcast, we welcome our first GRAMMY-winning guest! I’m excited to share my conversation with Melissa Salguero, who was recently named the GRAMMY Music Educator of the Year. You may recognize Melissa’s voice from Episode 12, where she shared tips on how to get the most from music education conferences.

Melissa and I became Facebook friends after the NAfME conference, and when I realized she won a GRAMMY, I knew I wanted to share her story with all of you. In this episode, Melissa describes how she got involved with music, why she became a teacher, and how she stays motivated.

This Episode Is Also Available On:

Melissa’s GRAMMY Video

As a semi-finalist, Melissa was asked to submit a short video that covered the following topics:

  • One of your proudest moments as a teacher.
  • One of your most significant challenges and how you address or have addressed it.

It’s not hard to imagine why this video stood out:

Here’s another video that’s equally inspiring.

In This Episode, You’ll Learn How To:

  • Retain more of your current students
  • Empower student leaders
  • Figure out why students quit
  • Make sure you’re retaining the right students over the long term

100 Motivational Memes

Melissa and I put together a folder of 100 motivational memes for you to print, post, or just enjoy when you need a boost. Download the entire folder here. 

Download the free memes

Three Key Takeaways

“Music that resonates with me are the songs my students love the most.”

When Melissa started in New York, she was working with a school that hadn’t had a music program in 30 years. She started with “Don’t Stop Believing” because it’s her favorite song, and the kids loved it. Being passionate about the material helped engage students with no musical background on day one, and it’s something we can all take back to our classrooms.

“Every year I tried to up the ante.”

In talking with Melissa about her journey to the GRAMMY award, she described the entire process, and also talked about the work that she invested each and every year. Consistently trying new thingsand being passionate about the ways you teachare clearly tactics that have served Melissa well and that others can learn from.

“Celebrate the small successes.”

Celebrating success doesn’t have to be about teaching. When Melissa is feeling low, she actually does the opposite of what you’d expect. She reaches out to other people who have impacted her life and tells them how much they have meant to her. Giving to others helps lift her up and focuses her perspective.



Additional Resources

Elisa Janson Jones specializes in helping music educators build, grow, and manage thriving school music programs. With an MBA alongside her degree in music, she is also a coach and consultant to small businesses and nonprofits around the country, and serves as the conductor of her local community band. She has been teaching music for nearly 20 years and currently holds the prestigious position of elementary music teacher at a private K-8 Catholic School in Grand Junction, Colorado. Elisa was a top presenter at the NAfME National Conference in 2017 and will be presenting at state conferences in 2018. She is the founder of the International Music Education Summit and the author of The Music Educator’s Guide to Thrive.

Get the best from SmartMusic

Discover practical music education tips, delivered directly to you!