The West Virginia Music Teachers Association (WVMTA) has awarded Fairmont State Assistant Professor of Music, John Morrison, the 2020 WVMTA Teacher of the Year Award. The award is presented to a distinguished educator who has demonstrated innovative teaching and creative musicianship. Candidates for the nomination must be a member of WVMTA for a minimum of five years.
“It has been such a thrill and honor to receive the WVMTA Teacher of the Year Award for 2020,” Morrison said. “Teaching is truly a passion and I look forward to each day that I get to work with students.”
Morrison holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Piano Performance and a Bachelor of Arts in French. In addition, he possesses a Master of Music Degree in Piano Performance from West Virginia University.
Morrison serves as an instructor of piano and strings at Fairmont State. Since 2012, Morrison has been a "Master level" piano and violin instructor in the Fairmont State Academy for the Arts. In addition to teaching, he maintains the role as accompanist to the Fairmont State Collegiate Singers.
“It is my hope that through our interaction I can have a positive impact on their lives and give my students the gift of life-long music making,” Morrison said. “I have been fortunate to work with students of all ages from young elementary to college students to retired adults. I love the unique perspective that every age has to the learning process.”
In addition to his work at Fairmont State, he has been an accompanist around the state for Governor's School for the Arts, the WV Collegiate Honor Choir and the WV All State Children's Choir. Locally, he is the Music Director and organist of First Presbyterian Church in Fairmont where he directs and accompanies the Chancel Choir, directs the Cambridge Handbell Choir and plays the Moeller pipe organ for services.
“From his passion for teaching to his involvement in the community, John exemplifies the type of teacher-mentors we cherish at Fairmont State,” Mirta M. Martin, president of Fairmont State University, said. “This award confirms what we at Fairmont State already knew: John is an extraordinary arts educator, and his teaching and mentorship are impactful and transformational.”
Notification for this prestigious award came in October from WVMTA President, Dr. Henning Vauth, in which Morrison learned he was nominated and awarded Teacher of the Year. While the global pandemic caused the celebration to be virtual, Morrison was still recognized at the state conference.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly changed what teaching looks like as it can now be virtual, hybrid or in person with masks and proper COVID-19 precautions,” said Morrison in regard to how the pandemic changed the landscape of education. “However, these changes have in fact increased my love of teaching as it gives one the opportunity to be creative in how to solve problems with students and help them grow to reach their full potential.”