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Michele Paynter Paise

Photo: Michele PaiseAssistant Professor of Music
Area(s): Administration, Music Education


Dr. Michele Paynter Paise is an Assistant Professor of Music Education and Director of the Kodály Institute of Kentucky at Morehead State University. Prior to coming to Morehead, Dr. Paise was a faculty member at Cumberland University, Middle Tennessee State University, and University of Idaho. She also taught courses at Arizona State University and was a public-school music teacher in Maryland, Tennessee, and Arizona.

Dr. Paise is a member of several professional music organizations, including the National Association for Music Education, the Organization of American Kodály Educators, The International Kodály Society, The Kentucky Association of Kodály Educators, The Kentucky Music Educators Association, and The Mayday Group. Within these organizations, she has held numerous offices, including serving as the state advisor to all collegiate chapters of the National Association for Music Education in Idaho and Tennessee. Within this organization, she developed partnerships with local symphonies, organized volunteer opportunities for college students, and helped write curriculum for symphonic concert series aimed at children. Chapters under her guidance have received national awards of excellence.


Dr. Paise is in demand as a vocal/choral clinician and has presented numerous workshops focused on elementary and vocal music education. She serves as an instructor for summer certification programs at the Kodály Institute of Kentucky and the University of Montevallo Kodály Institute. Her areas of specialization within the Kodály approach include solfa/musicianship and choir/conducting.


Active in all aspects of music education, Dr. Paise is on the editorial board of Music Educators Journal and is a book reviewer for The College Music Society’s Symposium. She presents her research at local, state, national, and international conferences, has served as a National General Music Mentor for beginning music teachers, and regularly advises undergraduate and graduate students in their own research projects. In 2020 and 2021, Paise was nominated for the Grammy Music Educator Award. In 2019 and 2021, she was named District 8's University Teacher of the Year by the Kentucky Music Educators Association. 


Dr. Paise holds undergraduate degrees in Vocal Performance and Music Education from Shepherd University, a Master of Music degree from The Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Arizona State University. She is certified in both the Orff-Schulwerk and Kodály approaches to music education and recently completed Level I of World Music Drumming. Paise currently serves as Choir Director at Holy Spirit Orthodox Church in Huntington, WV and plays clarinet in the Portsmouth Wind Symphony in Portsmouth, OH. She resides in Lakeview Heights, Kentucky with her husband John and their dog Georgina. When not teaching or making music, she can be found serving the community by leading annual blanket drives for shelter animals in Kentucky.


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