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 Catherine Hale, MT-BC

I did not come from a musical family whatsoever but somehow, miraculously, a musician was born. I fell in love with music, all types of music, at a very young age. Growing up I studied piano for five years, French horn for 13 years, and bag pipe for a short time. Upon applying to colleges I decided that I wanted to make a career out of music but also wanted to help people in some way. Arizona State University had the perfect music program for me and there I received two Bachelor of Music degrees in Music Therapy and Orchestral Performance. In college I continued to study piano and began delving into guitar and voice. I am currently a board-certified music therapist and have provided music therapy services to patients at the Austin State Hospital, the Virginia Treatment Center for Children in Richmond, VA, the Fairfax County Juvenile Detention Center in Fairfax, VA, and the Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Home in Alexandria, VA. When my first son was born I decided to stay home with him, however, the sweet melodies of Music Together® at Heartsong Music in Austin, Texas called me back to the musical working world. I am now a certified Music Together teacher and the Licensed Music Together Center Director for Sproutsongs Music.  I have also recently been awarded Music Together Certification 2 status by the Center for Music and Young Children in Princeton, NJ.  I plan to continue deepening my education in the Music Together Program and early childhood music education.  Besides chasing my three boys and teaching at Sproutsongs, I also love teaching French horn lessons and jamming on my djembe at the Pullen Park drum circles.

     
photo Margaret Rush

Originally from Ireland, I moved to the U.S in 2012. Although I am a molecular biologist with years of academic research experience, I have always played music; first and foremost with family, but in church choir, in school and girl scouts, and throughout adult life at every social gathering possible. I play classical piano, flute, and guitar. Facilitating music in my community is so close to my heart and I love to make music possible for everyone, especially children and the elderly. My wish is that music is as accessible, fulfilling, natural, and enjoyable for everyone, as it is in my life.  I truly believe that a life of music is seeded early with family, but it is never too late to start participating in music.

Music Together struck a massive chord with me when I discovered it while living in Vancouver, Canada, where I received my training. After teaching many semesters of the Music Together program and having the desire to deepen my knowledge of early childhood music education, I recently attended a specialized training in Charlottle, NC.  There I was awarded Music Together Certification 1 status by the Center for Music and Young Children in Princeton, NJ. 

My community music experiences include assisting a music therapist with music programs for seniors with dementia, playing with amateur groups at care facilities and community events, leading sing-alongs wherever I go, and also teaching accompaniment for traditional Irish music. I play traditional Irish music on guitar, whistle and through song, and I can be found playing at local Irish music sessions in the Triangle.

     
photo Kara Williams

Music has always been a balm for my soul, even as a young child I found music to be comforting, I was a very shy child but loved singing and performing behind closed doors and anytime water was running. I played piano for several years and took up the trumpet in middle school where my love for music continued to grow.  From there, I performed in musicals in my high school. 

I have always had a passion for young children and spent many hours babysitting and volunteering in the church nursery.  This passion led me to major in Elementary Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In my time as a public school teacher in Hillsborough, NC and Charlotte, NC, I found that music was a great way to calm students, to teach students new concepts, and to simply be silly with them.

A friend of mine invited me to come to a Music Together class in Charlotte with her and her baby. I did not have any children of my own yet, but I immediately knew that this program was my new calling. I decided to train to become a Music Together teacher in 2003 and had the privilege of training with Susan Darrow. I have been teaching on and off since 2003, both in Charlotte and in Raleigh.

   I have three children who have all participated in Music Together classes and have grown up loving music. I am currently wearing several hats of being a wife, mom, homeschool teacher, and music teacher. I also sing on the worship team at my church, am involved in children's ministry, and am trying to learn to play the autoharp! 

     
photo Jean Marie Whaley

My experience as a musician and teacher have always been quite varied. I started, as so many do, in my church choir, school band, and school musical productions. I continued to want to do as much as possible during my undergraduate education at UNC Chapel Hill, where I played bass clarinet in the Wind Ensemble, tenor saxophone in the Athletic Bands, and sang in Carolina Chorus and Opera Workshop. After teaching K-5 music at Efland-Cheeks Elementary School for two years, I decided to concentrate on voice pedagogy which led me to Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, NJ. This small school is well known in vocal music and sacred music communities. At that time, Music Together had its headquarters in downtown Princeton. I passed by the door many times and thought it would be an interesting thing to do someday.

When my husband and I returned to our native North Carolina, I jumped into the local music and theatre community performing with the chorus of the NC Opera company and various roles at Raleigh Little Theatre. I taught various music courses and directed a chorus at Wake Technical Community College until 2015. When I learned I was expecting a child, I knew that I wanted to share music with her. The more I learned about Music Together, the more impressed I was with the quality of the curriculum. I decided to become a Music Together teacher and completed my training in my ninth month of pregnancy! I am currently enjoying sharing Music Together songs with her. I also continue to teach private voice lessons at my home, assist a children's choir at Hayes Barton Baptist Church, and assist the Choir of Men and Girls at Christ Church on the Square, Raleigh.

     
photo Jana Saur

I love to sing and dance and have as long as I can remember. Harmonizing with my sisters, singing camp songs, and making music with my aunts and uncles are some of my fondest memories. During my youth I participated in choirs, musicals, a vocal jazz ensemble, and a garage band.

Now I enjoy making and sharing music with my family and friends. Both of my children and I have attended Music Together classes over the past four years. Along the way, I picked up the ukulele and regularly make up silly songs and dances with my daughter. My son and I love to mash-up nursery rhymes and pop songs that share the same chords. I was led to become a registered Music Together instructor because I have a passion for educating children using music, movement, and play. I believe every child is musical and I receive great joy nurturing and building their music and movement skills.

When I am not making music or chauffeuring my children between activities, I enjoy creating textile designs and jewelry, working in my garden, cooking delicious meals, and leading boot camp workouts. I am also a co-founder of PORCH Raleigh, a nonprofit that collects donations to provide food insecure children with healthy meals and snacks.

 


     
photo Melissa Hanna

Melissa was first introduced to Music Together® when a family across the country gifted her children a semester of classes in 2013. As a mom of two toddlers she recognized after only a few classes how amazing and important the program is not just for her own children but for all children.  Melissa spent much of her time as a child and young adult participating in school and community theater and local and regional choir.  She also studied music theater at the Shenandoah Conservatory in Virginia.  Melissa completed the MusicTogether Teacher Training in Winter of 2015.  In addition to teaching and being a center Director for Music Together of Fayetteville part-time, she is also a full-time wife and mother to two children ages 5 and 3 1/2.

     
photo Mommies, Daddies, Nannies, & Grandparents

The real teachers are the parents and caregivers! Children are biologically wired to respond most to the model of the people with whom they have a bond of attachment.