There are teachers and then there are mentors who pass through students’ lives and have the power to impact them forever. Mickey Smith Jr. belongs in the second category, so much so that he was recognized with the prestigious Grammy Music Educator Award in 2020.
Last year, Smith relocated from Louisiana to teach music to elementary and middle schoolers at The Greene School in West Palm Beach. He’ll be an integral part of the school’s gradual expansion to include high school students.
“My hope is to create a world-class music education experience that not only strikes a chord with students but helps them discover their own ‘sound,’” Smith shares. This goal—encouraging students to recognize and embrace their own significance—is part of Smith’s overall teaching philosophy.
“I am a Grammy winner because people saw something in me before I saw it in myself,” he says. He believes every child is one “sound adult” away from discovering their own passion and success in life, and he aims to be that person for those he teaches.