Eric Jimenez started his musical career working at various schools in the Houston Independent School District and soon earned a reputation for reviving and growing middle school and high school music programs.
But according to one of his “40 Under 40” nomination letters, “His most notable and farthest-reaching accomplishment is his work on ‘The Score’ podcast.”
Launched in 2019 by Jimenez and his former coworker, Justin McLean, “The Score” was created from “our authentic and nuanced conversations when we were band directors as Heights High School,” Jimenez said. “We hope to provide positive and exemplar stories of educators serving minoritized students.”
And they are doing just that. Reviews of the podcast call it “essential listening,” “in one word, AMAZING,” “eye-opening,” “a great resource” and “a real gem.”
The podcast’s focus is on urban music education and topics covered by Jimenez and McLean run the gamut from systemic bias and “white fragility” within music education to “othering” from the perspective of the oppressed and oppressor.
“The Score” is part of their broader mission called the Revival Music Project that “aims to provide resources to educators in urban music education settings,” Jimenez said. In addition to the podcast, Jimenez and McLean offer clinics, presentations and lectures to school districts, teachers and universities.
Currently the assistant director of bands at his alma mater, Prairie View A&M University, Jimenez keeps in touch with many of his former middle school and high school students. “My proudest moments as a music educator is when I get to see my former students graduate from college. Many of them would not have had access to higher education without receiving a scholarship through their musical involvement.”