Maureen Volk (2014)

Volk-webAffiliation at the time of the award: Memorial University, Music.

Citation: Maureen Volk’s students speak in plain superlatives: “You’re wicked!” Others see her as a saint, with healing powers. Maureen’s life has been transformed by teaching. She first joined the School of Music because she could play the piano and be paid for it. Since that time, Maureen no longer plays to live, she lives to teach, describing herself as a “combination of humanist and geek.” She changes the lives of her devoted students. She gives each one at least a one-hour piano lesson a week. Maureen has learned enough about anatomy and neurology to make curative changes in students’ posture and interaction with the keyboard.

A music professor, teaching public performance, must be attentive in many ways—creatively, technically, aesthetically, physically, psychologically, intellectually—in a discipline where the performance is never perfect. “Dr. Volk’s teaching speaks for itself; she is truly one of a kind. But not only is her teaching bar none, the relationship she has with each of her students is unique and personal. It really makes the difference. We love her!” Dr. Volk is a model of kindness, rigour, and outreach, and her influence can be felt locally, provincially, and nationally.