Meet our Teachers!
MFM teachers 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.
- Shari Bennett-Jackson is a professional singer with a BA in Music (Vocal Performance) from Cal State, Stanislaus. She has a 10-year background teaching elementary-aged children at the Boys and Girls Club.
- Adrian Boctor has a BA in Music from Reed College. His background features extensive experience with elementary-aged children, including work with special needs students. Adrian has also taught private lessons for voice, piano, and ukelele, as well as songwriting. He sings and plays piano with jazz, classical, and rock ensembles.
- Clark Brown has a Master’s in Music from Indiana University, and an extensive performance background as a bassist with symphonies and orchestras from LA to Pittsburgh.
- 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.
- Kristine Carreon has an MS in Electrical Engineering with a Minor in Music from California Polytechnic State University. She has experience teaching elementary grades, accompanying children’s choirs, managing live sound, and playing in bands of varying styles. Her primary instrument is the piano (classical, jazz, pop). Kristine began volunteering as a Music Teacher with MFM in 2016.
- Vicky Chan has a Master’s in Music (Piano Performance) from California State University, Long Beach. She brings over 15 years of background with young students, teaching individual and group lessons in music theory and piano. Vicky is also an experienced choir director.
- Shuyu Chen has a Master’s 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.
- Daniel Dalton has a BS in Music from the University of California-Berkeley,
and a degree in Computer Science from the University of California-San Diego.
He is an experienced jazz pianist,
and vocalist, and has been working with young children teaching piano, as well as building skills in tech and robotics.
- Tyler Dean has a PhD in Psychology from the University of California-Irvine, and a background in teaching and tutoring. His experience includes leading singing and educational programs for children from kindergarten through 12th grade.
- Daniel de Lorimier is completing a degree in Music Education and Jazz Performance at San Francisco State University. He is an experienced teacher of guitar, ukelele, and percussion with young students. Daniel performs in a range of musical styles on vocals, guitar, bass, keyboard, and percussion.
- 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.
- Angelo Giusti has a BA in Contemporary Music from the Santa Fe University of Art and Design.
- 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.
- Nathan Gonzalez has a Bachelor’s in Music from San Jose State University where his study included K-12 and instrumental music education. His teaching experience comprises group instruction in piano and guitar at SJG School of Music, as well as private guitar lessons for children aged five and older.
- Robert “RJ” Goulden has a BA in Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts from San Francisco State University. He has experience in early childhood education, as well as extensive background in music performance (guitar, percussion, and piano).
- 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.
- 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.
- Lauren Haber has a Master’s in Music (Vocal Performance) from the Manhattan School of Music, as well as an AD from the Aaron Copland School of Music. She has a background teaching voice and piano with young students, and has extensive operatic performance experience as a soprano.
- 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.
- Kathy Holly has a BA from the University of Santa Clara. She has more than 20 years of professional teaching experience, as well as 25 years in the performing arts as a musician, bandleader, singer, and actress.
Her teaching background includes general music and drams for children in kindergarten through 8th grade.
- 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.
- 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.
- Calvin Lee has a BA in Music (focus on composition and performance) from the University of California-Berkeley. His background includes five years of teaching young children,
and he is proficient in piano/keyboard.
- Dylan Librande has a Bachelor’s in Music (Music Composition) from Willamette University, and has an extensive background in classical piano study and performance. His teaching experience includes undergraduate writing as well as summer programs for children aged three to fifteen.
- 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.
- Andrea Llenos has a PhD in Geophysics from MIT and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. An amateur musician, she has experience in piano and choral singing. Currently she sings in and occasionally accompanies several community and church choirs. Andrea began volunteering as a Music Teacher with MFM in 2010.
- Sarah “Ria” Lodick has a Master’s in Instructional Design from the University of Georgia and a Graduate Certificate in Vocal Performance from Notre Dame de Namur University. She has an extensive background in theater—directing, stage managing, and acting—most recently with the Bay Area Educational Theater Company.
- 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.
- Dario McConnie-Saad has a BA from Oberlin College and has performed as a professional violinist in various ensembles and orchestras in the US and Europe.
He is fluent in Spanish and German.
- Elisa Moles has a Doctor of Musical Arts (Primary: Flute Performance) from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She has performed extensively in California and Illinois in solo recitals as well as ensembles, and has taught both general music and flute to students of all ages.
- 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.
- 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.
- Deanna Payne has a BA in Music (Vocal Performance) from Ithaca College, with a minor in Dance. Her background includes teaching music and dance to young students, and she is an experienced choral singer.
- 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.
- 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.
- Vivian Simon has a BA in Music (Flute Performance) from the University of California-Santa Cruz, and is credentialed in teaching Music and Spanish, K-12th grades. She has an extensive background teaching general music for K-5th grades in the Santa Cruz area, and has also taught beginning and intermediate school band programs. She has completed Orff Level III certification. Vivian also provides private music lessons in flute, saxophone, clarinet, and voice, and performs in classical, jazz, and Brazilian ensembles.
- Nicole Sumner has a Master’s in Interdisciplinary Arts Education from San Francisco State University, along with a California Music Teaching Credential. She has taught K-5th grade general music for elementary schools in the San Francisco Unified School District, and founded Orff programs at multiple school sites. Nicole has also worked internationally, and has experience working with special needs, at-risk, and under-served youth and families. She has completed Orff Level III certification.
- Tory Teasley graduated from Chabot College with a degree in Music Theory and Performance. He has taught performing arts and ballroom dance, and sings professionally.
- Tracy Travis graduated with a degree from Cal State, Hayward, and has a multi-subject teaching credential. She is a former elementary school teacher with special skills in American Sign Language.
- Diane Wakeham has a PhD in Chemistry and Chemical Biology from the University of California – San Francisco. She is a substitute teacher who enjoys working with children of all ages. Diane has sung in vocal ensembles, at weddings, in a church choir, and with Girl Scouts. She began volunteering as a Music Teacher with MFM in 2012.
- 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.
- Xiaolin Zhang has a BA in Music Education from San Francisco State University. She has taught private piano lessons as well as group music theory classes for children aged 4 – 12 years. Xiaolin is an accomplished pianist with many years of vocal training.