Eric Songer's day wasn't going well at all.

The Chaska Middle School West music teacher wasn't feeling well so he called in sick. But Songer's wife persuaded him to show up at the school's pep fest where he was scheduled to receive a $2,000 check for being named one of the nation's most innovative teachers.

But to Songer's surprise, ING U.S, the company that sponsors the Unsung Hero award, had named him the contest's second place winner and would be kicking in an additional $10,000. More than 1,300 educators entered the contest, which has awarded teachers more than $4 million over the past 17 years.

Songer won the award based on his "The Next Generation of Music" program which overhauls typical music courses and makes them more relevant to students by exploring genres like hip hop, electronica, all while learning music theory, performance and listening skills.

With the additional grant money, Songer will be able to purchase additional equipment for the program.

Turns out, it wasn't a bad day after all.