TEACHERS AND ADMIN

All of our staff members are passionate about music and the development of children.  Our Teachers create a fun and informal yet informative setting that spurs engagement and supports each child's musical development.  

MEET OUR MMI FAMILY!

Left to right Front Row:  Lizz Hodgin, Shannon Marie Kerr, Camille Couture

Middle Row:  Jess Cameron, Bonnie Holmer-Orange, Katlynn Hoegel, Elizabeth Torres

Back Row:  Ruby Cook, Ashlie Feffer, Naomi Eckmann, Tammy Johnson, Martha Rabin, Jen Miller, Jessica Lowe-Wilson

photo Lizz Hodgin, Director

Lizz Hodgin, Director of MusicalMe, Inc. is a professional opera singer and musical theater performer who has performed locally, in the San Francisco Bay Area, in New York City, and beyond. Lizz has studied Early Childhood Education at Cabrillo and earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theater (Acting Emphasis) from UCSC. She has studied voice with some very gifted teachers, among them: Adrienne Angel, Blanche Thebom, and her best teacher ever, her Mom.

She is also Daniel's Mom!


More about Lizz

     
Alison Tynes

Originally from Black Mountain, North Carolina, Alison has recently relocated to Santa Cruz from New York City. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from Guilford College and a MM in Voice Performance from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. In New York, Alison taught private voice and piano lessons at the historic Abrons Arts Center and was co-head teacher at a daycare center where she led daily music activities. In 2015, she heard about Music Together® from a friend (Teacher Elizabeth!), went to the teacher training, and was totally blown away by the incredible research and meaningful teaching philosophy behind Music Together. Prior to moving to California, Alison taught with Heart and Beat Music in the Bronx and subbed for East Side West Side Music Together. She is so excited to join the Musical Me teaching family! 

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photo Ashlie Feffer, Active Sub

Ashlie found Music Together with her daughter, Josephine, and instantly wanted to be more involved. Ashlie’s passion is teaching and she loves seeing families grow. She is a credentialed K-8 teacher and has a Masters in Teaching ESL. She has taught everywhere from Thailand to Kentucky and everything from English to Forest Ecology. Music is a key thread woven through every aspect of her life. She has participated in many choral groups, led many giddy campers in raucous song, and has taught & performed swing dance. Ashlie is fascinated by instruments; she plays the piano, goofs around on the guitar, and tinkers on as many instruments as she can get her hands on.

**Teacher Ashlie is not currently on our teaching schedule however; you may find her subbing for one of our other teachers.


More about Ashlie

     
Bonnie Holmer-Orange

Bonnie Holmer-Orange grew up in a singing family, belting out songs with her Mom and siblings at every opportunity. She joined her first choir at age 5 and by age 9 was performing duets on stage with her brother. She prefers any fun song including children’s songs, campfire or traditional songs. Bonnie spent 6 years as a camp counselor, and naturally assumed the roll of song leader for the camp.

Bonnie’s first degree is in Early Child Education. She taught preschool in Santa Cruz for 4 years during her young adult years and loves the toddler years. Bonnie’s second degree is in health education, with a specialty in adult learning.

Bonnie discovered Music Together when her twins were 4 months old. She instantly fell in love with MT, and recognized it as the perfect blend of her many loves: music, working with young children and adult education. When her 3rd child was a year old, Bonnie became a Music Together teacher in Santa Cruz. She took the MT program with her when she moved to Indonesia were she lived for 8 years. Now back in Santa Cruz, Bonnie is excited to be back on the team with MusicalMe.

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photo Camille Couture

Camille Couture has been teaching, living and loving Music Together for over 10 years.  She holds a Master of Arts in Choral Conducting from the University of Washington, sings in the Santa Cruz-based vocal group Ariose and is the chorus manager for WomenSing.  Her finest work however, happens when accompanying her daughter, Madison, while Maddy plays the melody of "Heart and Soul", or when singing "My Favorite Things" together.  Music Together has been the soundtrack of family life in Camille's home and she can't wait to bring this incredibly rich and joyous musical program into the lives of the children and grown-ups in her classes.

More about Camille

 


 

     
Courtney Westerberg

From the very first Music Together class with her daughter, Courtney marveled over its fun, relaxed, and effective approach to early childhood music education. In addition to seeing how the Music Together program was supporting her daughter’s overall learning, Courtney loved the amazing sense of community being built during class with the other parents and their children.

