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“We all have a SOUND, but it's not what you think. This sound is not audible but it is your unique-significance. Sound-Individuals are those persons who help others find their unique-significance [sound]. These are the leaders our children need today and in the future. Let us be the sound to change the world. ”
— Mickey Smith Jr.
HOW MICKEY DISCOVERED HIS SOUND
MICKEY SMITH JR. BIO
Statistically-speaking Mickey Smith Jr. should have been a lost cause. From a forgotten community to phenomenal stages, Mickey now helps others through music education.
A recipient of numerous awards, Mickey’s work, and music has been recognized by various organizations including the Recording Academy (The GRAMMY Foundation) but despite all praise that he has received Mickey's purpose continues to be singularly-focused on pursuing the hearts and the minds of his students and colleagues. Mickey aims to teach more than songs but to use music as a medium to help others discover their “sound” (i.e. their unique, personal-significance).
Mickey takes pride that there is no true first chair or last chair student in his band. Mickey class welcomes students of all backgrounds and needs. Students succeed no matter their talent level because the focus is not on the subject matter but on showing students they matter. Mickey believes every child has a “sound” that is worth hearing. During his career, Mickey’s award-winning band program has gone against state and national trends as it has seen an over 500% increase in student enrollment and retention that now boasts nearly 50% of the entire student body of Maplewood Middle School participating in the band! This growth has resulted in more class offerings for students as well as a half-day teaching assistant. Mickey’s program now serves as a model classroom and lab for the Music Education Department of his alma mater, McNeese State University. Mickey also provides professional development opportunities for educators through his unique Educator Enrichment & Solutions Program called SOUND180.
Outside the classroom, Mickey has become a role model for youth as well as an advocate for music education. Additionally, Mickey has helped hundreds of students receive scholarships for college while serving as a supervisor and mentor to pre-service teachers. Through his nonprofit Musicmakers2U and his Sax in the City concert series Mickey “plays-it-forward” having helped over 500 deserving-youth receive instruments at no cost to their families.
The Adventures of Little Mickey (Keep on Going) is a children’s book that was both authored and illustrated by Smith himself. In it, Mickey tells an autobiographical story about his first attempts on the sax. Mickey shared this story for years with his students to encourage them to keep on going and never give up on music or in life. This story of persistence, patience, perseverance, and purpose now speaks to children of all ages across the United States, Canada, and Africa.
As a saxophonist, speaker, and author, Mickey’s music and message embody a level of expression that resonates with ensembles and audiences alike.
Mickey believes that what we teach should not just be a class, but an experience. Mickey believes that teaching is like an instrument and that the way we teach creates a sound and that every child is just one Sound-Adult away from discovering their “sound” of success. Mickey’s mantra is “Let Us Be the Sound to Change the World” (for our children).
Forgotten Community (Mossville LA) https://vimeo.com/145085489
Keep On Going https://www.americanpress.com/photos/scene/mickey-smith-jr-presents-the-adventures-of-little-mickey-keep/collection_93ada592-0951-11e9-9a7f-1f0ab2c0a401.html
Let Us Be the Soundhttps://youtu.be/_eLX3zIuGAY --