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APSU PKP member receives Love of Learning Award

10/2/2012

An Austin Peay State University alumna received a Love of Learning Award from the national headquarters of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.

Simone Parker, who received her bachelor’s degree in music from APSU and then graduated in May 2012 with a Master of Music in piano performance, was one of 140 PKP members to receive the competitive Love of Learning awards, which help fund post-baccalaureate studies and/or career development for active PKP members.

Parker will use her Love of Learning Award to become certified as an Alexander Technique teacher. The Alexander Technique is a whole-body approach to improve physical and mental functioning. Studying the technique helps, especially musicians, to perform naturally and tension free.

“I see many students struggle with engaging the entire body while playing and performing,” Parker said. “I also have found it difficult for myself to relax and play tension-free when my schedule demands are high.

“I believe continuing my studies and learning about the Alexander Technique will improve my own physical and mental approach on the piano and I will be able to pass it on to my students.”  

Currently, she is studying with Sally Ahner, a certified Alexander Technique teacher. Parker will begin the three-year teacher certification process with the Chesapeake Bay Alexander Studies Program.

Parker is director of the Youth String Community Orchestra, a group she founded in spring 2011. She also teaches piano, violin and viola, and serves as an accompanist for special events. - Dr. Melony Shemberger