Our Teachers

All of our teachers are passionate about music and the development of children. They create a fun, informal, social setting that spurs engagement and supports each child's musical development.

 

photo Caroline Davis

Mobile since her birth in Singapore, Caroline Davis is a musician and educator who now lives in Brooklyn, New York. She has an active performing career around New York and all over the country, and has performed on over 20 albums. She has shared musical moments with a diverse group of musicians, including Matt Wilson, Ellis Marsalis, Bobby Broom, Greg Saunier, Dennis Carroll, Erin McKeown, Allison Miller, Jenny Owen Youngs, and Billy Kaye. Her debut album, Live Work & Play, was featured on All About Jazz’s best releases, and she was named one of JazzTimes’ Best New Artists in the 2012 Expanded Critics’ Poll. Doors: Chicago Storylines, Caroline's sophomore album, is an audio documentary that uniquely sets stories from Chicago's jazz scene from the 80s and 90s alongside her original music. Aside from her own quartet, she collaborates regularly with bass-less trio Whirlpool and the R&B indie band, Maitri, and has been a regular member of many outfits including Fatbook, Deep Fayed, Paul Bedal Quintet, Orso, Chicago Jazz Orchestra, Caili O’Doherty Group, Dion Kerr Group, and Materials and Their Destiny.

Caroline holds a PhD in Music Cognition, and has taught university and graduate level classes in the psychology of music education and learning. At the same time, she has years of experience working with infants and young children, including teaching Music Together classes in Chicago. She has a quick and lovely connection with young children and their families, and loves having fun in class.

www.carolinedavis.org

     
photo Jeanine LaBarbera

Jeanine LaBarbera aka Jeanine Truly is a native New York singer, songwriter & teaching artist who began performing in musical theatre at age 10 on such stages as Lincoln Center, and appeared on Star Search at age 17. She studied voice at Berklee College of Music and has been teaching Music Together since 2001. She has also created music curriculum for Brooklyn New School, Brooklyn Art Exchange & numerous daycares in the Brooklyn communities.

Jeanine traces her love of 70’s funk, rock, soul and R&B back to childhood, and the night that Kool and the Gang played in her living room at one of her parent’s parties!

She launched her solo career as an independent artist, "Jeanine Truly",  in 2007 & currently performs with some of NY’s most bright, up & coming talent that you can hear on her all-live original studio album, "Jeanine Truly". Jeanine has also produced multi-artist concerts & community events, including world-music, where she has had the opportunity to showcase her diverse influences by performing Flamenco, Italian opera, folk music & more. Her most recent project “Jumpin’ Jazz” features a trio covering the great jazz diva legends of the 1930-40’s.

Find her at jeaninetruly.com

 

     
photo Arlee Leonard
Arlee Leonard, aka Auntie Arlee to her niece and nephews, is a professional Jazz vocalist and recording artist.  Arlee’s debut CD "Wild Honey" was well-received and she has sung all over the world. Trained as a Music Together teacher in the early 2000s, Arlee has primarily been a substitute MT teacher for several centers in New York City. She loves the chance to make music with little ones and their big people!  Arlee comes from a musical family and grew up to the sounds of many of the songs in the Music Together collections.  
 
Originally from California, and raised partly in the musical cities of Detroit & New Orleans, Arlee brings many influences to her music-making. She performs locally in New York City when not on the road and is currently training as an Integrative Sound & Music Practitioner at the New York Open Center.  Arlee received ordination as an Interfaith Minister from One Spirit Interfaith Seminary in 2013 and is a Licensed Wedding Officiant.  As a singer and poet Arlee creates beautiful ceremonies and brings soulful grace to any special occasion.  She loves sharing the joy of music with people of all ages and her enthusiasm is contagious!

www.ArleeLeonard.com & www.Facebook.com/ArleeLeonard

     
photo Nikolai Moderbacher

Nikolai's earliest memories include his mother playing the guitar and singing folk songs with him and his brother. Fast-forward 30 years and he's been overjoyed to see his daughter having some of those same experiences with him. Nikolai finds himself truly lucky to be working and creating in this field of family music and education since 2005, teaching Music Together classes as well as performing his own original funky family music around town. (www.nikoskids.com)

     
photo Victoria Salmeri

Victoria has been teaching Music Together since 2004.  She is proud to have trained several apprentices.  Her background includes music, theatre, dance, choreography and computer programming.

