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Learning Discipline and Improving Higher Learning with Music

2017 Grammy Music Educator Award Finalist Profile: Ulli Reiner

Ulli Reiner is an accomplished violinist and a highly respected music educator who has worked in the Poway Unified School District in San Diego since 1983. Last year was her second top-ten nomination for the GRAMMY Music Educator of the Year award.

Ulli recognizes that technology is changing all aspects of our lives, specifically in music, but feels time “plugged-in” can take away from valuable music instrument practicing. According to Ulli, technology although very useful and complementary, will never replace the knowledge gained from mastering an instrument.

There is a discipline to learning a physical instrument that should never be overlooked. When students make skillful gains on instruments, they get in touch with the art of the music and feel the depths of the human compassion. It’s a connection that is not easily replicated by technology.

Ulli believes working as part of musical ensembles can help students in many different fields of life. The act of learning music is similar to learning a foreign language and opens the mind to advanced language skills. Students entering the fields of medicine, biomedicine, and technology have proven more capable of mastering complex skills if they have taken music education.

Ulli has been around the same location long enough to witness former students starting careers and families. Interestingly, many of her Poway Unified School District former students are gravitating to music again. In response, Ulli has founded several community ensembles to allow the musical journey to continue past the classroom. It’s a wonderful way to support music in the community while bringing a sense of long-term life learning to all involved.

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