Meet our educators!

MFM educators bring a diversity of experience, training, and perspective to their passion for teaching music to children. Ranging from advanced degrees in music and education to decades of musical experience in a variety of artistic environments, they each manifest in our classrooms a great love of music, sharing our thoughtfully designed lessons.

“Our teacher had amazing classroom management and a great base of understanding music. She had clearly taught music for years.”–Redeemer Lutheran
  • Marie Alberry-Hawkins has a BS from San Jose State University and extensive experience in planning and conducting educational programs for preschoolers through adults. She has held numerous leadership positions with the San Jose Parks, Recreation, and Neighborhood Services Department, and has been an MFM Volunteer Educator for several years. Marie sings with Schola Cantorum.
  • Sara Baldeschwieler has a BA in Fashion and Textiles, and is a former MFM Volunteer Music Educator. She has over 20 years of experience teaching in North and Central America, Europe, and Asia along with performance experience in singing, dance, and theater.
  • Joe Belson has a BA from San Francisco State University, and classroom teaching and tutoring experience in San Francisco, Oakland, and Tel Aviv. His professional performance background includes trumpet, bass, and guitar as well as singing.
  • Christina Bogiages has a Master of Music from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. Her background features directing children’s choruses, as well as teaching instrumental and general music. Christina has extensive experience singing with vocal ensembles, and her professional orchestral experience includes oboe and English horn in Brazil and San Francisco. She has also completed Orff training, Level 1.
  • Brian Bosley has a Master of Music from Ball State University (Muncie, IN) and is completing a Doctor of Arts in Saxophone Performance. His background includes teaching general elementary music and directing school bands, as well as private instrument instruction. Brian is also an experienced professional performer in symphonic and jazz ensembles.
  • Brian Callahan has a BA in Music from Humboldt State University, and has experience teaching private lessons on guitar and ukulele.
  • Justin Carney has a BA in Music Performance from Temple University and 13 years of teaching experience with students aged four and up. This includes instrumental instruction for guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, and voice, as well as music classes at the School of Rock in Palo Alto, San Antonio, and Philadelphia.
  • Raquel M. Castro has a Bachelor’s in Music from Mills College; she taught general music and theory in elementary schools for four years. For the last 10 years, she has performed in churches throughout California. Raquel has also been helping at-risk youth to develop life skills for over seven years.
  • Jared Cavazos has a BA in Music from Stanford University, with a concentration in Composition and Conducting. He has extensive bass, guitar, and singing experience in classical, jazz, funk, rock, and Latin styles, as well as a background teaching music and drama.
  • Raquel DeQuiroz has a BA in Liberal Studies from San Jose State University and is a fully credentialed teacher with a supplemental credential in music. She worked for ten years as an elementary school teacher, and for ten more teaching general music. She has also directed children’s choirs and theater.
  • Barbara Dutra has a BA from the University of Wisconsin and an MBA from the University of Hawaii. She has a background in classical piano and currently teaches piano, sings in a choir, and does ballroom dancing. Barbara began teaching as an MFM Volunteer Educator in 1993 when her children started school and there was no music program available. She has also completed the Orff training, Level I.
  • Eri Graffam has a BA from UC Santa Cruz. She has 6 years experience teaching general music as a volunteer. Eri has received special recognition from the Castro Valley School District for her service and continues to provide high quality instruction to schools in the East Bay.
  • Trish Goity has a BA from Wesleyan University and a multi-subject teaching credential from San Francisco State. She has an extensive teaching background in grades K-5, including eight years as a first grade teacher. Trish also has 10 years of piano study and experience singing with choral groups.
  • Joy Gutnick has a BA from the University of California-Santa Barbara, and five years of experience teaching classroom music as an MFM Volunteer Music Educator. She also owns a music management corporation and oversees instruction for trombone and guitar.
  • Anne Hamill has a Master’s in Music (saxophone performance) from the University of Southern California and is a credentialed music teacher. She brings over 10 years of experience working with students of all grade levels, from kindergarten through high school. Anne has taught general music as well as choir, guitar, band, and orchestra.
  • Gosia Hoot has been an MFM Volunteer Educator since 2006, and is a proud recipient of the Grace Johnston award for excellence in teaching. She is a classically trained soprano, and has sung leading operetta roles with Lyric Theatre, San Jose. She leads a children’s choir, has taught ballroom dance, and choreographed for local adult productions.

