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Keys of Inspiration® Teacher of the Year 2023

Maria Doreste Velazquez


Maria Doreste Velazquez

About the award:

The Lang Lang International Music Foundation® believes that at the root of every strong music program is a dedicated teacher who inspires creativity and joy in their students.

The Keys of Inspiration® Music Teacher of the Year Award, recognizes the achievements, creativity, and excellence of Keys of Inspiration® teachers across the world.

Maria Doreste Velazquez
2023 Keys of Inspiration® Teacher of the Year


I have the privilege of being a music educator.

I get to know my students over 6 or more years of their early lives and watch them grow, mature and become independent learners. I am so lucky to do what I love most every day and to be a part of the lives of these amazing human beings. I am blessed to facilitate an environment where they can express themselves, find and share their voices and become the best version of who they really are accompanied by other peers.

– Maria Doreste Velazquez, 2024 Keys of Inspiration Teacher of the Year

María Doreste Velázquez was born in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain. After studying piano in the Professional Conservatory Arturo Soria in Madrid and a Bachelor’s Degree in Music majoring in Musicology at the Real Conservatorio Superior de Música de Madrid, she obtained a Masters in Music Education by the Boston Conservatory at Berklee in 2014.

Since 2012, Mrs. Doreste has been a group and private instructor at the Berklee Institute for the Arts Education and Special Needs, the first program of its kind in the world. At the BIAESN Maria has taught Piano and designed a variety of Early Childhood classes: Ukulele, Introduction to Musical Instruments and Music for Young Children.

For the past 9 years, Maria also serves as a music educator for Boston Public Schools teaching band and general music for students K-4 at The Thomas Edison School in Brighton. During her years at Thomas Edison, the music department has been awarded two generous grants. One by the Lang Lang foundation “Keys of Inspiration”, with a $50,000 value in a state of the art Piano Lab and a Charlesview grant worth $25,000 for “Teaching Music and Culture in a Global School Community Through Ethnomusicology”.

Awarded “Promising music educator of the Year” by the Massachusetts Music Teachers Association in 2014, Maria Doreste Velázquez was a META fellow for the Massachusetts Council for the Arts during 2019-21 developing two projects “Resources For Teaching and Supporting Diverse Learners” and “Culturally Responsive Teaching in Music Education”.

During her fellowship, Maria developed together with other three Boston residents music educators and artist a website for music educators to quick access tools and resources based on their students needs

Maria has also been a member of the Education Planning Team for the Haydn and Handel Society and currently serves as a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Educators Advisory Council. Meeting regularly with the BSO Educational Team and creating yearly lesson plans that accompany the BSO Youth Concerts for other educators.

Finally since 2021, Maria is the MMEA General Music Conference Coordinator and she has also presented workshops and lectures at varied institutions as MMEA conferences (2019, 2020 and 2021), ABLE, Longy “Beginning Teacher Workshop”, CMCB faculty formation PDs (2018 to present) and Complutense University of Madrid, Spain. Some of her more recent workshops titles include: “Diverse Music Learners (ADHD & Autism in the Music Classroom)”, “Routines and Transitions: Make your Teaching Life Easier and your Students Happier!”, “Connecting with Students and Families: A Culturally Responsive Approach to the Elementary General Music Classroom” and “Zooming to Success! Engaging Remote Lesson Ideas for the K-5 General Music Teacher”. Mrs. Doreste is now a Mentor for the New Arts Mentorship Program for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).

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