- Lincoln Love
- The Arts
Marcia Taylor, the beloved music teacher and member of the performing arts faculty for over 20 years, was recently awarded the Dorothy W. Gifford Chair award in recognition of teaching excellence.
Nominated by her peers, she accepted the recognition at an all-school ceremony that opened with a Simple Gifts sing-a-long led by the ukulele-playing Grade 4, a traditional Lincoln song for a teacher that's herself become a Lincoln tradition.
Lily Martin '18 introduced Ms. Taylor to the crowd of students, faculty, staff, friends, and supporters gathered in the Music Center before performing a beautiful duet with Maria Angelone '19 in honor of the recipient.
"Lately as a senior I’ve been reflecting about my time at Lincoln, and as a part of this reflection I’ve been thinking about the teachers who have made my time here so special and helped shape me into the person who I am today. One of these teachers is of course Ms. Taylor," said Lily. "Ms. Taylor taught me in Lower School in chorus and music classes, and most importantly classical guitar. Though I moved on to electric guitar, my time with Ms. Taylor gave me the strong foundation and confidence to master any chord or riff I put my mind to. She taught me to practice and to be persistent, things I apply to all challenges I encounter in life... Anyone that has the pleasure of talking with Ms. Taylor or being in her class knows what a caring, talented, passionate, and dedicated teacher and person she is. I'm so happy she’s receiving this award in recognition of the impact she’s had on our community."
After Suzanne Fogarty, head of school, presented the winner with her award, Ms. Taylor shared some words, memories, and wishes with the community.
"Let me tell you about my first day at Lincoln School. I went to gather up some three year olds for their first music lesson, and upon entering the room a teacher I hadn't yet met looked up and saw me and said “Look! It’s ... Ms. Music!” … and so Mrs. Music it was, and it has been my stage name ever since," recounted Ms. Taylor.
Highlights of her teaching career included composing original songs that have become Lincoln School staples, the annual Lower School Valentine's Sing, countless concerts and musical productions, and generally "actively nurturing the singing life of the school." In keeping with her generous spirit as a teacher, she shared some wisdom for those in the audience.
"Let your passion be a verb. Commit to it. Work hard. And be willing to fall flat on your face. That's how we make a dream come true," said Ms. Taylor, who will not be returning to Lincoln next year in favor of pursuing a new dream. "Ms. Music is moving on. But I'm not retiring. I'm rewiring. It's been a good run here at Lincoln. I am grateful for all the living and learning we've shared and I promise Ms. Music won't be a stranger around here."
About the Dorothy W. Gifford Chair Award
Each year, a Lincoln School faculty member is nominated by his or her peers to be the recipient of this award. Given for excellence in teaching and service to the school after the fashion of Dorothy Gifford, the award honors dedication and willingness to exceed professional requirements in the life of the school. Dorothy came to Lincoln in 1926 as Head of the Science Department and taught here for 45 years. After her retirement, Dorothy continued to be deeply involved in the affairs of the school.
Photo credit: Stewart Martin, P'18!