When recently asked to share a meaningful moment from teaching, she wrote, “When I decided to become a Music Together teacher, I knew I would love my job, but I didn’t anticipate the wonderful weekly reminders of just how powerful music can be. There are so many examples, but most recently I sat in awe of a 2 ½ year old child, who was singing each and every word with pride and confidence, and even starting the next phrase for us when I paused for too long. This is the same little boy who was especially shy and inconsolable when he started to attend my class a little over a year ago. I get a ringside seat to this type of development on a regular basis. How lucky am I?”

Outside of the classroom, Victoria might be found choreographing flash mob dances, or singing in her church’s band.

     
photo Melissa Stylianou

Melissa is an accomplished jazz vocalist, recording artist, and educator, originally from Toronto, Canada. Here in NYC, she has performed at venues such as Birdland, Jazz Standard and Carnegie Hall, and has released 5 solo jazz albums. Most recently, she has been performing in NYC and touring all over the country with her 3-part harmony group Duchess, and has been nominated multiple times in the Rising Star Jazz Vocalist category in the Downbeat Magazine Critics and Readers Polls. She can also be seen on Canadian television on the hit kids' TV show "Foursquare". An experienced educator, Melissa has taught at National Music Camp, Humber College and University of Toronto, teaches voice privately and is a graduate of Ryerson Theatre School in Toronto with a degree in Acting. She has been teaching Music Together since 2007 and is very happy to be a part of the MT community in the Park Slope and Bay Ridge Music Together centers.  Melissa plays guitar and has her Music Together Certification Level 1.

www.melissastylianou.com

     
photo Stephen Taylor

Stephen Taylor has been teaching Music Together for 13 years and is currently on staff in Park Slope and at The Hootenanny Art House. He is the Early Childhood Music and Movement teacher at Poly Prep Lower School and teaches private lessons on guitar, ukulele, piano and drums. As an independent artist, he composes music, performs with video and writes about life on his blog, www.supergood.org.
 

     
photo Dan Vonnegut

Dan is a multi-instrumentalist who loves many styles of music from all over the world.  In addition to teaching at Music Together of Park Slope he is the director of City Sounds Music Together as well as a private music instructor on guitar, drum set and piano and a professional freelance musician. He lives in Windsor Terrace with his wife, two children, two cats and a dog. He enjoys the unique combination of personalities families bring to the classes he teaches.

     
photo Theresa Wozunk (Director)

has a B.A. in Theater Arts from Rutgers, and spent 15 years performing with ballet, musical and dramatic theater companies. She has earned Level I Certification in Music Together and Orff- Schulwerk. She is also a writer whose plays have been produced off-off-Broadway.   Other theater credits include, Broadway - The Gershwin's Porgy & Bess (Associate Producer/2012 Tony Award for Best Musical Revival) and Godspell (Person of Godspell) .  LIBERTY A Monumental New Musical (Lead Producer) Premiered Off-Broadway at Theatre 80 St. Marks in the fall of 2014 and will open again in June 2016 in mid-town Manhattan: www.libertythemusical.com  The Original Off-Broadway Cast Album is available at: www.broadwayrecords.com, and LIBERTY can be licensed through: www.miracleor2.com.

     
photo Michelle Zilles

Michelle is a mom of two daughters, music therapist, early childhood music educator, sing-a-long leader extraordinaire, and occasional actress. She attended NYU's Music Therapy MA program and has worked as a therapist at The Heartshare School, Extreme Kids and Crew, Heartsong, and Baby in Tune. She has taught music at Lucy Moses School, Henry Street Music Settlement, Battery Park City Conservancy's Stories and Songs Program and Our Children's Center at CUNY.  Michelle plays guitar, ukelele, and banjo, and has been teaching Music Together for many years.  "I love encouraging my families to sing out loud, get silly, make live music and song part of everyday.  I continue to marvel at the innate musicality of every young child."

     
photo Ivy Bryan - Intern

It would be hard to overemphasize the importance of music in my life. Much of my early exposure to music was influenced by my parents. Although they related to different music genres (my mother was an early Elvis Costello fan and my father loved the reggae of his native Jamaica), they influenced me to appreciate music in its many forms. As a vocal performer, I performed modern and classic rock with the house band of the New York City School of Rock. My interest in music led me in high school to apply and be accepted to the Professional Performing Arts High School where I developed a deep appreciation for Mozart and opera while performing with the chorus at Lincoln Center. I have volunteered at my elementary school when possible and particularly love working with the Pre-K classes doing introductory technology with iPads. So interning at Music Together is a unique opportunity to combine my interests and experience introducing young children to what may be a lifetime passion: music and the joy it can bring.