MA Suzuki Festival 2021
Violin and Viola
Ann Montzka-Smelser is a Suzuki Student, Teacher, Parent and Suzuki Teacher Trainer. In between receiving her Bachelors of Music Education and Masters in Performance and Pedagogy at Northern Illinois University, Ann studied with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki at the Talent Education Institute in Matsumoto, Japan.
Ann has performed in many orchestras and ensembles and is currently principal second violinist with Camerata Chicago and concertmaster of the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Ann is on the music faculty at Northern Illinois University and Roosevelt University and Northwestern University teaching Suzuki Pedagogy. Ann is Director of the NIU CSA Suzuki Strings Program and teacher at the Music Institute of Chicago. Ann maintains a studio of 45 violin and viola students and enjoys working with Suzuki families at Festivals in Lima, Peru, Singapore, Mexico, Costa Rica and though out the US. Ann lives in DeKalb, IL with her husband Linc. Their Suzuki-raised children, Benjamin and Genevieve, are currently pursuing musical careers.
When not teaching, Ann's passions include Zumba, getting outside on a bike or walk with Linc but mostly being together with friends and family.
Reagan Brasch grew up in the Suzuki method studying with Paula Woyton in Texas. She graduated with a bachelors of music in violin performance and received her masters in music with an emphasis in Suzuki Pedagogy from the University of Denver. After teaching with Denver Talent Education for five years with James Maurer, she moved to Chicago to teach violin and Early Childhood at the Music Institute of Chicago under the direction of Gilda Barston. She was the Suzuki Events Coordinator and directed the Early Childhood program. She was awarded Outstanding Teacher by the Winnetka Alliance for Early Childhood. She has additional Suzuki training from Linda Fiore, Joanne Bath, Ann Smelser, Pat D’Ercole, Michele George, Lynn McCall, and Doris Preucil. Mrs. Brasch currently teaches at the University of Hartford Community Division in CT giving both private and group instruction in Suzuki. She also is program coordinator of the Youth to Community program (Y2C), a teen volunteer program at Hartt . Mrs. Brasch has taught extensively at Suzuki institutes and workshops around the country.
Emily Hale serves as Instructor of Violin and Viola at Bridgewater State University, and teaches a private studio in Roslindale, MA. She has taught, coached chamber music or given masterclasses at the Suzuki Talent Education Partnership (Springfield, MA), CREC International Magnet School (Hartford, CT), South Shore Conservatory, the Royal College of Music Junior Department (London, UK), and Elizabethtown College Summer Music Camp, among others. Emily’s inventive baroque music workshops and Pajama Concerts for children offer new audiences a friendly introduction to music of the past at schools and libraries. As a performer, Emily has been heard with period instrument ensembles including The Sebastians and Four Nations Ensemble, and on BBC Chanel 4, at the Valetta International Baroque Festival and London Handel Festival. Emily earned degrees in Violin Performance from Houghton College (BMus) and Penn State University (MMus) and an MPerf in Historical Performance, Royal College of Music in London, winning the McKenna Prize for Baroque Music. She serves on the board of the Suzuki Association of Massachusetts and is co-founder and past president of the Central Pennsylvania Suzuki Association Centre Country chapter. www.emilyhalemusic.com
Due to personal reasons, David Holmes is no longer able to join us for the festival.
David Holmes grew up in Texas but has lived in Minnesota since 1993. He received his Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of Houston, and his Master’s and Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from the University of Kansas. David has taught cello lessons for over 30 years, and has been a Suzuki instructor for over 25 years. He has been a guest clinician at over 50 music institutes, both regionally (Duluth and Bemidji), and at the Chicago Suzuki Institute, the National Cello Institute, the Oregon Suzuki institute, the Black Hills String Retreat, The Japan-Seattle Suzuki Institute, the Hartt Suzuki Institute, and others. He has presented at the Suzuki Association of the Americas convention on group class instruction and on the teaching of spiccato and sautille bow strokes. David was cello columnist for the Minnesota String and Orchestral Teacher’s Association (MNSOTA) from 2009-2020, and has published many articles on a wide variety of topics related to cello teaching. He is recipient of the MNSOTA Master Studio Teacher award for 2014. David gives frequent performances in recitals, and as a member of the Northern Lights String Quartet.
