Our Teachers

Our wonderful Music Together in the Valley teachers are fun-loving, multi-talented individuals who have widely varied backgrounds in music, dance, theater and education. Though they have come to Music Together® through different routes, they have all chosen to teach it because they love children and they love to sing.

All of our teachers have successfully completed the Music Together Teaching Workshop developed by the Center for Music and Young Children, Princeton, New Jersey. Several have also gone on to complete Music Together’s rigorous certification process.

Interested in becoming a part of this amazingly dynamic group? We're always looking for potential Music Together teachers who might be a great fit for our program. Call Clarice at 651-439-4219.


photo Clarice Wilson

Clarice Wilson, center director and teacher for the past twelve years, has a Ph.D. in Community Development from the University of Minnesota and sees Music Together as an ideal vehicle for building strong communities. Music Together is her third career, started after first teaching at the U of M for many years then doing hands-on community development in a village in rural India where she helped the local women start a preschool and a high school for girls. It was teaching songs to the children in the village preschool that started Clarice on the path toward Music Together. She discovered that for her, the combination of music and children is irresistible.

Clarice remembers the annual family road trips when she was growing up as one long sing-along featuring the world's longest versions of She's Been Comin' Round the Mountain, Swing Low, Sweet Chariot and I've Been Workin' on the Railroad, often in six-part harmony in her family of six. In addition to living in a household where music was a part of everyday life, Clarice sang in a children's choir from the age of three and continued in choirs until she completed her undergraduate degree. Then for years, she lost track of singing with a group and didn't return to it until her days in the village preschool when she realized how much she'd missed it.

Clarice has been teaching violin in her own studio, Stillwater Suzuki Strings, for many years. She has found that teaching violin to children who have spent years in Music Together classes is pure joy because they have such a solid foundation on which to build; music is a part of them.

Clarice thoroughly enjoys the opportunity to sing and dance with others during Music Together classes and displays a very high “S.Q.” or “Silliness Quotient” (a vital asset for a Music Together teacher!). Clarice has earned the coveted "Level One Certification" from the national Music Together organization and just this summer completed her coursework for her "Level Two Certification" and she ranks these up there with her graduate degrees in terms of accomplishments that have given her the most satisfaction.

Clarice teaches in Stillwater, Creative Kidstuff in St Paul and Woodbury.
     
photo Marty Allen

Marty was born into a family of musicians. Family get-togethers were always paired with lively performances. In high school, she joined any musical group she could be a part of at church, school and beyond. She was one of 12 singers chosen to represent Massachusetts at the All-Eastern Choir. In college, she studied music, elementary education and history. These days, she can be found singing on the worship team at her church or rocking out with her children in the car.

Marty loves working with two of her greatest joys—children and music. After attending a Music Together class with her son, she decided it would be a perfect fit to teach and still do her number one job as a stay-at-home mom. She is married to her husband, Mark, and they have a son, Miles, and a daughter, Macy.

Marty teaches in Blaine and Stillwater. 

     
photo Kevalin Aulandez

Kevalin grew up with Music Together quite literally because her mother was and is a Music Together teacher. In her early teens, Kevalin often attended her mother’s classes and almost always had someone’s child on her lap, enthusiastically joining in with all the singing and dancing.

Kevalin was raised in a home saturated with music, where having someone burst into song at any given moment was the norm. She is an accomplished violinist, an avid guitarist and has recently fallen in love with the ukulele, an instrument that is just plain fun. She has sung in formal choirs, informal coffee shop settings and all sorts of places in between. She loves popular music, folk music, classical music, sacred music—well, most any kind of music. Music Together allows her to combine her love of music and her love of children with her well-honed sense of silliness. It’s a lovely combination! But don’t take our word for it. Come to one of Kevalin’s classes and see for yourself!

Kevalin teaches in Apple Valley and Woodbury. 

     
photo Sarah Berwald

The youngest of eight musical children, Sarah Berwald has been surrounded by music since birth and had the unique opportunity of singing with her whole family as one of the “Klemp Family Singers”. The Klemps sang extensively throughout Minnesota during the school year and toured nationally for three weeks each summer during Sarah’s childhood. Sarah developed her musical talents by taking piano and saxophone lessons early on, switching to the baritone saxophone in high school and was awarded The John Philip Sousa Award during her senior year.

College brought more opportunities to participate in music—in band, choir, jazz band, musical theatre and voice lessons. Sarah double majored in Communication Studies and Theatre at Concordia University in St. Paul and also has a Master’s degree in Organizational Management. During her college years, Sarah traveled to eight different countries with the International Children’s Drama Ministry, filling a variety of roles in each country which included performing, stage managing and directing, fueling her passion for theater which started when she was very young.

For the past ten years as a stay-at-home mom, Sarah has continued to be active in music, participating in a hand bell choir and church choir, singing each summer with The Klemp Family Singers—which now includes the next generation—filling in on the baritone sax for a local jazz band, volunteering in the music department at her children’s school, and bringing her children to Music Together. Sarah still loves musical theatre and is looking forward to the opportunity to be back on stage when her children are older.

Sarah’s sister, Paula Wilson, has been teaching Music Together for over ten years and encouraged Sarah to become a teacher. Sarah and her husband Brian live in Stillwater and have three children: Bradley, Isabelle, and Briana—and a beloved Shih Tzu named Bode.

Sarah teaches in Stillwater. 

     
photo Linda Brasaemle

Linda Brasaemle is a veteran Music Together teacher. She loves her work with families, helping adults learn to play and facilitating community building through music.

Linda has also pursued further education through Music Together and attained both Level 1 Certification and Level 2 Certification, becoming one of a select group of highly trained Music Together teachers honored for excellence in articulation of program philosophy, assessment of children's music development, and teaching mastery. Linda has also represented the national-level Music Together organization as one of its presenters at early childhood and music education conferences throughout the country. In addition to teaching classes here in the Twin Cities, she also works for Music Together LLC as a Workshop Leader and Teacher Trainer and has traveled to China (several times), Japan and Italy to train Music Together teachers.

Linda played in bands, orchestras, and jazz groups throughout her high school and college years and discovered the joy of singing later when she began participating in vocal ensembles and singing at church. Most recently, she has been seen playing the bass guitar in a worship band and working with the drama department at her church. Linda has a BA in Fitness, has held several related certifications, and spent 15 years working for the YMCA. More than anything in the world, she loves being a mom to two beautiful daughters.

Linda teaches in Arden Hills, Blaine and St. Paul. 

     
photo Renata Fox

Renata grew up in a small town in Brazil, and her entire extended family still lives there and they are just as musical now as they were when she was growing up. Renata’s dad was and is always playing and singing with the family, and they used to record themselves on an old tape player, pretending that they were on the radio.

Renata started traveling when she was 19 and lived in Russia for three years, working with children in orphanages. She met her husband there while he was on a mission trip from the U.S. After getting married, they moved back to his home state: Minnesota! In Renata’s first few years here, she was a preschool teacher until she became a mom. She has two beautiful daughters! Renata has been working with children since she was a teenager. She is passionate about education and music, which come together perfectly in Music Together.

Renata teaches in North Oaks, Shoreview and Stillwater. 

     
photo Amy Lindquist

Amy Lindquist is originally from Montana, but married a Minnesotan and has lived here now for more than a decade. Music has always been a big part of her life. In high school, Amy played piano in her tiny rural church and sang or played in every musical ensemble that her school offered. College choir and touring ensemble led to a year of traveling with a music outreach team in Taiwan and the US. Here in the Twin Cities Amy has sung with the Minnesota Oratorio Society and Two Rivers Chorale as well as directing her church choir.

When her two children were born Amy began exploring children’s music and hit upon her favorite genre yet. Truly! Amy says, "I delight in exploring the world of children’s folk music- it’s artists, songs, history, and the joy of singing songs that have endured for generations. I also have great fun learning to play folkish instruments such as the concertina, guitar, and recorder."

Amy became a Music Together teacher in 2014. Music Together combines her love of music and children, and children’s music! She says, "I am honored to make music together with your children and with you. I am so thankful that my parents gave me the gift of music at a young age, and I would love to help you give that gift to your child."

When she's not singing, Amy can be found playing with her kids, reading, cooking, drinking coffee with friends, or watching Star Trek with her dear husband.

Amy teaches in White Bear Lake and Woodbury. 

     
photo Tibbe Luell

Tibbe Luell has taught dance for the past twenty years and owned the dance studio, Valley Dance and Fitness, where Music Together in the Valley started twelve short years ago. After listening in on our classes for a semester, drawn by the irresistible music and the wonderful energy of our participants, she decided to go through the Music Together teacher training herself and join the staff. She has since taught for ten years and completed her Level I Certification through the national Music Together organization, which is an important milestone for a Music Together teacher. Now the mother of a five-year-old who loves to sing, Tibbe understands more than ever the importance of music in early childhood education. She sees Music Together as a great beginning in the arts, an excellent foundation for future training in dance, instrumental and vocal music, and all other creative endeavors. Tibbe has just returned to teaching after having moved outside the Twin Cities for two years. She's now back and we're delighted to have her!

Tibbe teaches in Shoreview. 

     
photo Audra Mackowiak

Audra grew up in small town Wisconsin, in a little bungalow on a quiet street, listening to her mom sing everything from 70s easy listening to church hymns to folk songs. Sing-a-longs and rounds were frequent entertainment on family road trips around the country. She began taking piano lessons in second grade and continued for six years. Throughout that time she also sang in both school and church choirs.

As time went by, Audra continued to enjoy listening to music but lost touch with the act of actually creating it. It was only when she and her son (then one year old) joined Linda B's Music Together class that she was reintroduced to how much FUN and fulfilling it is to both make music and to play WITH music. Adding kids to the mix was the cherry on top! 

In Music Together class, Audra knew she'd found her happy place, singing with kids and their grownups, and she is elated to be able to add ‘Music Together teacher’ to her hat collection. Other hats Audra wears include: mom to Murray (now age three), wife to Luke, knitter of many creations, kettle bell enthusiast and lover of nature. 

Audra teaches in Apple Valley and Woodbury

     
photo Robin Mcguire

Robin’s father was a band director, her mother was a music teacher, and her sister (who is also a Music Together teacher!) played both the piano and the violin. So, music is and has always been a huge part of her life. Robin began piano lesson when she was quite young, added flute lessons a few years later, took up the autoharp as an adult, and just this summer took on the challenge of the ukulele—and is proud to announce that she already knows three chords!

Robin’s husband plays the trombone, as does her daughter, Maeve. Her son, Miles, is the singer in the family, and her dog, Otto, howls along with them all.

Robin has a degree in Elementary Education from the University of Minnesota. She conducts the Cherub Choir at her church, teaches at her church’s music and drama camp each summer, and does the music portion of the weekly Parents’ Day Out that the church sponsors. Robin also serves as a worship arts leader at her church. One of Robin’s passions is children’s books and she has an extensive collection. She also thrives on gardening and being outdoors.

Robin teaches in Lakeville. 

     
photo Kari Owens

Kari Owens is very excited to join the Music Together in the Valley team. Kari has he B.A. in Elementary and Early Childhood Education from Augustana University (formerly College) in Sioux Falls, SD. Her first teaching job was teaching elementary music. After 4 years of teaching, she went back to school to make it official, receiving her K-12 Vocal Music Education degree from Mankato State University. Kari has taught in a traditional classroom for over 15 years.

Kari was first exposed to Music Together as a parent who brought her 6-month-old daughter to a class. Her daughter loved attending classes and was always dancing and singing to the music. Kari was taken in by the quality of the music and the program and by the joy that Music Together brought to her family. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to share the joy of music with other families!

Kari teaches in Apple Valley, Prior Lake and Savage.

     
photo Meghan Phadke

Meghan was first introduced to Music Together over 15 years ago when she accompanied her then 6 month old nephew to his class—and she loved how much he loved it! She was a long-time New York City resident and that is where she completed her Music Together training. Happily, she’s recently moved to Minnesota and has joined the Music Together family here. Meghan received her Bachelor’s of Music in Music Education from New York University and is currently pursuing a doctorate in education at the University of Minnesota.She was an elementary and early childhood music teacher at a public school in New York City for many years where she taught choir, concert band, recorder, guitar and keyboard. Though Meghan has spent much of her life singing classical music, her heart is in folk songs. Meghan plays piano, guitar, and ukulele.

Meghan teaches in Burnsville.

     
photo Bethany Schoeneck

Bethany is one of Music Together in the Valley's newest teachers, but she definitely isn't new to teaching children or music. Music has led Bethany through life and around the world. It all started with 4-part rounds in the car as a child, and continued with nine years of piano, voice lessons, choir tours in Ireland and Tanzania, and singing professionally in choirs and as a church soloist. If not for MN All-State Choir Bethany would have a very different life, since it was there that she both decided to become a music educator and where she met her husband.

