Sulphur's Mickey Smith, Jr wins Grammy Award for efforts at inspiring kids to learn music

Thomas Perumean
February 01, 2020 - 12:11 pm

Maplewood Middle School in Sulphur is now home to a Grammy winner in Mickey Smith, who was honored with the Music Educator Award.

Smith says he’s honored to take home the award for his work at a school he grew up just a few blocks away from.

“Not only does it bring a certain level of notoriety to what we were able to do at the program, but I’ve just loved what it has done for education as a whole. I’ve had so many folks get a renewed sense of appreciation for this noble profession called teaching,” says Smith.

The educator will receive a 10,000 dollar honorarium with a matching school grant.

Smith was nominated and ultimately won, due to his charity work providing kids with instruments, and his ability to massively expand Maplewood’s music program.

“You couldn’t pay a kid to be in band!” says Smith. “We had about 28 when we first got here, and now about half of the school is in band. We’ve had about a 500 percent increase in enrollment and retention and it’s just been a beautiful thing to watch.”

His charity is MusicMakers2U, and can be found at his website.

Smith came onto the Grammy’s radar after he was nominated by Sulphur local, two time Grammy nominee Sean Ardoin, who’s known for his work in creole rock and roll.

“He has often asked me, Mickey why don’t you go on the road, why aren’t you touring more with your saxophone, and I told him hey, as much as I love being on the stage I think my greatest sound is made in the classroom,” says Smith.

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