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Duncraig Music Teacher Sonya Elek has won an Outstanding Professional Service Award at the Professional Teaching Council of WA Outstanding Teacher Awards. The prestigious award, presented by the Australian Society for Music Education WA (ASMEWA), recognises an individual member’s outstanding professional contribution to education in WA, made in a voluntary capacity to their professional teachers’ association.

In addition to her work with students at St Stephen’s School, the award recognised Ms Elek’s seven years as a volunteer on the ASMEWA council and five years as publications editor.

When asked how she feels about being nominated Ms Elek is extremely humbled.

“Honestly, I feel a bit embarrassed! I don’t like to be singled out when there are so many teachers who go above and beyond,” she says.

In her capacity as a music teacher this year at St Stephen’s School, Ms Elek has enjoyed being a part of the growth, both in number and skill, of the recorder ensemble The Minstrels.

“We have gone from an intimate group of six or seven students to a 26-strong music-making, creative powerhouse!”

Ms Elek has a clear zest for music education, with her interests going far beyond mainstream music.

“My favourite instrument would have to be the harpsichord. Unlike the piano, the harpsichord produces sound by plucking the strings inside the instrument, rather than striking them with a ‘hammer’.”

“However, the harpsichord is a bit like avocado: people either love it or hate it!”

“I would encourage everyone to watch this fantastic performance of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 – the harpsichord solo is awesome!”  Watch here.

Sonya Elek’s deep seated passion is obvious to all who meet her, making her truly worthy of such a prestigious accolade.