Marcia Blackstone Maull, 2019 Distinguished Teacher Award winner

Marcia Blackstone MaullLike music itself, music teacher Marcia Blackstone Maull’s impact resonates across time and space. Her students have become luminary musicians and educational influencers in Africa, Europe, Asia, and America.

Mensan Ingrid Bianca Byerly remembers the moment — her 15th birthday — when Marcia arrived at the Music, Art and Ballet School in South Africa and cast her inspirational spell. “She championed unique assets and tended individual challenges. … What stayed with me most, however, was not just the detail of small phrases or large works. It was what she shared about the art of mastery, the discipline and focus that results in the euphoria of realizing one’s aptitudes.”

Today, Marcia still teaches and is the Head of Theory Program and board member at the Music Educators Association of New Jersey. And Marcia’s “ancestry of influence” is still connecting countless lives.

“My 15th birthday may be a distant memory,” Ingrid says, “but between 15 and 60 lie 45 years of inspiration that have affected my every day and every student that I teach now, too.”

“She taught me that good teachers are contagious. They don’t just influence their own students, or one field of study; they create an ancestry of influence. Their teaching goes viral: across space, time, disciplines, and generations, ” Ingrid wrote in her nominating essay, “Leaving a Living Legacy.”

The Mensa Foundation’s Distinguished Teacher Award recognizes a teacher, professor, or instructor at any educational level who has had an especially positive influence on the education or life of a Mensa member.