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Phil Nagy

Music Teacher
McVey Innovative Learning Center (Part of Hilliard City Schools)
Hilliard, Ohio

The Innovation Campus of Hilliard City Schools offers specialized and unique learning opportunities for the district’s 7th-12th grade students. Phil Nagy teaches Academy Vibe classes, which are designed to “infuse audio and video production into one offering” for high school students.

“Our intro course exposes students to the basics of songwriting, audio recording/production, story/message creation, video production and editing,” Nagy explained. “The final project is writing and recording an original song and then shooting and editing a music video for that song — with professional-grade gear and software. I teach all of the music stuff associated with that and have a co-teacher who handles the video stuff.”

The advanced Academy Vibe class focuses on “voice and choice” where students select what they want to work on, and Nagy and his co-teacher advise along the way. 

“Seeing students share their soul, in the form of original composition, is just awesome,” Nagy said. “Whether it’s a recording we put out there for people to hear or a live performance (pre-COVID), it’s just awesome to be a part of their creative outpouring!” 

Nagy works closely with the middle school and high school directors because the goal of Academy Vibe is to enhance students’ music education, not replace the music offerings at their home campus. This collaborative spirit was emphasized in one of his “40 Under 40” nomination letters, in which a colleague wrote, “What sticks out most to me is how Phil Nagy and his students are extremely effective at coordinating their recording program with the rest of the district K-12 music programs, providing recording services for concerts and performances. Our district’s entire music department — in fact, the entire district — is better due in large part to his willingness to work with everyone to help them achieve their goals.”