Each year, the Civic Music Association of Milwaukee rewards teachers and administrators from the area for their accomplishments. This year’s top honoree as Teacher of the Year is Benjamin Zabor, who is director of band and orchestra at MPS' Rufus King International High School.
Zabor and one of his fellow honorees will be directing ensembles at MPS’s 46th Biennial Music Festival at the UWM Panther Arena on Wednesday, May 4 and Thursday, May 5.
Zabor says failure is something kids learn how to grapple with, but in music, its okay to fail. "Failure is not this awful thing that we think of all the time, its okay to do," he says. "You can keep coming back to something again, and again, and again, until you do get it right."
There is difficulty in evaluating all the great things music programs do for children, Zabor says, because each experience is different. "Its hard to judge the benefits of it because they are so intangible," he says. "Without the concrete standard that says 'this is the benefit,' it's hard for the people in charge to place a value on it and sees its importance."