Michael L. Allen

December 8, 1954August 25, 2010

Michael Allen, Professor of Music Education at The Florida State University and co-author of “Essential Elements for Strings” died on Wednesday August 25, 2010. He was 55.

Dr. Allen received a bachelor’s degree from The Cleveland Institute of Music, a master’s degree from Case Western Reserve University and a PhD in Music Education from The University of North Texas. He began his teaching career in the public schools of Spartanburg, South Carolina. Following a graduate fellowship from The University of North Texas, he served as string coordinator for the Denton Independent School District (Texas) for eight years. He was appointed to the FSU faculty in 1993. He also served as Coordinator, Director, and Conductor of The FSU String Orchestra Camp. He was named the Florida Music Educators Association College Music Educator of the Year and earned a Citation for Leadership and Merit from the American String Teachers Association.

Dr. Allen is widely published and served as Editor in Chief of The Florida Music Director as well as Editor for the national publication The String Research Journal. He conducted honor orchestras throughout the United States and presented string workshops at all of the major music education conferences both nationally and internationally.

Michael Allen was a Master Teacher. He was able to inspire people to become better teachers, musicians, and human beings. Dr. Allen taught patience, kindness, love of teaching, love of music, and integrity. Generations of teachers and students will be forever impacted by his lifelong work.

Michael Allen was a loving husband and devoted father and is survived by his wife Terice Diann Allen; Children Christopher Lee Allen and Matthew Kendall Allen; Mother Mae Young Allen; and Sister Jean Allen Harvey.

He is preceded in death by an infant son Jonathan Michael Allen and father Edgar Lee Allen.

Services will be held at Culley’s Meadowwood Funeral Home 700 Timberlane Road(850) 893-4177 in Tallahassee on Saturday, August 28, 2010 at 2:00 pm EDT with visitation beginning at 12:00 pm in the Chapel.Burial will follow in the MeadowWood Memorial Park. In Lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the “Dr. Michael L. Allen Summer Orchestra Camp Scholarship Fund” at 2305 Kilkenny Drive West, Tallahassee, FL 32309.

Arrangements are under the direction of Culley's MeadowWood Funeral Home in Tallahasee, FL.


  • Funeral Service Saturday, August 28, 2010
  • Visitation Saturday, August 28, 2010

Michael L. Allen

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Jill Johnson Shafer

September 25, 2010

Terice, I just learned of MIchael's passing and want you to know that you are thought of often and remembered with fondness. May God bless you and your children during this time and hold you ever so gently in the palm of his hand.

Cynthia Scully

September 22, 2010

I was deeply saddened to learn of Michael's passing today from the ASTA website. I met Michael years ago in Texas and have used his materials for the past 9 years in my teaching. Know that he has touched thousands of students and colleagues alike. May his family and close frineds be at peace in knowing the wonderful impact he had on String Education. His memory will live on and on. He will be greatly missed.

Jason Phillips

September 9, 2010

Michael was an awesome conductor (for Florida All State Orchestra 2003) and such a sweet guy. I would always talk to him at subsequent FMEA conferences and my mom knew him too. He will be missed very much and I hope his family will handle the situation well.

Lisa Larison

September 9, 2010

Dr. Allen was an amazing teacher and a wonderful person. He was always so willing to help out his students and pay individual attention whenever he possibly could. I only knew him for one semester and a summer at FSU, but it was obvious that he was a kind soul and an extraordinary person. I wish the best for his family during this difficult time.

September 3, 2010

Dear Terice and family: I am so sorry to hear of Michael's untimely death. Both of my children Stephen and Andrea were influenced by his teaching and guidance at Denton's Ryan High School Orchestra program . We still laugh that our son Stephen as a violinist in Michael's High School Orchestra is the only member of our family of professional musicians (I as Woodrow Wilson Elementary School's Choir director and husband Keith - Regents Professor of Trumpet at University of North Texas who has performed at Carnegie Hall. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family at this time. We are most grateful for his influence in the music world. Cecile Johnson, Denton, TX

Susan Rasmussen

September 2, 2010

Dr. Allen had a profound effect in our family. He probably didn't even know it. My daughters are better musicians because of him. He will be
dearly missed.
Susan L. Rasmussen
formerly of West Palm Beach

Jeff Frizzi

August 30, 2010

Dear Allen Family,
I was so sorry to hear about the passing of Dr. Allen. As a 20 year string teaching veteran, both my students and I have been greatly influenced by Michael's expertise. The string education and music teaching world has suffered a great loss. He will be greatly missed.

With great sympathy,
Jeff Frizzi
Carmel, IN

Lynn Ledbetter

August 29, 2010

Michael was such a treasure to the musical amazing teacher and human being. He will be greatly missed. Our prayers are with him and his family.

Martha, Larry, Nick and Marzena Pytel

August 29, 2010

Our family joins in sharing this great loss. We met Michael when our son, Nick, was in the Tallahassee Youth Orchestra at F.S.U. Even though very busy, Michael wrote a recommendation letter of many pages for Nick when he was trying for a scholarship to Emory University. I am sure that letter was a contributing factor in securing the award. We are so happy to have seen Michael recently at the reunion and anniversary meeting at Childs High School for the Tallahassee Youth Orchestra. He was the epitome of a professional teacher in dress and manner. We will always remember the vibrancy that he brought to so many lives.
Marti, Larry, Nick and Marzena Pytel, Tallahassee, New York and Pennsylvania

Joy Miller

August 29, 2010

We were so sorry to hear about Michael's passing and were shocked learning of his recent illness. Our hearts broke for you and your loss. He had such an impact on so many lives. What a beautiful service today celebrating Michael's life and sharing the legacy he left in this world! It has been a blessing to know your family for all of these years. Praying for God's peace that passes all understanding...
Love and prayers to you.
Joy Miller and Howard Miller