Christopher Fiore began studying the cello at the age of four with his parents, both of whom are established Suzuki teachers and performers in the Philadelphia area.
He spent two years at the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, Connecticut, and later transferred to the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he finished his Bachelor’s Degree in Cello Performance with former Cleveland Orchestra Principal Stephen Geber. After graduating from CIM, he went on to the DePaul School of Music in Chicago, Illinois, to obtain a Masters Degree with former CSO Assistant Principal Stephen Balderston, as well as a Performance Certificate with current CSO member Brant Taylor.
Throughout his high school and college years, Christopher was also fortunate enough to study with world-renowned Suzuki Teacher Trainers Pam Devenport, Nancy Hair, and Tanya Carey. While completing his Masters Degree, he studied with Tanya Carey to complete his training in all ten Suzuki Books, as well as finishing a Teaching Practicum course, where his teaching was evaluated over a semester of private instruction. During this time he also took pedagogy courses with both David Evenchick, and Susan Gagnon. Just recently he completed Revisiting Book 1 with Sally Gross.
Christopher has been teaching for over 14 years, and has helped to build numerous cello programs, including working with Michele George and Diane Sloane at East Cleveland Rainbow Suzuki Strings, in East Cleveland, Ohio, and the DePaul Community Music Division in Chicago, Illinois. He has also been the Cello Director at both the Oak Park String Academy in Oak Park, Illinois, and the Merit School of Music in Chicago, Illinois.
As well as teaching privately, he spends his summers traveling to various Suzuki Institutes within the United States, and in the past has been invited to teach in locations such as Puerto Rico, Bermuda, and Costa Rica.
He is also an active performer, playing with various orchestras in the D.C., Northern Virginia, Maryland, and Greater Philadelphia areas.
Domenick Fiore began the study of the double bass with Wes Fisher in Reading, Pennsylvania, at the age of 14. He attended the Philadelphia Musical Academy where he was a student of John Schaeffer, principal bass of the New York Philharmonic.
After graduation, Domenick freelanced in the Philadelphia and New York City areas, performing in Broadway shows, The Brooklyn Orchestra, the National Ballet of Canada, and the Duke Ellington Pops Concerts. He earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree from West Chester University and began teaching in the Ephrata, Pennsylvania School District.
Domenick has been director of orchestras and chamber music at the Mid-Southeast Suzuki Institute, Snowmass Suzuki Institute, Chicago Institute, Calgary Suzuki Institute, Central Pennsylvania Institute, and the Hartford Suzuki Institute, as well as a clinician at the Bermuda, Puerto Rico, Hickory (North Carolina) and Augusta (Georgia) Suzuki workshops. He was the director of the five Suzuki orchestras of the Community Division at the Hartt School of Music. In addition, Domenick had a thriving young bass program through the Community Division at Hartt. He and Linda currently live in the Lehigh Valley where they have established a Suzuki studio and freelance throughout the region.
Guitarist Mychal Gendron has been active as a teacher and performer for over twenty-five years. He has toured Brazil as a soloist under the aegis of Partners of the Americas, has performed at the Fete di Limans in France and has performed at Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. In the U.S., Mychal has presented solo recitals on concert series throughout the country, including all six New England states.
Mychal’s two collections of music arranged for flute and guitar, Wedding Music for Flute and Guitar and Christmas Carols for Flute and Guitar, are distributed by Mel Bay Publications. Opus Guitar publishes Mychal’s compositions for young guitarists, including ensemble settings of The Story of Ferdinand and The Velveteen Rabbit, and three volumes for student guitar ensembles, Easy Reader and It’s About Time, Volumes I & II.
Mychal has been a registered Suzuki Instructor since 1994 and a Suzuki Teacher Trainer in Guitar since 2004. He has taught at Suzuki institutes, workshops and festivals in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Texas, Utah and Wyoming. He has been a regular presenter at Suzuki Conferences since 2002 and was Guitar Coordinator for the conference in 2008 and in 2016. Mychal maintains an active Suzuki guitar studio at the Rhode Island Philharmonic Music School.
Mychal has been an adjunct instructor at colleges and universities in the southern New England area since 1978 and is now a Teaching Associate in Guitar at Brown University.
Mychal holds a Bachelor of Music degree in guitar performance from the North Carolina School of the Arts and a Master of Music degree in guitar performance from New England Conservatory.
