Meet our staff

All our teachers have successfully completed the Music Together® training program, which is built on current research in early childhood music development. This training requires all potential teachers to pass a live audition, to demonstrate their musical and leadership abilities.

Following this training, all of our teachers also complete a teaching apprenticeship alongside an experienced teacher. We continue to develop our skills through workshops, continuing education, and advanced Certification in the Music Together curriculum. We're pros, and we love what we do!

Scroll down or click the links to learn more about our Heartland family.

 

Lorna Dries

Lorna Dries -  A love of music and language: an ear for a song

Lorna's father loved to sing, and he shared this love for singing and music with all of his children. Lorna says, "We sang in the car, in amateur talent shows, in the shower. I took voice lessons and sang in my school's choir in high school. When my sister had her four children, I made up a personalized song for each of them."

Lorna pursued her love of music and language with dual degrees in Music History and English, followed by a Master's Degree in Creative Writing. Shortly after her own daughter was born, Lorna discovered Music Together. She became an enthusiastic  parent in our classes, sharing her love of music with her own child, and when an opening appeared for a Music Together teacher, Lorna jumped at the chance. She has been part of our Heartland community since 2007.

Lorna finds fun ways to be creative with a range of ages in the classroom. She also has an unexpected wit, and an amazing talent for barnyard animal sounds - both excellent skills for a Music Together teacher!

"I wanted to let you know that my daughter and I really loved the class this past Sat., and Miss Lorna was amazing."  - Willa's mom

"This music class is hands down Jacks favorite activity, and we adore Miss Lorna."  - Jack's mom

In December 2012 Lorna received her Certification Level 1 status for outstanding achievement in teaching, musicianship, program philosophy, and parent education. After watching both Karen and Lorna teach that weekend, Music Together co-founder Lili Levinowitz said, "I'm always moved when I see teaching at this high caliber." And then she wiped a away a tear. 

Contact Lorna Dries

   
Karen Ephyria

Karen Ephyria - A childhood dream realized

As a child Karen was entranced by the musical “The Sound of Music”. She loved the character of Maria, and she fantasized that one day she would lead a band of singing children. Little did she know that her dream would come true, and include both adults and children in her singing circle.

Karen has a degree in music performance from Vanderbilt University, and her professional life has included being a nanny and home-school teacher, a preschool and elementary school special ed teacher assistant, and organizing and leading library programs for children. Local music buffs may know her as the lead singer for the Rock Garden String Band as well as other professional singing gigs. But as Karen herself happily admits, Music Together is where she has finally come home. Karen has been teaching with Heartland Music Together since 2007, and she is beloved by the families in her classes.

In December 2012 Karen received her Certification Level 1 status for outstanding achievement in teaching, musicianship, program philosophy, and parent education. After watching both Karen and Lorna teach that weekend, Music Together co-founder Lili Levinowitz said, "I'm always moved when I see teaching at this high caliber." And then she wiped a away a tear. 


Give your child the gift of a MUSICAL birthday party!!  Karen Ephyria is available for musical birthday parties to honor your child's special day.  To book Karen for a birthday party, contact her at 502-619-2310, or send her an email.


Contact Karen Ephyria

   
Alisa Jones

Alisa Jones - A passion for play

We discovered Alisa when she happened into class as a nanny with two children who usually attended with their parents. As soon as we saw her playing and singing in class with the children, we knew she was prime teacher material. She is an expert at silliness, singing, and general fun! 

Alisa says, "I consider working with kiddos my absolute passion. Providing a safe and creative environment for children to explore and develop into well adjusted individuals is quite honestly, the cat's pajamas. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a home full of music and silliness and it's been a real joy spending my days giving that to others."

Alisa has a degree in political science and sociology from College of Santa Fe in New Mexico, but she turned her back on a law career to pursue her true passion, playing with children. Lucky for us! Alisa also sings with her brother's band "Mike Bush and the Allstars" which plays around Louisville for groups that support children with special needs.

Alisa has years of experience with children with special needs, and she has particular insight into the needs of children with Down Syndrome. She's also our Facebook Queen! Ms Alisa received her Certification 1 status in December 2014 after demonstrating her advanced skills in teaching, musicianship, parent education, and classroom mastery. Congratulations Ms. Alisa!

What does a class with Ms Alisa look like? Read a review here! "Miss Alisa has a beautiful voice and has a lot of fun working with kids. She explains things in a way kids and parents understand, even when she's explaining complicated musical concepts." - From the review

 Contact Alisa Jones

   
Miriam Klein

Miriam Klein, Director - leader of the "Heartland Gang"

Miriam considers herself to be a "musical survivor." As a shy and quiet child, she grew up loving music, but a succession of critical teachers gave her the impression that she was musically flawed. She learned to keep her music deep inside her, and for almost 30 years she never sang out loud in public. 

After the birth of her son, Miriam resolved to give him exposure to music, and she taught herself lullabies to sing to him. This was her first experience sharing music with children.

In her musical journey Miriam has repaired musical instruments, been a flute player, a cellist, a Suzuki cello teacher, and now she's a "sing-out-loud-in-public" Music Together teacher and program director.

