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MSU music professor Dr. Michele Paise is KMEA University Teacher of the Year

Dr. Michele Paise PictureDr. Michele Paynter Paise, assistant professor of music education at Morehead State University and director of The Kodály Institute of Kentucky, was is Kentucky Music Educators Association (KMEA) District 8's 2021-22 University Teacher of the Year. Paise was among several teachers nominated for the award and was elected by regional KMEA representatives.  

"I am humbled to be chosen for this award,” she said. “The music faculty at MSU are world-class musicians and among the finest teachers you will ever meet. Their professionalism and support make it a great place to teach. Further, the students are curious, conscientious and kind. When you work with wonderful people, it is easy to succeed." 

Paise has taught for 28 years. Before coming to MSU, she 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.  

She 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 from Arizona State University. She is certified in Orff-Schulwerk and Kodály and has completed Level I of World Music Drumming. A specialist in the Kodály approach to music education, Paise is in demand as a vocal and elementary clinician and has taught for Kodály certification programs in Kentucky, Alabama and Arizona.  

For more information about her work, contact Paise at

To learn more about MSU’s music programs, visit, email or call 606-783-5447.