Shared from the 7/8/2018 American Press eEdition

Lake Charles, Louisiana


Mickey Smith’s innovative program is designed to enrich, entertain and empower teens and teachers


Special to the American Press

Three-time Grammy Music Educator Award nominee Mickey Smith has developed a program to help empower teachers and make them more effective.


Special to the American Press

Smith said that teaching, like music, can entertain and elevate its audience.

As a traveling educator and musician, Mickey Smith has encountered numerous teachers who’ve taken their craft to higher levels of excellence. And, he said, he’s learned from them.

“You quickly see, ‘Hey, this isn’t the only show in town,’” Smith said. “You take ideas, you learn from them, start implementing things, and my classroom gets stronger.”

Smith, a three-time Grammy Music Educator Award nominee, said he’s used his experience to develop Sound 180, a program to help empower teachers and make them more effective — “to help people teach uplifted, to find their joy.”

“I find that when teachers ask questions about their teaching practices it’s not always that we’re doing the wrong thing or making the wrong ‘sound,’” Smith said.

“It’s just that it needs to be tweaked a little bit. It’s a directional thing. That’s one idea that Sound 180 is about — making a ‘sound’ 180.”

Smith said teachers should recognize that what they do is an art form that, like music, can entertain and elevate its audience. For teachers to teach at their highest level, he said, they must “discover their personal sound.”

“When it’s done well, it ain’t about you. When our kids come to our class, it’s not just our kids coming. It’s their experience, it’s their baggage,” Smith said. “It really comes down to the relationships. My job is to be a constant and consistent person for those young people — what I call a ‘sound adult.’”

Such high levels of job performance naturally turn into high levels of learning, he said. And the combination of the two creates a “harmony between teacher and student which creates a ‘sound’ 180 days of instruction.”


For more information on Sound 180, visit

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