Ms. Bissell began her training at the University of Southern Maine (1993) in Piano and Vocal Performance and holds two Masters in Music; one from The Hartt School of Music in Piano Performance/Piano Pedagogy (2005), and one in Music Pedagogy with extensive training in Solfege and Music Theory Methodology from the Kodaly Institute/Ferenz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary (2010). She is registered for all 7 units of Suzuki Piano Training including the practicum and SPA, and is currently applying to become a Suzuki teacher trainer. She completed her Level 1 and 2 Certification in Dalcroze Eurhythmics in 2016/2017 and is currently doing work toward level 3. She has been on the Piano faculty at Winchester Community Music School in Winchester, MA for more than ten years where she has been Piano Dept. Chair and Suzuki Piano Dept. director. Other accolades include directing the MA Suzuki Festival (2018, 2019), teaching at summer institutes such as NESI (2016-2019), and directing the Summer Piano Festival at WCMS (2011-present). She has also served on the board of the North Shore Piano Teachers Guild, been an active member of NEPTA, speaker at MTNA, and has been an adjudicator for the National Guild Exams. Besides many performances and touring abroad, she has received several grants and scholarships along the way to help make this academic journey possible: Full Tuition Scholarship (USM), Teaching Assitantship (Hartt School), Fullbright Scholarship alternate, Sarolta Kodaly Scholarship (Kodaly Institute/Ference Liszt Academy), SAA scholarships (national and local), and several faculty development grants from WCMS. She is extremely grateful to the SAA for the opportunity to teach, speak and share her experiences, and would like to thank all of her mentors past and present for their constant guidance and support.
JANE KUTSCHER REED
Jane Kutscher Reed, a Suzuki Piano Teacher Trainer, Keynote and Motivational Speaker from Greenville, SC, enjoys teaching and speaking internationally at Professional Learning Events, Suzuki Institutes and Workshops. Her special niche is conducting seminars which guide parents and teachers to serve as facilitators for effective, positive learning. She and her husband are co-founders of Solutionary Insights, an educational business, which is dedicated to Nurturing Thinking Minds™. The unique signature of Solutionary Insights is the intertwining of respect and value of individuals, the belief that all are capable of excellence, the advantages of learning by solving problems, and the resolve that fine and purposeful teaching and parenting develop outstanding abilities.
BLANCAMARIA MONTECINOS VALDIVIA
Blancamaría Montecinos Valdivia began her path in pedagogy in 1981 as a student of Music Pedagogy at Universidad Metropolitana de Ciencias de la Educación in Santiago, Chile. With advanced studies of piano from Universidad Católica, she initiated her studies of the Suzuki Method in 1991 and continues up to the date to participate each year as a student of this method.
While president of the Suzuki Association of Chile (1995- 2005), Ms. Valdivia was the founder of Escuela de Música Suzuki Chile in 2001, which is currently one of the most recognized Suzuki Schools in Chile with more than 200 students ages 0 to 80. Escuela de Música Suzuki has been relevant in the Chilean Suzuki teacher training world, inviting teacher trainers to do “core” courses specifically focusing on the importance of early books, Filosofía and Teaching Strategies. In May of 2019, she received her Teacher Trainer status from the Suzuki Association of the Americas.
Her academic background and studies include voice training, Kódaly Method, Dalcroze, Jazz and Instrumental Piano, complemented with research in psychology to understand and nurture her work. Her studies of Musical Pedagogy favors her approach towards group dynamics, used in the Suzuki Method. Her Suzuki training has taken part in Chile, Perú, USA and México, with teachers like Caroline Fraser, Doris Koppelmann, Doris Harrel, Bruce Anderson, Nehama Patkin, Beverly Fest, Cheryl Kraft, Flor Canelo, Hubb De Leeuw, Mary Mc Carthy, Roberta Centurión, amongst others.
She has been invited to teach at International Suzuki Festivals in Perú and Chile. Also participates as a speaker in Latin American teacher workshops and as an active collaborator of Students Suzuki Festivals. In May 2018, she was invited to speak at the Suzuki Conference in Minneapolis, sharing her experience and workshop “Pre-piano”. She was invited again in 2020 to give this presentation to all attendants of the Suzuki Conference in Minneapolis.
During 2020, she has taken part in the Latin American Teacher Trainer’s Team, helping to design and coordinate online courses. Since May and up to the date she has taught online for teachers’ groups from Latin American countries, Europe, USA and Asia.
