Hey, check it out! Our man, Ben Jaeger, was given a special honor at the Madison Area Music Association Awards. He’s Teacher of the Year when it comes to his work at James Madison Memorial High School on the west side of Madison. So not only does Ben know how to tear up the fretboard, he knows how to tear up the chalkboard. Here’s his speech from the awards ceremony on June 22nd, 2014 at the Overture Center in Madison. It was a great speech and a very proud moment for all of us, to see Ben get the nod for all his hard work and dedication to music, not only creating it himself but passing on the tools necessary to the next generation.
Sunspot has had the opportunity to perform for Ben’s students many times. In fact, I (this is Mike writing) came in to discuss music careers with the students last year as well, along with Roy Elkins from Broadjam (where we tirelessly work to create cool things for musicians). Ben’s always finding new opportunities for his students and I haven’t seen anyone else in Madison do as much with the charity that the MAMAs (shorthand for the Madison Area Music Association) provides for teachers and students in the city. The MAMAs has speakers, guitars, sound and recording equipment, and more that it wants to give Madison area teachers to use in their classroom. Ben used those items from the MAMAs as well as taking the time to write grants to get a full rock band setup for his students. He even set up a regular rock band program for kids who want to play after school and since the equipment is there, there’s no barrier to joining up. I think that he should teach them more Sunspot songs, but hey, nobody’s perfect! Either way, Ben’s worked his butt off for over a decade and dedicated a lot of his life to making sure that these students have a first class musical education. Teacher of the Year is an award well-deserved.