A piano teacher at Oral Roberts University is being recognized with one of the most prestigious honors in music education.
Joyce Bridgman has been with the university since its beginning in 1967.
"Evelyn Roberts called and said that she needed a pianist that was classically trained and could play improvisational gospel music and to tell the public about the new university that would open that September," Bridgman said.
Over the five decades that Bridgman has taught the instrument at ORU, many music legends have sat at her bench. Three of the most notable went on to become Steinway & Sons artists; Larry Dalton, Donald Ryan, and David Osbourne.
Bridgman's impact on their lives and commitment to teaching has landed her name among the greatest music educators in North America. In October, she was inducted into the Steinway & Sons Music Teacher Hall of Fame in Queens, New York. She was also nominated by the Steinway Piano Gallery in Tulsa.
"I was very grateful and humbled," Bridgman said. "You know your hard work you are faithful to, the kind of work you felt called to do, and I just appreciated the honor."
A freshman music major at ORU, Lily McCaw, said it is exciting to see her teacher get the recognition she deserves.
"To have a teacher that went to New York and got this honor and is just getting the school's name out there as well as making the Steinway's in this school seem that much more vibrant, it is just so cool to be here and to listen to her."
Bridgman is a talented pianist who can play without looking at a sheet of music but said it took many years of practice.
"It was said to me one time that great pianists are frustrated singers, so I am not a good singer except through my fingers," she added.