  • Heidi Kobara has an MFA in Musical Theater from Notre Dame de Namur University, with an extensive background in theater including children’s theater and musicals as well as costume design. She also taught after-school classes for third through sixth graders in music and drama.
  • Emma Lacenski has a Master of Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and is an experienced teacher in Kindermusik and Glee, as well as private voice instruction. She has also performed lead operatic roles and works with children performing with the San Francisco Opera.
  • Aimee Lallana graduated from Mission College, and has extensive experience as a professional vocalist with several Northern California bands and choral ensembles. She also has a background teaching percussion and dance to high school students.
  • Jenna Leahy has a BA in Music Education from Augsburg College, and has taught music with elementary and middle school students. She has been a member of numerous choral groups and has extensive leadership and performance experience.
  • Ceci Li has a Master of Music in Violin Performance from Roosevelt University in Chicago. She is also and experienced violin instructor.
  • Benjamin Limon has a BA in Music from San Francisco State University and has extensive experience working in classrooms with children, as well as teaching private lessons in drums, piano, guitar, and bass.
  • Elizabeth Lubin has a BS from the City College of New York, and is an experienced private music instructor in piano and music theory. She also has background in directing musical and theatrical productions in after-school and church settings.
  • Nora Martin has a BA in Music History, Theory & Performance from Scripps College, with a background that includes teaching and supporting students in elementary school classrooms in diverse Bay Area communities. She also has many years of classical vocal and piano training, as well as theater experience. In addition, Nora plays guitar and ukulele.
  • Karl McHugh has a Master’s of Philosophy in Music and Media Technologies from Trinity College Dublin. His background includes audio engineering and recording, as well as video production and information technology. Karl has extensive experience in guitar, piano and singing, and has worked with young students in various settings.
  • Mandy Munnell has a Master of Arts-Special Education from Notre Dame de Namur University. Mandy is an experienced elementary and middle school teacher for Special Day Class students, for whom she has developed curriculum, incorporating music, dance/movement, and hands-on learning.
  • Sara Murphy has a Master’s in Music and Opera Performance from California State University, Northridge. She has worked with the San Carlos School District since 2007, teaching choir at Tierra Linda Middle School. Sara is the Music Director for San Carlos Children’s Theatre, as well as two children’s choirs. She continues to perform while also running her own private voice studio.
  • Nigel Ng has a Master of Music in Percussion Performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, extensive performance experience, and a background teaching general music and percussion in elementary and middle schools.
  • Beth Nord has a BA in Elementary Education and a Master’s degree in Librarianship, and began teaching elementary music in 2010 as a MFM Volunteer Music Educator. A retired children’s librarian, she always included music in her library programs. Beth plays several instruments, has performance experience in theater, and enjoys sharing music from all over the world with her students.
  • Lidia Orduna-Ruiz has a BA in Music Education from Saltillo Coahuila, Mexico, as well as extensive experience working with children individually (tutoring) and in groups. She has been a Volunteer Music Educator for Music for Minors for eight years in several Redwood City elementary schools and has professional performance experience with a variety of choral groups.
  • Shuyu Peng has a Master of Music in Music Education from San Francisco State University, and a background teaching general music, music theory, and singing for kindergarten through high school students. She is also an experienced vocalist, pianist, and guitar player, and has taught private lessons in both piano and guitar.
  • Mary Ellen Pense has a BA in Music from San Francisco State University, and is a credentialed music teacher. She has 25 years of experience in teaching music in local elementary schools and is certified in Orff Schulwerk.
  • Kyrstyn Pixton has an extensive background teaching music with specialties in voice, songwriting, and music technology. She is also a multi-instrumentalist with performance experience in numerous ensembles, and provides instruction on piano, guitar, percussion, bass, trombone, and end-blown flutes.
  • Monique Caballero Rios has a BA in Music and an MA of Worship Leadership from Azusa Pacific University. She has extensive background in planning and leading summer programs and after-school education for students in grades K-12 and in directing church-based music groups. Monique is also an experienced private voice and piano instructor for students of all ages through her own business, Three Strands Studios.
  • Annie Smith has a Master’s of Music in Vocal Performance from San Francisco Conservatory. She has experience working with young children in a variety of settings and teaches private voice lessons. Annie also performs extensively as a soprano in operas, chamber ensembles, and musical theatre and has a special interest in multicultural music.
  • Yamila Taboas has a Master of Music Performance in Piano from the Peabody Institute of Music of the Johns Hopkins University. She has over 20 years of experience teaching both music and Spanish at elementary, middle school, high school, and college levels. Her background includes directing choral groups as well as musical theater.
  • Joseph Taff has a BA in Music and History from Amherst College and experience teaching music in an after-school program for students in grades K-5. He has also directed youth choral groups. Joseph sings with San Francisco Choral Artists and the San Francisco Bach Choir.
  • Ron Tomasello has extensive background as an instrumentalist, composer, band leader, musical director, and guitar instructor. He has toured the US with his own band, and has performed with and opened for many well-known artists.
  • Rick Vena has a Master’s of Music with an emphasis in Jazz Studies from the University of Southern California. He is experienced teaching in K-12 and also provides private lessons. Rick is an accomplished keyboard player and vocalist.
  • Brandon Wright has a BS from the California Polytechnic State University, and has professional music performance experience on piano. His background includes work in the music industry in a recording studio.
  • Kyoko Yamashita has a BA from the University of California-Santa Cruz. She is a former MFM Volunteer Music Educator with experience teaching general music in elementary schools. Kyoko sings with the Peninsula Community Gospel Choir.