Having taught Spanish and English to children, teens, and adults in various schools, universities, home tutoring settings, and companies in the U.S. and aboard, Courtney loves the diversity of culture, communication, and creativity. She would often bring her love of music to the classroom by playing guitar while singing her original songs to her students. When she had the opportunity to teach ESL at the Manhattan School of Music, Courtney had the pleasure to jam and improvise with world class musicians. She has also played live shows as an acoustic duo with her husband.

Courtney is so excited to share the joy and healing power of music to families with this wonderful program!

More about Courtney

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photo Elizabeth Torres

With 12 years of Music Together experience, Elizabeth cannot imagine her life without it. Elizabeth is a professional saxophonist and a composer. She is a graduate of Music Together's prestigious Certification Level Two training where just over 100 teachers in the country have achieved this certification. She studied intensely with the founders of Music Together; Ken Guilmartin and Lili Levinowitz. She holds a B.A. in Music from UCSC and has taught music both privately and in elementary schools to children in grades Kindergarten through 8th.

In her free time she likes to hike in the mountains surrounding Santa Cruz and to swim with the Cruzers swim team. In the summer, you can find Elizabeth at one of her favorite beaches reading a book or people watching on Westcliff. She also plays saxophone in Aza with Teacher Genoa. Aza is a 6 piece Moroccan/North African band that tours internationally. ”

"My vision as a Music Together Teacher is to empower parents to be musical with their children and have it as natural as speaking to them."

More about Elizabeth

     
Genoa Brown

Genoa Brown is a Santa Cruz native and a proud mother of two beautiful boys named Umi and York. She was first introduced to Music Together as a nanny for a little boy who was enrolled in the program and she fell in love with the idea. She has been teaching since the Summer of 2010 and is in awe of the sense of community, arts appreciation and family bonding this program brings to those enrolled. As far back as she can remember music has been a significant part of her life in shaping her happiness, community, and identity. She has been recording professionally since the age of 15 and continues to play music in and out of school professionally and recreationally. In college she studied under renowned saxophonist Leo Potts at CSU Long Beach and graduated with a BA in Communication Studies and a Minor in Music. She has played and toured with many artists such as: KRS One, Del The Funkyhomosapien, Dj Zac Hendrix, APlus and Pharcyde just to name a few. She also plays in the award winning band AZA and makes music with local and SF Bay Area musicians and producers. The music she creates herself, and with the amazing people she works with, have characteristics of multiple genres and a vast array of influences. For herself the most notable influences are her two grandfathers, both jazz instrumentalists, and her Momma, whose lullabies are of her first memories in experimenting with music and harmony. Most recently, Music Together has offered classes to developmentally disabled teens at local high schools and Genoa has had the honor of teaching and witnessing the incredible power of music in relation to those with special needs.  Genoa has worked with children, teens, and adults with special needs and holds a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology. "I, personally, believe in an art as it exists in the context of the phrase "thou art God". In this phrase art is the word that connects the individual (thou) to their higher self (God) or to that which is universal…" -D'Angelo-

 

"My vision as a Music Together teacher is to see my families be funny, loving, confident and relaxed. At the end of class, seeing my families leave the classroom with those feelings and having been nourished through music-making is my meaningful vision. Sometimes families are struggling with something that disrupts emotional comforts and to be an individual who provides a safe and secure place for them to rediscover those feelings is such an honor."


More about Genoa

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photo Jen Miller

Jen Miller is a professional singer, recording artist, and song writer who leads music at churches, retreats, prisons and missions trips. She is currently recording her second album and finds fulfillment in bringing hope and healing through music. She has classical training in piano and plays acoustic guitar. Jen has a long history of working with children of all ages and enjoys exploring and supporting their musical processes. Jen has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of California at Davis.


More about Jen

     
Jess Cameron

Teacher Jess is a singer/songwriter who fell in love with music at a young age. As an infant, her favorite activity was to watch and listen to her father sing and play the guitar. She believes that making music together is a magical experience that can transport both care giver and child to a positive, loving place and help to reduce stress. As a mom of two, she uses music in her own home to overcome everyday obstacles parents face. For example, when she is changing the diaper of her wiggly daughter, you might hear her softly singing a song she learned from her mother, called 'Do the Diaper Duty'.

Alongside her role as a MusicalMe teacher, Jess also coaches high school cheerleading and strives to inspire young athletes in the community. She considers working with families and their children to be a rewarding experience like no other, and is thrilled to be able to share her love of music with others as a MusicalMe teacher.

