EMU's Miller honored as Teacher of the Year by Michigan Chapter of the ASTA
YPSILANTI — When Kevin Miller was a boy, he had his heart set on playing the trumpet. His father, a music teacher, told him he was going to play the violin.
So, strings it was.
After more than 30 years teaching music in higher education and public schools, Miller has been recognized for his contributions. The Michigan Chapter of the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) honored Miller with its “Teacher of the Year” award at its luncheon, which took place in conjunction with the Michigan Music Conference, in Grand Rapids Jan. 22-24. Miller was one of three nominees for the award.
“I didn’t find out about it until it was announced at the luncheon meeting. I didn’t realize how much it would affect me to get this award,” Miller said of the framed plaque he received. “This is my 31st year teaching. It’s a real validation of what I’ve been trying to do over the years.”
Miller started his career as an orchestra director and string teacher in Battle Creek Public Schools in 1977. In 1980, he moved to the Chelsea Public Schools, where he had the same titles. Miller then became orchestra director at York Community High School in Elgin, Ill., in 1982, where he remained until coming to EMU in 1991.
Miller received his master’s degree in music from the University of Michigan and his bachelor’s degree in music from Oberlin Conservatory of Music.
While Miller, at the urging of his father, started out on the violin, he later moved to viola as a high school freshman. But, at some point during high school, Miller came to enjoy the sound of the orchestra most. Today, Miller directs EMU’s Symphony Orchestra.
“I spoke about my father, who taught elementary strings in Detroit Public schools for 30 years. I had him as my teacher for two of those years. He was a big influence on me to become a music teacher,” Miller said of comments he made at the luncheon. “Also, my high school orchestra director, Russ Reed, was a huge influence.”
Reed later became orchestra director at EMU from 1979-1991, a position Miller took over
after Reed retired.
Miller is a member of the Conductor’s Guild, American Symphony Orchestra League, American String Teachers Association and the Music Educators National Conference.Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their careers and lives, and to be better citizens.
Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.
Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.