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Dr. Engen Collaborates with Local High School Student

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02/28/17 -  

It's not unusual for Queens faculty to extend their outreach beyond students on campus and into the local community. Dr. Becky Engen, professor of music therapy, is no exception to this Queens trait. For the past year, she has been working alongside Northwest School of the Arts senior Helena Radeva. Recently, the duo was able to collaborate on a community event to fulfill Radeva's academic requirements and support the music therapy program at Queens.

Last year, Radeva was assigned a capstone school project. She was confident in coupling the project with her talent and interests in music. She also wanted to explore the effects of music on people after witnessing its benefits first-hand on a musician-friend with Asperger's. Her guitar instructor, a student at Queens, connected her to Dr. Engen. Radeva's curiosity of the music therapy field naturally led to a positive rapport with Dr. Engen, as Dr. Engen provided resources and a wealth of information helpful to Radeva's project.

This year, in planning for her culminating senior-year project, Radeva was tasked with a service learning component. She decided to show her gratitude to Dr. Engen and Queens, and she proposed a music therapy benefit event with all proceeds advancing the music therapy program's clinic.

Radeva stated, "I wanted to make an impact on a local music therapy organization after doing my paper, and thought about donating to [the] University. I was more than lucky enough to have Dr. Engen jump on board and offer for me to host the event at Queens."

The Music Therapy Benefit Bash was held at Queens on February 4 and proved successful. Radeva worked with the local music scene to recruit bands—including her own, Death of August. Attendees had the opportunity to watch performances, learn about the music therapy program and clinic at Queens and help fund the program through their entrance fees and additional donations.

Although Radeva envisions her future to focus on marketing and music, her interest in music therapy continues to grow, thanks to Dr. Engen's willingness to lend her expertise beyond the classrooms of the Fine Arts Center.

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