Miriam says, "The most important thing I've learned in my amazing journey is that music is for everyone! Music is one of the ways in which all of us - babies, children, and grownups alike - get to enjoy being human beings. I see my teaching role as facilitating the joy of music-making for both young children and their adult caregivers. I will never tell anyone they're doing it wrong. Everyone can make music!"

In 2007, Miriam was awarded Music Together Certification Level 1 status for outstanding achievement in teaching, musicianship, program philosophy, and parent education. Miriam is pictured here with Ken Guilmartin, founder of Music Together.

Contact Miriam Klein 

   
Katie O'Dea

Katie O'Dea: "I fell in love!"

Katie says, "I have been singing, dancing, and performing as long as I can remember. The performing arts is one of my true loves." Katie's musical journey started in grade school when she learned to play recorder, and then taught herself how to play the piano well enough to practice for vocal auditions. From there it was a short hop to performing. She performed in high school musicals as well as her school's show choir, and her traveling church band. While still in school she also performed at Little Colonels Playhouse, and The Ursuline School of Music and Drama.

After high school, Katie had a brief stint as a lounge singer and event performer, before going on to a professional career as a manager with a healthcare company. However her true love for music came full circle again, when she came to Heartland Music Together classes with her own two girls. 

Katie says, "As soon as I started the classes I fell in love. I immediately knew that being a teacher was something I wanted to pursue.  I not only loved being in class with my own children, but watching all the other caregivers interact with their own children.  The energy and the magic that is created in these classes, is an experience that you can't get anywhere else.  Helping other families bond with their children through music is so fulfilling!"

Contact Katie O'Dea

   
Stephanie Sullivan-Whitten

Stephanie Sullivan-Whitten - born with a song in her heart

Born into a family of musicians four generations deep, Stephanie thought ALL families were like hers, singing Christmas carols, or even Happy Birthday in 4-part harmony. And now that she has a family of her own, she can’t imagine raising her children any other way. 

Stephanie believes in the power of music to unify families and lift people out of their circumstances. As she developed her career, she looked for ways to share her musical gifts in ways that serve others. She is a board-certified music therapist, and she has years of experience teaching music in the classroom and providing music therapy in hospitals and home settings.

While working as a music therapist, she happened to experience Music Together in a developmentally challenged population and instantly fell in love. She taught Music Together classes in a preschool setting and LOVED that too! And now Stephanie is EXCITED to continue her Music Together journey with Heartland Music Together. (Almost as EXCITED as we are to have her!)

Stephanie says: "Music gives my soul a voice, and it is the greatest gift that I could have received from above."

   
Jean Walker

Jean Walker - "luckiest woman on the planet"

Jean has been coming to our classes for years, enrolling the special needs children that she provides community living support for. She has worked with children who have developmental delays full-time since 2008, and says she's been never happier with her career. We saw her heart connection from the beginning, not only with the kids she brought to classes as a caregiver, but with all of the other children in the class as well.

After years of loving our classes as a participant, Jean joined our organization to help make the magic happen. If you've had questions about class schedules or registration, you may have already talked to her; as our administrator, she manages communications, registrations, and day-to-day organizational work.

Most recently, Jean has taken the plunge into teaching! She apprenticed as a new teacher in the fall of 2015, took the official teacher training, and now she's a registered Music Together teacher. You may see her as a sub on one of our classes, and even leading her own classes as we grow our program.

Jean has a degree in journalism and marketing, and also a M.A. from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She thinks maybe the most valuable part of all that in terms of her vocation to work with children is her empathy and communication skills. Mostly, she just loves it, and considers herself the “luckiest woman on the planet.” We feel equally lucky, and we sing Jean's praises daily! 

Contact Jean Walker 

   
Shelah Woodruff

Shelah Woodruff – Loving Music, Loving Families

Shelah doesn't remember a time in her life without music. She sang hymns next to her mother, played "name that tune" with her parents in the car, and stayed up late listening to her dad practice the trumpet and bagpipes. When she came "of age," the question wasn't IF she would learn an instrument, but which one she would play! She began tooting the flute at nine years old and hasn't looked back. 

When she went to college, Shelah wasn't exactly sure what she would do with her life, but she knew it would include music! She studied flute and world literature in college, playing in marching and concert bands, singing in an acapella group, teaching flute to elementary students, ringing handbells, and enjoying every minute.

Now a mom of two small kids, Shelah and her family love sharing Music Together songs together, with dance parties and creative play at home, singing while waiting in traffic or at the doctor's office, using the songs to make up new stories and verses together, and singing together at bedtime. 

Shelah says, "Heartland Music Together has transformed the way I spend time with my own children. I'm excited to join the Heartland Music team and work help other families do the same!"

Our beloved Ms Shelah is currently in Hawaii teaching Music Together classes when she's not playing on the beach. We can't wait to welcome her back - we hope she can tear herself away from her island paradise. Aloha Ms Shelah!

 

 

 

   
Parents & children - the heart of our community

You make the magic happen! 

You may wonder if you can help your child musically, especially if you don't feel that you yourself are musical. Our experience has been that parents and other caregivers are the most essential influences in a young child's musical life. You don't have to be an expert to help your child develop a love for music! If you're having fun playing and making music, chances are your child will too. Enjoy this special time to explore music together. Your gift may last your child's whole life!

 

"In art, as in life, everything is possible, so long as it is based on love."  - Marc Chagall