MOUNDSVILLE — Many people likely know Eli Lambie from his time on the stage singing and playing piano with his band Eli and the Mojo Kings, but he has another job, too.
Lambie is a music teacher at Washington Lands Elementary School in Marshall County. Lambie and his work to educate students about music were recognized recently by the West Virginia Music Educators Association and the West Virginia Society of General Music.
Lambie was named the 2023 Society for General Music Teacher of the Year by the groups. He received the award from West Virginia Society of General Music President Kathleen Fox during the All-State Children’s Chorus Concert at the Clay Center in Charleston.
Fox is a music teacher at Glen Dale Elementary School.
Lambie said he was nominated by his peers and administrators for the award. He has worked at Washington Lands Elementary School for five years.
“My day moves at 100 miles per hour from start to finish,” Lambie said. “I’m making music with the kids, dancing around, playing instruments, and putting on shows.
“It’s exhausting, but it’s also incredibly fulfilling. I look forward to going to work every day and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
On Friday, a few of Lambie’s fourth-grade students briefly showed off what they had learned in class. They played a part of “Sweet Home Alabama,” with Jensen LeMasters on piano, Easton Rybski on drums, Hudsen Bonar on bass guitar, Jagger Jones on guitar and Lambie on keyboard.
Lambie said the district’s administration is a great advocate for the arts and is always willing to help music teachers get the instruments they need. Lambie said he and past teachers have also sought and won grants to purchase instruments as well.
“My hope is that my students will leave loving music. I hope that their experiences in music class bring them closer to the world around them and inspire them to be advocates for the arts for the rest of their lives,” he said.
Lambie said he was inspired to become a music teacher by the many good music teachers he had while growing up.
“I really enjoy everything I’m doing now. I think a lot of the things I do playing professionally give me a lot of experiences to bring back to my students,” he said.
In addition to teaching at Washington Lands Elementary, Lambie is also an adjunct professor at Wheeling University. He received his master’s degree in music education from Bowling Green State University and bachelor’s degrees in music education, music performance and music technology from West Liberty University.
His other accolades include being a two-time winner of the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award and Woody Herman Jazz Award. Lambie was also a quarterfinalist for the Grammy Music Educator of the Year Award. He was Washington Lands’ Teacher of the Year in 2021.
Lambie also occasionally performs with the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, and was their featured artist during the Fourth of July Tour in 2022.
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