POMA Winner: Cristina Cox

Principal of Music Award Winner, Cristina Cox

crinstinacoxThere are some pretty incredible Principals striving to make music education a priority in schools, and Cristina Cox is one of them. She was one of four 2015 Principal of Music Award winners for the dedication and contribution to her school’s music program. The benefits of music education are alive and well at Dr. CF Cannon school, and Cristina’s commitment to ensuring each child has an opportunity to experience these benefits, is making a difference.

Cristina believes that “music is a universal language that unites all people”, and we couldn’t agree more. The students at Dr. CF Cannon are highly participative in instrumental and vocal music, which is not only teaching them how to play the tuba and sing their hearts out, it’s also teaching them respect and values to carry forward for the rest of their lives. And Cristina feels it’s not only the students who are benefiting from the school’s music programs in Oshawa, Ontario. Cristina believes that each and every parent, audience member, and program supporter is contributing to help build community for the students and the school. From well attended performance opportunities like recitals, festivals and holiday concerts, to fundraisers and school music trips, the community surrounding this school is encouraged to help support these students’ musical education – and they do.

From where did Cristina’s commitment to realizing the importance of music blossom? She remembers her first impression resulting from a kindergarten teacher playing piano while the students in her class stood beside the upright and sang. This, Cristina says, is one of her “fondest memories“. Simple enjoyment from the making music in the classroom would have a large enough impact on her that she would continue to pursue music throughout her middle school education. She remembers participating in music class during these years, and it wasn’t only the musical experiences themselves that would stay with her, she explains that what she came to understand about “commitment, practice, and a never give up attitude and most importantly PASSION” is what has stayed with her to this day. These ideals can most impactfully be taught through music, and will undoubtedly benefit each child’s future. This is why Cristina is making music education a priority at C.F. Cannon, because the link between music education and learning is so obvious, she believes in supporting music education programs, so that the music educators can run an excellent program. “If a music teacher is giving 110%, the administrator needs to support them by also giving 110%, so the music program can thrive. Kathy Beatty, our music instructor is exceptional, and her enthusiasm for teaching and making music is contagious.”. Cristina describes how music is an ‘opportunity for our kids to be proud’, and where the opportunity is available, it’s available to all. The student doesn’t have to be tall enough, fast enough, or talented enough, all they have to do is try.
We are grateful to Cristina and the leadership she has shown through her commitment to music education in her school, and hope the belief she holds in valuing music education will inspire other schools to uphold this powerful ingredient for opportunity, success, and growth. We look forward to hearing about the incredible things Cristina and her students will achieve!