Ann Bundy served as Principal Flute with the U.S. Coast Guard Band, and has had the privilege of performing for dignitaries including the President of the United States as well as the Prince of Wales. During her time as Principal flute with the Debut Orchestra of Los Angeles, she was fortunate enough to play under the baton of Zubin Mehta, John Williams, Danny Elfman, Elmer Bernstein, Bobby McFerrin, and Merv Griffin. Ann has shared the stage with Eric Idle (Monty Python), Michael Crawford (Phantom of the Opera), and Jodi Benson (Little Mermaid), as well as Sir James Galway at his 60th birthday celebration in London. She was a Yamaha Young Performing Artist and has been an invited soloist with orchestras and ensembles throughout North America. She has been a featured musician on National Public Radio. In addition to performing and teaching, she does the final voicing of flutes for one of the oldest flutemakers in the country.
Ann earned a Bachelors of Music in Flute Performance with honors from the University of Southern California where she studied with Jim Walker. She did her post graduate studies with Trevor Wye in Kent, England. Ann was awarded the Carol Sykes scholarship through Suzuki:MA and completed her Suzuki Unit 1 teacher training at the Hartt Suzuki Institute. Her passion for teaching began as a Young Musician’s Foundation Youth Mentor Artist in the L.A. Unified schools where she saw the power of music education to transform lives and families. She continues to cherish her student’s growth and accomplishments in Classical as well as Irish traditional music as the founder of the Serenade School of Flute.
Suzuki Early Childhood Education
Rachel Fabulich is a registered Suzuki Viola, Violin and Suzuki Early Childhood Education teacher. She is the director of Suzuki MetroWest, and teaches at the New England Conservatory of Music Preparatory School, in Boston, MA. She was born and raised in a small farming community in northern Illinois, where she was fortunate to be able to start playing violin and viola at a young age. As a performer she has played on stages across North America, Europe, and Japan. An avid Suzuki teacher, Ms. Fabulich has been a clinician at programs, institutes, and workshops around the country. She was a viola coordinator for the Suzuki Association of the Americas 2014 and 2016 Conferences and has served on the board of directors for the Suzuki Music Association of California, Los Angeles. She has been on the faculties of the Pasadena Conservatory of Music and Westridge School in Pasadena, CA, and the Music Institute of Chicago.
Ms. Fabulich has a Bachelor of Music degree in viola performance with a concentration in Music in Education from the New England Conservatory of Music. She earned a double Master of Music degree from Northwestern University School of Music in viola performance and string pedagogy. Rachel’s primary teachers have been Roland Vamos, Marcus Thompson, Lewis Rosove, and Ann Montzka-Smelser.
Rachel currently resides in Framingham, Massachusetts, with her husband, their twin daughters, and son.
Suzuki Early Childhood Education / Viola
Laura Williamson is a string player in the Boston area. She received a masters degree from New England Conservatory following her undergraduate studies at Vanderbilt University. Her most influential teachers include Aaron Janse, Kathryn Plummer, and Marcus Thompson. Laura can be heard performing around Boston with the Eureka Ensemble, Cape Ann Symphony, and others.
Laura began her graduate studies at New England Conservatory in 2016 and in her second year joined the faculty of NEC’s Preparatory School where she teaches private violin and viola lessons, violin ensembles, and Suzuki Early Childhood Education. She has taken teacher training with Judy Bossuat-Gallic, Teri Einfeldt, Carol Smith, Kirsten Marshall, and Lynn McCall. While at NEC Laura studied pedagogy under Magdalena Richter. Having graduated with her Masters in 2018, Laura endeavors to prioritize working with young musicians for the duration of her career, and to be a “life-long learner” in furthering her pedagogical awareness. In addition to her private studio, Laura teaches at Suzuki Metro West and New England Conservatory Preparatory School.
