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BW music therapy professor earns statewide service recognition

Photo of Lalene Kay with professionalsMusic therapy can be a tough and taxing career, yet music therapists are facilitators of an experience that helps people in many ways. It can be a heart-warming moment when a client smiles and joins in the magic of music.

BW Conservatory of Music professor Lalene Kay has had years of music therapy experience, earning her an excellent reputation around the state of Ohio. She was recently honored with the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) Distinguished Service Award, "the highest award conferred by the association" according to OMEA.

Kay was presented the award at the OMEA conference in February fulfilling the three criteria including her teaching impact, service and professional outreach. "To be recognized by a professional organization with the 'highest award given by OMEA' is truly humbling," said Kay.

Decades of work, decades of dedication

Lalene Kay playing the guitar with children

Her work with OMEA has spanned decades as she has served as chair of the Special Learners Committee since 1990. She is able to support and assist music teachers across Ohio in discovering and implementing "meaningful music education programs which serve all abilities," she said.

As a leader in her field, Kay also continues to work with the Ohio Department of Education Fine Arts Standards Revision Committee as a member of the Music Advisory Committee. According to Kay, this collaboration with music educators and musicians from across the state "truly affirms my commitment to this work."

Though she has known about the OMEA award since late November, Kay noted she "was not prepared for the emotion I experienced from the outpouring of accolades, congratulations and kindness expressed" during and after the ceremony.

Professors are more than just teachers

This award means a great deal to Kay and all those she impacts on a daily basis as a professor and a music therapist. She says that professors act as role models for students even though they may not know it. Her message to her students through receiving this award is a message of "service, collaboration and sharing one's knowledge, expertise and time with those who may benefit from it."

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