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photo Jessica Lowe-Wilson

Jessica is a credentialed parent educator with over 30 years of experience working with young children and families. She has a B.A. in Child Development from Mills College, an A.S. in Early Childhood Education and an A.A. in Dance from Cabrillo College. Her training also includes music theory and private lessons in guitar, piano and voice. Jessica's special focus is using music to enhance our parenting, reducing stress and increasing the joy of family life. Jessica has a profound respect for the creativity and intelligence inherent in young children and calls them her “little Buddhas”. She sees her role as facilitating rather than directing their learning process. Jessica seeks to create a safe and comfortable place for children and parents to learn and grow. Her goal is to empower her classes to feel confident creating satisfying and enriching musical experiences in their daily lives.

Growing up with a world-class professional guitarist father Mundell Lowe, and an actress/comedian mother, Jessica was introduced to the value of arts in the home at an early age. Convinced that music can bond, heal and transform us, she has enjoyed many years of magic music making with her family. She considers Music Together a blessing in her life and has been with us since 1998!


More about Jessica

     
Katlynn Hoegel

Katlynn Hoegel has been singing since the time she could speak, and has been performing for audiences since the age of 3. She began music training at the age of 6 with piano lessons, and then later voice and guitar. Her experiences are diverse, but it's her enthusiasm and love for music that radiates joy to those she works with.

For over 10 years, Katlynn has been leading music with children and youth in various capacities including: Church Sunday School, Summer Camp, Youth band, YMCA Kid's Corner, and Youth Encounter: large group meetings for all ages. Outside of Music Together, she works for a preschool in Santa Clara and also directs a touring High School Youth Choir at a local Church. She loves Mexican food and coffee and enjoys spending time at the beach with friends and family. She truly loves teaching Music Together. It is the joy of her life and hopes to continue for many years to come.


More about Katlynn

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photo Martha Rabin, Active Sub

Martha Rabin is the daughter of early childhood music educators, and is a Music Together mom, herself! She grew up surrounded by music, and made some of her own, playing violin and piano. Martha majored in Theatre & Drama at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and received her post-graduate diploma at the Webber-Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London, England. She has performed with regional theatre companies throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and locally with the Gaslight Theatre Company in Santa Cruz. She is thrilled to be teaching Music Together – it is a remarkable and magical experience for all!  Martha is thrilled to be returning, once again, as a teacher after a long hiatus while raising her daughter.  

     
Mary Schaefer

Mary grew up on Rogers and Hammerstein, Souza Marches and classical music. She took piano lessons as a child and played an organ in church for 7 years.

She has taken 2 years of Musicianship and Harmony at Hartnell College and received the Boronda Scholarship from Hartnell, enabling her to continue her studies in Italy. In addition to teaching Music Together®®, she is a Certified Level 1 Orff Instructor. 

Her journey as a Music Together instructor started as a nanny. She used what she learned in her children's classes as a parent volunteer. Mary began teaching Music Together in 2001. She has taught Music Together in Carmel, Monterey, Salinas, and San Jose. She also gives private piano lessons and does birthday parties.

She has taken numerous Early Childhood Education classes at Hartnell College and has taught music to various preschools on the Monterey Peninsula, including Oasis Charter School and Harmony Home School. 

Mary has been singing with the Monterey Peninsula Choral Society, now Monterey Peninsula Voices, for the past 3 years. She got to sing with them in London at the 2012 Olympics and recently toured Italy singing this summer. Working with Dr. Sean Boulware and this wonderful choir has enriched her life immensely and improved her voice.

Mary's passions are children, music and dancing. She feels incredibly blessed to be able to have an abundance of all three in her life. She believes that music is incredibly beneficial in our lives. It can be healing, invigorating and inspirational. Her musical preferences are classic rock, classical and musicals. She loves dancing, preferably to rock or blues or contra music. She feels especially blessed that both her children, now grown, enjoy music, singing and dancing also.

 

More About Mary

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photo Marya Stark, Parties only

Marya Stark is a Music Therapist, graduating from Chapman University. She is a classically trained singer, guitarist, and pianist, and has been writing music for most of her life. She is a co-creator of "Out of the Silence", a film about sound healing and the role of sound and music in global health and consciousness.

In addition to being a multi-talented musician, performing artist, and visionary, she is a graduate from the International School of Medical Qi Gong with an emphasis on pediatric medicine. Having experienced the transformational wonders of music, she is extremely passionate about working with children and planting seeds of creative expression through music and energy cultivation. She is thrilled to be working with MusicalMe Inc.!

**Teacher Marya is not currently on our teaching schedule however; she is available for MusicalMe, Inc. birthday parties!


