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 Marsha Melsheimer

Education: B.A. Beloit College
Music Together®: Certification Level I

I grew up in a family that sang and danced and I thought that this was normal. When I took a workshop by the founder of Music Together, Ken Guilmartin, at a CAEYC conference in 1999 (Chicago Association of the Education of Young Children), I was so excited because he was advocating the kind of experience I had as a child for everyone but with a research foundation. I immediately took the training so I could share the information and methods in my preschool classroom. Then I realized that I really wanted to focus on music and young children so I opened Marsha's Music in January 2001 and since then it has been an amazing journey! We are in our 17th year and I continue to be amazed at the joy and learning that happens in our classrooms and in our families' homes as well as with my teachers and our colleagues around Chicago and in the Music Together family around the world. Music is a healthy birthright and part of being human. My hope is that more and more people will come together to sing, dance, and make music informally together, giving the gift of music and community to all the children and to the grownups, too!

Interests: live music and theater, growing orchids/plants, reading, and taiji.

P.S. In college Marsha was a biology major (studying songbirds), with a music minor. Marsha was a preschool teacher for eight years at The Nursery School at K.A.M. in Hyde Park.

     
photo Irene Claude

Education: M.M. DePaul University, B.M.A. University of Michigan
Kodaly, Orff Schulwerk, and Suzuki Flute Certification

I fell in love with the Music Together program in 2000, when I started attending classes with my then 6 month old daughter, Ida. I was so glad that my teacher, Miss Jane, suggested I take the teacher training and it was at the training that I met Marsha and started teaching for her in 2002. In 2005, I received my Level 1 Certification from Music Together and in 2006, I became Marsha's Music's business manager, assisting with class registrations. In addition to teaching Music Together, I also teach flute at my studio in Hyde Park and at Saint Xavier University.

Interests: walking, birding, reading

P.S. Irene is a member of the Lake Forest Symphony and loves to play chamber music with fellow Music Teachers of Hyde Park teachers.

     
photo Julia Allen

I am a registered Certification Level 1 Music Together teacher. I started attending Music Together classes with my son, Simon, when he was an infant, and then continued with my son, Peter. We all thoroughly enjoyed the program and the music. I then became a Suzuki parent with both boys playing the cello. I developed a great love for Music Together and continue to enjoy and learn from being a teacher at Marsha's Music. When I first was teaching, I used my voice as the Hello Song instrument. I was eventually inspired to learn the ukulele and now I enjoy using it in class too, and will be spreading my passion for ukes in the family uke classes on Sunday afternoons.

P.S. Julia is a certified elementary school teacher. Before having her own children, she taught at the Ray School. While growing up in Evanston, she studied flute, voice, and theater.

     
photo Jan Slavin

Education: University of Illinois and Goodman School of Drama

Living in New York, I set aside my Broadway dreams and focused on raising a family and earning a living in the corporate world. But as my children grew up and moved on, I longed for a second career that would incorporate my love of music and children. I was so lucky to find Music Together through an extensive search of all the possible music programs that exist. All of the research behind the program really convinced me that I could make a difference in children's lives by facilitating classes where families make music together. Entertainment is important, of course, but making music is where the true joy comes in.

I've also been cultivating my own musical talents and have been an active member of the cabaret community in Chicago, as well as writing and performing stand up comedy.

I'm very fortunate to be able to work with children during the day and perform at night.
All this makes for a very tired but happy Miss Jan!

Interests: Singing, concerts, comedy, theatre, reading, grandchildren

P.S. Jan performed in New York at such well known venues as Goodspeed Opera House and Manhattan Theatre Club, as well as with a national tour of the New York Shakespeare Festival. Jan has appeared in productions at The Goodman Theatre, Theatre at the Center and Lifeline Theatre, and was an original member of the acclaimed Chicago Chamber Choir.

     
photo Lynnette Li-Rappaport

Education:
Western Michigan University - BA in Music (voice) and BA in Creative Writing
Simmons College School of Social Work - MSW

I've worked with kids in the past, as a therapist, educational theatre actor, and music director, but nothing has ignited my passion for kids more than bringing my (then 9 month old) daughter to her first Music Together class. Within a month I was trained and apprenticing as an MT teacher. This research-based program gets me excited at every level, as a social worker, as an artist, as a teacher, as a singer, and especially as a parent. I love how this program supports young children and babies, along with the people who care for them, to independently explore, and communicate with each other long before language is mastered. I have two young children now, and music is a joyful part of our daily playing and living.

Interests: Writing, teaching, singing, acting, early childhood development, reading good books, cooking and eating food, and my awesome family.

P.S. Lynnette worked as an actor in Los Angeles from 2006 - 2013. Lynnette became a registered Music Together teacher in the fall of 2013 and continues to be completely over-the-moon excited about the program.

     
photo Laura Ohms

Education: Taylor University - BS in Social Work, Dominican University - MSW, LCSW

I have been a social worker in the school system, residential facilities, and mental health arena for the past 8 years and have sought to integrate my love for music along the way! This has culminated in creating and directing youth choirs for at-risk students, facilitating a drumming group and teaching a fine arts class at a therapeutic day school, and creating an improvisation community support group. Throughout my practice, I have found that the arts are a critical component to the healing, growth, and development process. In addition, I have seen first hand that music creates a safe foundational space for children to explore, express, and experience joy and freedom! I feel so blessed to have found Music Together which allows me to support children and families through the gift of music and have so much fun while doing it! I am currently a Registered Music Together teacher.

Interests: Teaching, running, triathlons, singing, piano, ice cream

PS: Laura studied voice and piano growing up and through College. She was in her University Chorale which she adored. Laura has also taken improvisation and stand up comedy classes in her all time favorite city, Chicago!

     
photo Claire Corriveau

Education: BM Columbia College Chicago

I have been playing music professionally for close to a decade, both as a solo singer/songwriter and a member of bands. I started teaching private music lessons after graduating Columbia College in 2012 and found a lot of joy working with young children. Each student brings different energy and challenges, so every lesson is a surprise. I love how Music Together expands what music lessons can be, allowing for more freedom and independence for each child. 

Interests: metalsmithing, jewlery making

P.S. When I am not teaching, I tour and perform with my roots rock band, The Lucky Dutch.