Congratulations to our Winter 2022 Spark Grant Recipients, Barabara Hartsfield and Christine Ballenger!

Here is some information about these wonderful educators and what they are using their Spark Grants for.

A 29-year veteran educator, Barbara Hartsfield currently teaches music at Buck Lake Elementary School (Tallahassee, FL) where she works with learners in grades PK-4. Barbara has completed Orff Level II and recently attended the AOSA National Conference in North Charleston, South Carolina.

Barbara’s Spark Grant will be used to augment her school’s existing collection of African drums. Her two new Djembe will help create a more balanced ensemble and expand the number of students who can actively participate at a time.


Christine Ballenger has taught music for 10 years at the elementary level and in higher education. She currently serves the PK-4th grade learners of Conroe Independent School District (Montgomery County, TX). Christine has completed Orff Level III and participated in a Summer Course at the Orff Institute in Salzburg, Austria.

In her grant application, Christine described her belief in drumming as “an elemental human experience” with the power to help disconnected students engage more actively through musical learning. She will be using her Spark Grant to add a tubano to her school’s instrument collection.


Be sure to subscribe to ACEMM’s e-mail list and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for updates and news about the next round of Spark Grants!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *