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.
Clarice Wilson, center director and teacher for the past fifteen 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 taught violin in her own studio, Stillwater Suzuki Strings, for many years. She found that teaching violin to children who experienced Music Together classes in early childhood was pure joy because they had such a solid foundation on which to build; music was 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 I" and "Level II" Certifications from Music Together Worldwide and she ranks these up there with her graduate degrees in terms of accomplishments that have given her the most satisfaction.
Angela has been teaching Music Together for a whopping twenty years--and she's always loved doing it. She graduated from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, with a B.M. in Music Education. She has taught instrumental music in both public and private schools and music studios. She frequently brings in various musical instruments to class to play for the families. She has played horn in the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, Lake Wobegon Brass Band (alto horn), Minneapolis Civic, and the Kenwood Symphony Orchestra. She currently sings and recorded a CD with the Edina Chorale. She is involved in song leading at church and serves as orchestra director for its church musical. Angela is a registered and Certified Level 1 teacher which is a hard-earned honor. She and her husband, Bill, enjoy scuba diving, outdoor concerts, cheering for the Green Bay Packers, and spending time with family and friends. They have two musical children, Adrienne and Alec.
Angela teaches in Plymouth, Maple Grove, Wayzata and St Louis Park
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 each summer during her 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 including 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 handbell 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 thirteen years and encouraged Sarah to become a teacher herself. 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 and Woodbury.
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 teaches in St. Paul and Anoka.
Myra J. Curry has been teaching Music Together since April 1999 and still loves it. In June 2004, Myra was awarded Music Together Teacher Certification Level I by the Center for Music and Young Children in Princeton, NJ, which is quite an honor in the Music Together world. Besides teaching, Myra has an extensive background in Musical Theater and has performed professionally in Musical Theater shows for more than 20 years, touring nationally and internationally. In the Twin Cities area, audiences have seen Myra at the Guthrie, Mixed Blood, Ordway, and Children's Theaters. Myra also choreographs shows for local dance studios and community theaters. In July, 2012, Myra became a Zumba instructor and she loves being able to help others use dance as their excersize of choice. Myra and her husband, Sherman, have three sons: Sherman,III, Zacarias and Isaiah.
Andrea spent her childhood in rural Montana riding horseback, playing outside, and studying piano and guitar. In high school, she and her twin sister performed together as a singing and songwriting duo and their original song, “Miserable Thing,” won in the jazz category of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. In 2014, Andrea earned her B.A. in English from Macalester College. There, she sang in an a cappella group, formed a jazz ensemble with friends, and headed up Medicinal Melodies, a group of volunteer musicians performing in places of need throughout the Twin Cities. Since graduating, Andrea has found great joy in working with young children. She has been a Montessori preschool teacher, a gallery assistant at Minnesota Children’s Museum, and an after-school volunteer for Ronald McDonald House. Andrea now lives in St. Paul with her husband. She nannies a happy little girl, and brings her ukulele to work every day! Andrea uses her music and education background to create meaningful and joyful experiences for Music Together families.
Andrea teaches in Edina/SW Mpls and St Louis Park.
Tibbe Luell has taught dance for the past twenty years and owned the dance studio, Valley Dance and Fitness, where Clarice began Music Together in the Valley thirteen short years ago. After listening in on our classes for a semester, drawn by the irresistible music and the wonderful energy of the participants, she decided to go through the Music Together teacher training herself and join the staff. She has taught ever since and has completed her Level I Certification through the international Music Together organization, which is a significant milestone for any Music Together teacher. Her son Trex is in second grade and loves to sing, She directly relates his singing enjoyment with 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 a passion for working with kids. Outside of music classes she is a full time nanny of 3 and is blessed to have jobs that never feels like 'work'!
Tibbe teaches in Centerville, Lino Lakes, Shoreview and White Bear Lake.
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 many 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, wife to Luke, knitter of many creations and lover of nature.
Director's Note: Audra completed the coveted Level I Certification this past summer which is not small accomplishment!
Audra teaches in Apple Valley, St Paul and Woodbury
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 recently 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. And she LOVES teaching Music Together.
Robin teaches in Lakeville.
Kari Owens is very excited to have joined the Music Together in the Valley team. She has a B.A. in Elementary and Early Childhood Education from Augustana University in Sioux Falls, SD and her first teaching job was teaching elementary music. After four 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 taught in a traditional public school classroom for fifteen years before starting with Music Together.
Kari was first exposed to Music Together as a parent who brought her then 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!
Director's Note: Kari completed her Level I Certification this past summer which is a major milestone for a Music Together teacher. Congratulations Kari!
Kari teaches in Apple Valley, Prior Lake and Savage.
Ana Lucia Piedrahita-Fernandez
Ana learned about Music Together just three days before the teacher training was scheduled in Minnesota this past summer and even though she’d never even seen a class before, she went ahead and registered because it seemed like such a perfect fit, combining her love of children and her love of music. She is so grateful that she that she was able to participate in the training (which she passed with flying colors!) because it has allowed her to return to teaching music.
Ana is from Bogota, Columbia, and is here in the Twin Cities to be with her husband, David, who is working on his Ph.D. at the U of M. She had to leave behind the career that she established after earning her Bachelor’s of Music degree from the Central University of Bogota, directing choirs, teaching private voice and piano lessons to both children and adults and performing as a member of the Opera Choir of Columbia throughout her country—and that loss has weighed heavily on her. Although she was able to interact daily with children here in the Twin Cities, as the lead teacher of an infant and toddler classroom at a local Spanish immersion school, she still yearned to be teaching music.
Now through Music Together, she has her chance to fulfill one of her life goals: teaching music to those in the early childhood years and she couldn't be happier about it. Having the parents participate, too, Ana sees as an added bonus! In addition to teaching classes in Shoreview, Blaine and Anoka, Ana sings with VocalEssence, one of the world’s premier choral music organizations which is known for engaging people of all ages and cultures in innovative, exciting choral music programming.
Sally starting attending Music Together Classes with her daughter, two-and-a-half year old Ada, when Ada was 18 months old and they both love attending the weekly classes. One of their bedtime rituals is to sing through one entire Music Together songbook and Ada loves to find the pitch for each song with her pitch pipe! Music Is a vital part of their family life.
Music was an extremely important aspect of Sally’s growing up, too. Both of her parents encouraged her to participate in music from an early age and viewed music as an essential component in her education. As a result, Sally started piano lessons in first grade and continued through college. She started playing the cello when she was ten and ended up playing in the Minnesota All State Orchestra in her senior year of high school and she also sang as a cantor in her local Catholic church.
Along with her brother and two friends, Sally started a string quartet in high school called the “Hit and Run Quartet.” They would travel to various parts of her town to play, practicing their classical music on the way in the back of her El Camino!
Sally continued studying music in college and earned a B.A. in Piano Performance from St. Catherine University. She then changed course, attended the University of Minnesota where she earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2013 and served four years in the United States Army as a Veterinary Corps officer and she is still an actively practicing vet.
When Ada was born, Sally knew she wanted music to be a part of her life again. She found Music Together and she and her daughter have been hooked since the very first class. After taking several semesters of Music Together classes with Ada, Sally was approached by their teacher and asked if she would be interested in teaching and she answered with a resounding “Yes!”
Sally recently completed the Music Together teacher training and fell in love all over again with Music Together once she learned more about the curriculum and teaching philosophy. She is looking forward to teaching her first semester of Music Together in fall 2019!
Sally will be teaching Thursday evenings in Stillwater.
Jackie has been teaching the Music Together program since 1999. However, if you ask her directly, Jackie might say she has actually been “LEARNING" about music from children since 1999. Jackie has a degree in Theatre Arts from St. Mary’s University. Locally, Jackie has been on stage at The Brave New Workshop, Mystery Café Theatre, and Small Change Original Theatre. In addition to her teaching/learning, Jackie currently works for Steppingstone Theatre for Youth in St. Paul. Jackie brings her dramatic flair and creative sense of fun to every class experience. She says she loves her job because of stories like the one told in this note from a mom in one of her classes. “Thank you for three wonderful years of music classes. I can tell the effect they’ve had on my son. I’ve now got a kid who is proud of himself and not afraid to sing all the words at his preschool sing-a-long. You’ve also helped me to lose my own inhibitions about singing with other people. And you helped me to not pass that fear on to my child. Thank You!” Jackie and her husband, Dean, have 3 children–Otto, Gabrielle, and Owen.
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 three kids, Karis, Gabe, & Eden 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.
Shahzore has been attending Music Together classes with his husband, Daniel, and now two-year-old daughter, Charlotte. They love listening to, dancing and singing with the recordings at home and in the car. The classes have truly been a highlight of family time each week since Charlotte was six weeks old, and Shahzore immediately imagined himself teaching...“they had me at Hello Everybody.”
Shahzore teaches in Apple Valley and St Paul (Unity Church Unitarian).
Paula Wilson was born into a musical family. She began performing with her eight siblings and her parents when she was just three years old. She and her family recorded three record albums, performing throughout Minnesota and touring each summer in a Partridge Family-style bus. 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 they are all in school, 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's 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.