More about Marya

     
Naomi Eckmann

Naomi Eckmann has sung nearly every song in the Music Together repertoire while attending with her two sons. These songs have become an integral part of her family life and she is excited to help you bring music into your family culture as well. A cellist since age three, Naomi has always sung in choirs and danced when no one was watching. After college, she followed her husband to the Bay Area and worked in a Mandarin immersion kindergarten. That led to a teaching credential at SJSU and five years of teaching middle school science in Mountain View. Since the birth of her first son, Gustav, she has been at home with him and his little brother Oscar. Naomi has continued to teach as a weekly volunteer at preschool and looks forward to teaching Music Together with you and your family.

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photo Ruby Cook

Ruby Cook is ecstatic to have the opportunity to guide and make music with the families of MMI. She is Santa Cruz born and raised. She actually used to be a student in the Music Together classes in Santa Cruz, and is very excited to now be able to share that same joy and passion for music that Music Together instilled in her from a young age.

Ruby has always been involved in local choirs, theater companies, and voice studios.
She went through the music program at Cabrillo College under the direction of Cheryl Anderson as well as many other amazing professors, studied bel canto method with Dr. Tony Dehner, and received her Associates degree in Music, and recently received her Bachelor of Arts in Music with an emphasis in voice from Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. While at Point Loma, She had the honor of studying voice with Dr. John Craig Johnson, and coach with the fabulous Ines Irawati. Although for the past five years she has been classically trained as an operatic soprano, she has also studied jazz, and musical theater. She has taught voice lessons, vocally directed, and conducted.
“Music has always been a part of my life since I can remember, and it is something that is often times over-looked or under-appreciated by today’s culture. I truly believe that because I was involved in Music Together at such a young age, my love and passion for music was able to be nurtured, leading me in the pursuit of having music as my career.” Children exude the brightest light when it comes to self-expression, courage, and natural musical instincts, and she can’t wait to go on the journey of music making and self-discovery with the families and children of Music Together.

 

More About Ruby 


     
Shannon Marie Kerr

Shannon Marie Kerr is a Santa Cruz native. Raised in the San Lorenzo Valley area, Shannon spent her early years in dance class, and on the MCT (Mountain Community Theater) stage. She began choreographing plays for Santa Cruz's Little Peoples Repertory Theatre at the age of 12. Shannon went on to pursue professional acting in NYC in 2001, where she resided for 9 years. She quickly became a member of the Screen Actor's Guild and The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. A long time lover of musical theatre, and children's education, Shannon had the gift of directing and choreographing her first full production of Alice in Wonderland for SCPA earlier this year. She is currently choreographing some numbers for MCT's Spamalot. Shannon is truly blessed and excited to be among the gifted teachers of MMI.

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photo Sydney LaMorte

Sydney grew up in a musical home with an organist for a mother and the four-part harmony of her sisters as the soundtrack to her life. She began piano at age 3, clarinet at age 9, guitar at age 16, and finally got a B.A. in voice at UCSC.

Since those days of long, lonely hours in the practice room, she is now committed to making music as a hobby, a joy and a way to connect to others.  Music Together grabbed her attention during her University years because the music was so rich, diverse and complex while the philosophy and manner of delivery so simple and easily received. Having always connected to the silly-side of children, this was a perfect fit. After an amazing decade of teaching Music Together and simultaneously working as a nanny, Sydney left the program to pursue a career as a hair stylist and start a family of her own. Though she was no longer in the program daily, the practice of daily music and movement and the philosophy of accepting and including others never left her.

Two years ago she began attending Music Together with her own son and has been reminded why she was so attracted to teaching all those years ago. She is excited to be back in the classroom as a facilitator, able to bring a new depth of growth and understanding to her teaching: that of a parent. She knows now, more than ever, the importance music plays in the connection between parent and child. She is so grateful for the magic this program gives her at home with her family and in the classroom.

Sydney is honored to be welcomed back to the Music Together Family.

     
Tammy Johnson, Registrar

Tammy joined the MusicalMe team early in 2005 and is most often the first voice people hear when they call into the MusicalMe office. Tammy's love for music and belief in the Music Together philosophy is expressed through her enthusiasm and joy while introducing others to the program. She feels honored and blessed to be part of such a well researched program and loves being able to share The Joy of Family Music® with others.

Although Music Together was unavailable while raising her own three children, she now gets to share and experience the joy of music making with her grandchildren.
"I can't imagine a world without music...or children. It would just be TOO quiet."

A message from our Registrar

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MusicalMe, Inc offers the research-based, internationally acclaimed music program Music Together - the best music classes for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and the adults who love them. MusicalMe, Inc has music classes for young children in Santa Cruz, Santa Clara and Monterey counties. Music Together is the perfect mommy and me, daddy and me or a loved adult and me class for young children ages 0 to 6 years old.