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.
Meike Sillevis Smitt-Huizinga, teacher/director
I was born and raised in the Netherlands. After a 2 1/2 year expat adventure in Malaysia I landed in California in 2006 with my husband and our two daughters, Wien (born December 2000) and Marieke (born May 2002). I started volunteering as a music docent in Wien’s first grade classroom and loved the interaction with children! Within two years I became the official Music Teacher at Booksin Elementary, where I’m still teaching to date.
When introduced to Music Together® I wished I had known about this program when my own children were younger. I love the variety of songs, the CDs and songbooks for the families, and the support we get as teachers. In August 2011 I was rewarded Music Together Certification Level I by the Center for Music and Young Children in Princeton, NJ. And in November 2013 I became the Owner/Director of Smiley Notes, offering Music Together in Willow Glen! Through Smiley Notes I strive to build a strong musical community of teachers and families with young children (0-5 years) in Willow Glen, sharing songs, instrument play, rhythm chants, and movement activities in a relaxed, playful, non-performance-oriented setting.
I regularly catch myself singing or humming a tune without even realizing I started it. Singing makes me happy and has helped me through difficult situations. Teaching Music Together classes, improvising with the music and interacting with little ones and their families keeps me motivated and inspired. I hope to enrich the lives of my students and their parents with my enthusiasm for music and interaction, and I’d love to see you in one of my classes!
Karen Enfield, teacher
I have been teaching Music Together since January of 2006.
Singing has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. When I was ten years old I took guitar lessons so I could accompany myself to the songs I loved to sing. Throughout my teen years I also studied dance and dramatic arts several times a week to nurture my secondary love of drama, dance, and performance. Though I was involved with local amateur performances and theatre camps, my most cherished memory was as a teenager landing a summer job as a music leader at a camp for young disadvantaged boys without fathers, which was my first experience sharing music with children, a memory I cherished.
Fast-forward many years. When my daughter began preschool in 2004, I offered to sing music at her preschool, and before I knew it, I was the official music teacherl. In 2005, I enrolled my 9-month old son in Music Together classes and within a year I was honored when the center director asked me to become a Music Together teacher at her center. After taking the requisite classes, I began teaching Music Together in January 2006 with the “Bells” collection, and I continue to teach preschool music classes to this day.
In 2006, shortly after beginning teaching Music Together, my son was diagnosed with autism. This is when I discovered the real magic of shared music making as I quickly realized that his music brain was unaffected by his condition and I could use Music Together to make bridges into his world, and he used Music Together songs to make bridges into mine.
The entire Music Together teaching philosophy, its child-led and play-based methods, it’s research-based program, along with its philosophy to accept and include all children, as well as it’s beliefs that ALL children are musical are messages I have taken to heart. Children learn through play, and music has a tremendous affect on children. Combining music, play and meaningful interactions nurtures the inherent lifeskill of music making that exists in all of us, and the confidence and creativity gained from Music Together will carry a child not only into the next phase of music making but also gain creativity and confidence to carry them through life.
Liesbeth Melis, Teacher
Music always has been part of my life. Growing up, there was a lot of singing and music making going on in my home. Whenever there was a performance – with or without music - in my school, at girl scouts or just at home, I was part of it. On my musical journey, I have had lots of formal learning opportunities (theory, cello, singing) as well as wonderful informal musical moments that have enriched my musical skills as well as my love for music. I have also sung for more than 10 years in semi-professional choirs and participated in musical theatre productions.
I was born and raised in Belgium. My husband and I moved here in 2012 for his job with our 3-month old daughter. I went from working full-time as a language teacher to being a stay at home mom. I joined the Las Madres mom’s group and got involved in organizing activities. The teaching and music vibe is stronger than me; so I started hosting weekly musical play dates for the Las Madres groups my daughters, Emma and Marie, belong to.
When I felt it was time to re-enter professional life in 2015, I was looking for a job where I could combine my passion for teaching with my love for making music. While following the Music Together Teacher Training, I felt like coming home. I love how Music Together brings the people the kids learn the most from (parents, grand parents, caregivers...) together to experience music in a fun, stimulating and musically rich way. This opens doors to a lifetime of music making. Let’s sparkle this passion in your kid’s life and let’s make Music Together!