Naylor 2014-15 GMTA Teacher of the Year

Music Faculty Member Chosen as Georgia Music Teachers Association Teacher of the Year for 2014-15

susan naylorSusan Naylor, associate professor of music, was selected as the Georgia Music Teachers Association Teacher of the Year for 2014-15. The award was presented to her at the GMTA State Conference at Clayton State University on Nov. 7, 2014. Her name and supporting documentation will be submitted to the selection committee of Music Teachers National Association as a candidate for National Teacher of the Year, to be announced in March, 2015.

Each year, nominations for Teacher of the Year are submitted by members of GMTA with supporting documentation and letters of recommendation from fellow teachers and former students of the nominee. A panel of judges consisting of former GMTA Teachers of the Year then make the selection. Ms. Naylor was nominated by Linda Lokey from Cherokee Music Teachers Association, and letters of support came from her colleagues Dr. Dennis McIntire and Dr. Paula Thomas-Lee, and students Lily Freeman Bowman, Ashley Craig-Diaz, and Jessica Little Conklin. Judges were LaNelle Nash of Roswell, Dr. Martha Thomas of Athens, and David Watkins of Atlanta.

As part of the honor of being chosen Teacher of the Year, Ms. Naylor submits Teaching Tips that are distributed to the members of GMTA at the State Conference and can be found, along with her bio, on the GMTA website at

Naylor Background

In 1991, Ms. Naylor received lifetime National University Faculty Certification from Music Teachers National Association. She has been an active member of that organization since 1975, holding offices in the Cobb County and Cherokee Local Associations, serving on the National Certification Board, and as President of Georgia Music Teachers Association, 2000-02. She served as Collegiate Chapters Chair for GMTA from 2012 to 2014 and currently serves as Master Class Chair for Cherokee MTA. At the GMTA State Conference in November of 2002 she presented a lecture entitled “THIS Is Your Brain on Music”, and performed in the world premiere of “Psalm 70” by Dr. John Morgan.

Under her direction, the Student Recital Series and the Faculty and Guest Artist Series were established at Reinhardt University in 1976. In 1984, she coordinated the founding of Cherokee Music Teachers Association. In 1993, she organized the MTNA Collegiate Chapter, Naturally Sharp, at Reinhardt University, an active group of music students who attend the GMTA State Conference each year and participate in other college and community activities. She continues to serve as the Advisor for this organization. In 2009, she established the Reinhardt University Instrumental Concerto Competition which gives winning students a chance to perform on a solo instrument with the Reinhardt University Symphony Orchestra on its spring concert.

Ms. Naylor has continued to perform extensively as a solo and ensemble musician in “classical” and religious concerts, and has continued her education through participation in workshops, seminars, master classes and state and national conferences, often serving as a presenter. She is in demand as an adjudicator for music auditions, festivals and competitions and her students have excelled in local and state competitions, winning awards and scholarships for the past thirty-eight years.

She has been actively involved in the Cherokee County Arts Council since its inception, having served twice on the Board of Directors of that organization. She has served as church pianist at various churches since she was 13 years old and currently plays the piano at Lake Arrowhead Church in Waleska, Ga.