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 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! 

     
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

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photo Bonnie Holmer-Orange, Active Sub

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.

More about Bonnie

     
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

 


 

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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

     
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

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photo 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

     
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

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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, Active sub

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 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.

     
Sarah Cruse

Sarah Cruse has a background in Psychology, and Energetic Sound Healing, and is currently teaching Mindfulness to youth and Teachers.  She is a true enthusiast of the power of voice and the magic that happens when we share it. Sarah has worked with children of all ages sharing her joy of singing and sounding together, and has created curriculum for both preschool and high school age youth.  With 15 years of experience as a Singer/Songwriter, Poet, Performing Artist and Educator, she has cultivated an intimate, playful and dynamic place from which to share.  She was delighted to find MusicalMe, and is grateful to be part of the team.

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photo 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.

(Photo credit by Donald Kerns)

More about Shannon

     
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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photo Terre Lee

Since early childhood, Terre has been surrounded by music. She grew up with a mother who cultivated a strong family bond through love for music. Thus, she knows first hand, the importance of playing with music as a family. Terre is an active violinist, Suzuki trained violin teacher, and music educator for elementary school. 

Terre is a graduate of UCSC with a double degree in Music and Economics. She also has units for Early Childhood Education from Cabrillo College. 

An enthusiast for play, music, children & parents, Terre is grateful and excited to share her skills with MusicalMe Inc. families!

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.