Karen Miller, Mesa Public Schools harp specialist, won the Excellence in Teaching Music Award from the Arizona Music Educators Association.
Miller began her lifelong musical journey by studying piano at 4 years of age, clarinet at 10 and harp at 12.
After earning her master’s degree from Arizona State University in harp performance education, Miller joined Mesa Public Schools in 1974 to develop a new program for the district, with one harp and one student at one school.
Forty years later — after an illustrious career as a teacher, performer, and state and national leader — Miller received the Award for Excellence in Teaching Music from peers in the Arizona Music Educators Association at the organization’s 75th Anniversary Conference earlier this month.
“I was extremely touched and honored to be nominated and then selected to receive the award.
There are so many fine and dedicated music teachers in Arizona,” Miller said.
“I am always proud to say that I teach in Mesa. In my 40 years with Mesa Public Schools, I have always had wonderful support for the Harp Program and for our entire Music Education Program. I work with great teachers, students, parents, and creative and performing arts administrators.
“I am so pleased that Mesa Public Schools understands that to be a truly educated, well-rounded and balanced person, the arts must be a part of the total curriculum package!”