Bethany has a BA in Music Education and has taught elementary music for 5 years including schools in Kansas City, Philadelphia, and currently, Burnsville. Through her graduate work at Temple University in vocal performance, Bethany also has experience teaching voice lessons. Her passion lies with making music with young ones, though, and believes that the best way to learn and love music is through play and gobs of FUN! Since the birth of her daughter, Karis, children seem even more beautiful, and each stage of their musical development even more awe-inspiring. Bethany is excited to witness magical moments and bring her passions to Music Together!

Bethany teaches in Eden Prairie and Savage. 

     
photo Amanda Verstegen

Amanda’s first gig as a paid musician was as a child, getting quarters from her great-grandpa for singing Lavender Blue. She comes from a family of musicians who love music, and more importantly, who love to share it together. Whether singing for her grandpa then, or jamming around the piano with her parents and siblings now, sharing music continues to be one of her greatest joys. Those early days of singing for quarters from Grandpa helped paved the way for voice recitals and opera roles as Amanda earned her Bachelor’s in Voice Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She recently completed her Masters in Music Therapy at the University of Minnesota and has been making music with the youngest through Music Together and with the oldest in hospice settings.  Amanda also sings with the Minnesota Chorale and continues to do solo performing whenever possible. She plays the piano and guitar and even remembers a few things from her band days playing the alto saxophone. Amanda also has completed her Level 1 Certification from the national Music Together organization.

Amanda teaches in St. Paul at Woodbury. 

     
photo Niki Wenz

Niki is not sure where her love of music and performing came from, but she can clearly remember dancing in front of her mirror, dressed in her “Solid Gold” dance costume, belting out the latest Tiffany song with her cassette recorder microphone in hand. That led to eight years of piano and dance lessons followed by school choir solos, performing in high school musicals, voice lessons and state voice competitions.

Niki went on to attend the University of Maryland, graduating with a B.A. in Communication and a French minor. Niki continued to sing in the concert and jazz choirs throughout her college years.

After college, music dropped out of her life. Without any musical outlet she forgot how much joy and happiness it gave her. Last year, Niki finally had the chance to bring her piano home, and she joined Music Together classes with her then 2- and 4-year-olds. Wow! She had not realized how much she had missed playing and singing. In not time at all, Niki decided that teaching a Music Together class would be her next great adventure in music.

Niki teaches in Hudson. 

     
photo Bobbi Wichterman

Some of Bobbi’s favorite memories are sitting with her mother at the piano, watching and listening while she played, and having fun singing with her siblings, learning to harmonize. During family Christmas celebrations, Bobbi would play the flute with her to create instrumental versions of their favorite carols and accompanied her extended family on the piano as they sang carols together.

Bobbi spent many years singing in her church and school choirs and developed a love for vocal jazz during her high school years. She also took part in musical theater and took dance lessons for 12 years.

After high school, Bobbi attended college in Roseville. Her dream was to work with young people and bring music into their lives—and she’s been blessed to be able to live that dream. During her second year of college, Bobbi started working at her local church as one of the music ministers and when she married, her husband also became one of the music ministers. Bobbi worked with the children and teen music programs in her church for 12 years.

Bobbi is married to a wonderful, funny guy, and they have two beautiful boys, and she loves being a mom and being the Worship Director at City Hill Church in Eden Prairie. Bobbi loves playing guitar, piano, and ukulele, and she brings these instruments into my classes whenever possible.

Bobbi teaches in Eden Prairie. 

     
photo Paula Wilson

Paula Wilson was born into a musical family. She began singing and performing with her seven siblings and her parents when she was just five years old. She and her family recorded three record albums, performing throughout the Twin Cities and touring each summer in a Partridge Family-style bus. Then, she began studying the flute and piano in grade school, two instruments she has played ever since.

When Paula’s daughter, Audrey, was born, Paula wanted to give her the same wonderful beginning in music and knew she’d found just the right program when she discovered Music Together. Paula has brought all three of her children, Audrey, Fletcher and Ida to Music Together classes and now that her youngest is starting kindergarten, she is happy to have even more time available to teach.

Paula is a graduate of Augsburg College with a double major in Theater and Broadcast Communications, and she continues her acting career by doing television commercials locally. She has sung in local bands for many years and she also sings on her church praise team and helps lead children programs and music at her church.

Paula has been learning the acoustic guitar for the past few years and often brings it and plays it in music class, encouraging children to strum it as well. When Paula earned her Level 1 Certification, she received high praise for her teaching from Dr. Lili Levinowitz, one of the co-creators of Music Together and an expert on early childhood music development.

Paula teaches in St. Paul and Woodbury.