The Dalí Quartet brings its signature mix of Latin American, Classical and Romantic repertoire to stages and audiences of all kinds. The quartet’s passionate energy is poured into everything they do, generating critical and audience acclaim for their Classical Roots, Latin Soul. Its tours include appearances for distinguished chamber music and cultural center series in the U.S., Canada, and South America. Recent engagements include concerts in New York and Philadelphia, on to Portland, Puerto Rico, San Jose, and from Tulsa to Toronto and beyond. The Dalí Quartet’s engaging style reaches across the footlights for an experience which “leaves the audience almost dancing in the aisles." (Peninsula Reviews)
In addition to works of the masters from Haydn to Brahms and Amaya to Piazzolla, the group's adventurous and entertaining programming includes new works for quartet with percussionist Orlando Cotto, and quintets both Latin and Classical with the renowned clarinetist Ricardo Morales, principal clarinetist of The Philadelphia Orchestra, and with acclaimed pianist Vanessa Perez. The Dalí Quartet has an ongoing collaboration with the Van Cliburn Competition’s gold-medal winning pianist Olga Kern, with whom they have toured from coast to coast in the last year. They have recently recorded the piano quintets of Shostakovich and Brahms with Ms. Kern in live performances at the Virginia Arts Festival.
2019 recipient of the Atlanta Symphony's esteemed Aspire Award for accomplished African American and Latino Musicians, the Dalí Quartet is devoted to audience development and to reaching communities of all kinds. The group’s Latin Fiesta Workshops and Family Concerts in both traditional and innovative settings move listeners – literally! The Dalí Quartet is sought after for master classes and professional development workshops for students, (recently at the National Repertory Orchestra, Miami University, Michigan State, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of Iowa) and has opened musical vistas for younger kids with its week-long Any Given Child programs (over three seasons for the Tulsa Public School System). In addition, the quartet’s International Music Festival is an admired chamber music and orchestral program founded in 2004 which develops the performance skills of young musicians up through semi-professional level. The Dalí has also served as a guest resident ensemble at Lehigh University.
Trained by world-renowned artists, members of the Dalí Quartet are from Venezuela, Puerto Rico and the US, and have studied at esteemed institutions such as the New England Conservatory, Cleveland Institute of Music, Juilliard, Indiana University Bloomington, and the Simón Bolivar Conservatory in Caracas, Venezuela. The quartet is based in Philadelphia, PA.
Caribbean Styles for Strings
MARTA HERNANDEZ CANDELAS
Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Marta Hernández holds a bachelor’s degree in viola performance, a Master’s in String Pedagogy from Temple University, a second Master’s degree in Music Therapy from Illinois State University; and a PhD in Music Education from University of Granada, Spain. Marta has taken Suzuki training through Book 8, received her Suzuki Early Childhood training in Lima, Perú and the Suzuki Practicum with Teri Einfeldt at the Chicago Institute. Marta is on the faculty of the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music, teaching undergraduate and graduate Music Education courses. She also performs as a substitute violist with the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra. Marta first taught at the University Puerto Rico Elementary Laboratory school where she initiated a Suzuki program and was also the Academic Coordinator for the Suzuki Program at the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music. She is an active member of Fundación Gisela and is the artistic director of Asociación Suzuki de Violin de Puerto Rico, both are not-for-profit organizations dedicated to foster parent education, Suzuki workshops and teacher training in the Caribbean.
Jessie Boardman grew up in Manchester, NH and studied Suzuki violin with her longtime teacher, Carole Todaro. Today, Jessie plays regularly with the Midcoast Symphony Orchestra and is a ringer in several local ensembles. In addition to teaching Suzuki violin and directing the Youth Orchestra of Lewiston-Auburn preparatory ensemble, Jessie teaches fiddle to all ages at Maine Fiddle Camp, Sandy Island Suzuki Camp, Summer Strings camps, workshops, and in her private studio. She lives in Maine with her husband, son, and two cats.
Creative Ability Development/Improvisation
Nicknamed “Mozart’s Mother” by Dr. Shinichi Suzuki in 1984, Alice Kay Kanack has spent 30 years researching, teaching, and writing about how the creative process works in the brain. With the Alfred Publishing Company, Alice published five books in the Creative Ability Development series. Her newest works, Improvising String Quartets and Basslines & Fantasies have been published through Creative Ability Development Press. She currently lives in Rochester, NY with her two children, Daphne and Alexander, directing The Kanack School of Musical Artistry. She tours internationally, speaking and demonstrating her methods through live performances and workshops, most recently as the keynote speaker for the SAO Conference in Canada, pedagogy workshops for the Teachers College at Columbia University and the Lucy Moses School at the Kaufman Center. Steven Doane, Professor of Cello, Eastman School of Music and The Royal Academy of London said, “Alice Kanack is an educator of true originality and inspiration, who has been at the forefront of the movement to encourage creativity through musical improvisation in young musicians. At her music school and through her training programs she encourages students of all ages to include improvisation skills in daily practice, as an organic part of one’s musical development. I’m inspired by her continuing exploration of the pedagogical potential of this movement.”
