Minneapolis music teacher recognized by GMA

GMA surprises Minneapolis music teacher

A special teacher in Minneapolis was recognized for his efforts in and out of the classroom on live television on Monday morning.

Good Morning America is shining a light on exceptional educators who go the extra mile as classes begin wrapping up for the school year.

On Monday morning, they gave Edward Barlow – a Minneapolis music teacher – an incredible surprise. Over the decades, thousands of students have called him Mr. Barlow, but some like to call him The Music Man.

“He has a marching band that goes around the neighborhood, and they play for the neighborhood,” said one person familiar with Barlow.

Barlow has been teaching music for nearly 40 years, but his impact goes far beyond Anwatin Middle School.

“Everybody always goes to Mr. Barlow for any advice or support that they need. He’s really engrained in Minneapolis Public Schools culture,” said one student.

“He gives me a lot of motivation speeches. He doesn’t give up on anyone,” said another student.

That’s why GMA hand-picked him for a live surprise on national television on Monday.

When asked what keeps him coming back to the classroom despite being able to retire, Barlow kept the reason simple.

“Well, it’s purpose. There’s purpose in meaning in what we do as teachers,” he said.

Cheers rang out from students, staff, and his wife – a fellow teacher – as Barlow was given two checks for $35,000.

“I was totally unprepared; I had no idea. People can keep really good secrets,” he said.

Coworkers think a big chunk of the money may go toward repairing the school’s broken piano.