Making Music for All: Redefining Success through Inclusivity and Process with Annie Ray

Alan and Steve talk with orchestra teacher and 2024 Grammy Music Educator Annie Ray about her award-winning efforts to make space for students with disabilities and adversities.

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Annie Ray

Annie Ray currently serves as both the Orchestra Director and Performing Arts
Department Chair at Annandale High School (AHS) in the Fairfax County Public School
(FCPS) system. Annie is an advocate for providing universal access to quality music
education and is known for founding and developing creative opportunities to make
music accessible to students of all demographics. Her establishment of the FCPS Parent
Orchestra teaches about 200 caregivers annually to learn to play their student’s
instrument and provides mentorship to upcoming music teachers. Annie also
developed the Crescendo Orchestra program (inspired by Giving Bach and United
Sound) to make Orchestra curriculum accessible to students with significant
developmental or intellectual disabilities. In January 2022, this program was featured
and acclaimed on the cover of the Metro section in The Washington Post. TEDx invited
Annie to give a talk in April 2022, The Sounds of Success, based on her approach in the
classroom and how to meet students where they are at. She has presented at
numerous colleges and national/international conferences and was named the 2024
Grammy Music Educator Award recipient and the 2023 FCPS Outstanding Secondary
Teacher of the Year for her work on equity in education. Annie is a member of the
StringRise professional development team and her mentors include Dennis Langevin,
Brian Coatney, Dr. Elizabeth Chappell, Dr. Jaymee Hafner, and Naoko Nakamura. She is
an active performing harpist and currently resides in Arlington, Virginia with her husband
Dr. Irving Ray and their daughters Eloise and Millie. Annie is an adventurer at heart, and
her biggest bucket list item is to one day win The Amazing Race

Show Notes