Blues Guitar and Entering Bach's World
After studying violin as an elementary schooler, at age twelve Andrew received his first guitar and a Led Zeppelin songbook. At age 16 Andrew began studying classical guitar and a year later, he received an award from the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts. He completed his musical training at Yale University’s School of Music where he received a Master of Music Degree. Andrew Leonard’s concert schedule has taken him throughout the country, from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine and to Europe. During his performing career he has received numerous reviews including being referred to as a “guitar phenomenon” by the Portland Phoenix in Maine. His solo recordings; A World of Guitar Music and Music of the Ages have received airplay throughout the country on National Public Radio affiliates. Andrew Leonard also performed with grammy award winning acoustic fingerstyle guitarist, Doug Smith.
As an instructor, Andrew ran the guitar program at the University of Kentucky, taught at Wesleyan University and the National Guitar Workshop’s Classical Guitar Summit. Andrew has also received Suzuki and Childbloom and currently is a faculty member of the Northampton Community Music Center teaching Suzuki and traditional Classical Guitar students. His website address is: www.andrew-leonard.com
Andrew’s Entering Bach’s World presentations offer general audiences insight into how Bach’s life and the time he lived relate to his music. A recent review of one of his presentations stated “Leonard’s lively manner and obvious enthusiasm for his subject made his clear explanations…accessible to even his least musically literate viewers.” - In The Spotlight. More information on Andrew Leonard’s Bach presentations is available on his website and at the Entering Bach’s World FaceBook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/399103091463414
Rhythm, Rhythm Revolution
Jonathan Reök is a musician and educator based in Minneapolis, MN. After composing and teaching music for over a decade, in 2019 he published a revolutionary new approach to rhythmic literacy - Rhythm Rhythm Revolution, which has already been received with excitement by music schools around the world. In 2020, Jonathan has been teaching imaginative, high-energy RRR classes (via zoom) at Suzuki institutes and music schools around the country.
Melissa Tucker is an inspiring and committed Dalcroze music educator. Dalcroze is at the heart of everything she does as a professional musician. She finds the unique combination of movement, improvisation, dynamic social interaction, and deep study of music to be ingenious and exhilarating. She has taught Dalcroze workshops and classes throughout New England including: The Boston Symphony Outreach program, New England Conservatory, Boston Conservatory, Emmanuel Church, Community MusicWorks in Providence, Rhode Island, and The University of Connecticut. Melissa is currently a Dalcroze faculty member at Longy School of Music of Bard College where she has taught for over 30 years. Ms. Tucker is also on the piano faculty of Concord Conservatory of Music.
Ms. Tucker has served as Co-Chair of Longy’s Dalcroze Department and on the Dalcroze Society of America’s Professional Development Committee. Melissa has published articles on improvisation and Dalcroze Pedagogy in Dalcroze Connections and The American Dalcroze Journal. She is a founding member of Music Alive, a Longy-based performing ensemble which created original, interactive, musical shows for children. Most recently, Melissa has brought her love of music and movement, as well as her knowledge of Dalcroze Eurhythmics, to individuals with dementia.
An Oberlin graduate in music, Melissa earned her Dalcroze Certificate and License from Longy with Lisa Parker and Anne Farber. She studied classical piano with Lydia Frumkin at Oberlin Conservatory and Natasha Chances at Bates College. She was also honored to be a jazz piano student of the late, great, Charlie Banacos. Melissa continues to deepen her connection to movement and dance at Ipswich Moving Company with choreographer and artistic director, Janet Craft.
Music is an art of communication and self-expression which is joyful, yet requires discipline and a love of learning. Melissa believes in the integral relationship of music and movement and in Dalcroze Eurhythmics as a powerful means to achieving embodied musicianship. She is passionate about improvisation as a powerful vehicle for self-expression as well as an effective tool for understanding music from the inside out. Students appreciate her energy, caring, and warmth, as well as her creativity and dedication. She develops a personal relationship with each student and artfully guides them on their musical journey.