Our Teachers

Our teachers come from all sorts of backgrounds but are united by a common passion: Sharing the joy of music with children and their families! All of our teachers have successfully completed the live Music Together® Teacher Training, which is built on early childhood and music development research. We keep our skills fresh through workshops every semester and advanced trainings offered by Music Together Worldwide.

photo Sarah Orfe

Sarah comes to the Music Together Princeton Lab School with many years of experience in the world of early childhood music both as a teacher in the classroom, and as a director of a successful business. She was the founder and lead teacher for Sunshine Music Studios in Los Angeles where her program was named “Best Of” by LA Parent Magazine for three years in a row. She relocated to the Princeton area so she could become the Center Director for the Music Together Princeton Lab School. Sarah has a BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Music Together Cert Level 1 and 2. Her musical training includes over 10 years of flute and piano study, eight years at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp and a summer in Bavaria with the Blue Lake Orchestra. She spent three years teaching with the Summer Institute for the Gifted and is a recovering actress. Having been a Music Together Mom, Sarah knows firsthand that the program offers families the highest quality musical experiences while providing an amazing foundation for future learning in all areas of development. She is the proud mother of two amazing boys, Mason (17) and Hudson (14), who can be heard singing on the Drums, Bells and all of the Rhythm Kids Song Collections.

     
photo Alicia McCarther

Alicia McCarther is a professional singer and church musician, holding a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance and a Master of Music degree in church music from Baylor University. She has had the privilege to perform across the United States, Europe, and South America. For six years, Alicia was the music director at a church in Indiana and worked with the children’s and youth choirs. She has been a Music Together Mom for every single session since January 2014 and won’t stop until her daughter ages out! A stay-at-home mom to Ian (5) and Lily (2), Alicia is thrilled to join the Music Together team and help share the joy of family singing!

     
photo Amanda Fois

Amanda is a mother of two and Music Together has become an important part of everyday life for their family. Amanda could not be more excited to be re-joining the Music Together Family as a teacher and looks forward to helping families experience the wonder that is Music Together.

     
photo Brian Dixon

Brian holds B.S. degrees in Music Technology and Multimedia Studies from Northeasterrn University, but most importantly, he is a Music Together parent with his daughter, Jesse! He is a guitarist, singer, composer, and also works as a videographer with a specialty in filming live classical music performances. His video work has taken him from Boston to Beijing, and he is thrilled to continue working with new musicians whenever and wherever possible. Brian always enjoys learning new songs to play at home with his daughter, and is excited to continue making music together with new families!

     
photo Dr. Carol Ann Blank

Carol Ann LCAT, LPC, MMT, MT-BC is a Certification Level II Music Together teacher and board-certified music therapist. She was a Music Together parent with her two children and enjoys sharing her love of family music making with others.  She holds a Masters in Music Therapy from Temple University and a doctorate from Drexel University.

     
photo David Azer

David Azer is so excited to be teaching for Music Together. Music has always been a large part of his life and he's looking forward to spreading his love of music to others. David grew up singing in choir and performing on stage in musicals. He has fond memories of the impact his elementary school music teachers had on him in public school and synagogue. In high school, he song-led for his regional youth group.  In college, he spent a year and a half teaching music at a synagogue for K-Third Grade and two summers as a song-leader at his childhood sleep away camp.  After college, he song-led and led hikes for a Jewish outdoor education program for 6th grade students. Since then, he's had fun playing music at friends' and family's little ones' birthday parties. He hopes to one day make birthday parties and family events a larger part of his career. He loves getting silly and can't wait to make music together with you and your family.

     
photo Ellen Acuna

Ellen is a Certification Level II Music Together Teacher. She has sung in choruses, choirs, bands, and Fred Waring Music Workshops and plays the auto-harp and piano. In addition to teaching for the Music Together Princeton Lab School in Princeton and Hamilton, she teaches Music Together in Trenton preschools as part of the Trenton Community Music School's Music for the Very Young program. Ellen is also an In-School Program Mentor for the In-School Services Department at Music Together Headquarters. She has a B.A. in Speech Communications from West Chester University, and has worked with special-needs children for Philadelphia's National Adoption Center.

     
photo Emily Orfe Templin

Emily Templin has an enthusiasm and excitement for making music, as well as a love for working with children. She holds a B.S. Degree in Early Childhood Education, and has had experience with teaching children in both the classroom and the home setting. Some of Emily’s great joys in life involve singing and songwriting, playing the guitar and piano, and sharing adventures with her beloved family. She has been involved with the performing arts from very early on in her childhood and has especially loved performing in musicals. She has also had the opportunity to write and direct several musical and dramatic productions at various churches, schools, and outreach organizations. Emily is overjoyed to be able to share her passion for making music with children!

     
  Erica Hemmel

Erica enjoys teaching Music Together at preschools and in mixed-age and Rhythm Kids classes. She also works for Music Together Worldwide Headquarters, helping to extend the reach of music, because all children are musical. Erica received a BA in English Literature and Writing from the Univeristy of Evansville in Indiana, an MA in Reading/Language Arts (K-12), and a teaching certificate (K-5) from Rider University. Erica has been singing her whole life in choirs and her car. She has played trumpet for 20+ years in many groups, including trumpet ensembles, basketball bands, jazz ensembles, pit orchestras, and a ska band. She has recently picked up guitar and ukulele and loves that the preschoolers think she’s a rock star!

     
photo Janet Campbell

B.A. Music, University of Georgia, and a registered music therapist. Music Together Certification Level I. Janet has taught Music Together classes for 25 years as both a center director and a CMYC/Music Together Princeton Lab School faculty member. She enjoys leading musical parties and life celebrations in addition to offering classes for special-needs children. She is a singer, guitarist, oboist, percussionist, and entertainer.

     
photo Joyce Kay

B.M. Music Theory, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Music Together Certification Level I. Joyce plays classical, pop, and jazz piano as well as guitar. She teaches piano and preschool music classes and is the music director for several NJ children’s theatre companies.

     
photo Dr. Katya Ermolaeva

Katya completed her Ph.D. in Musicology from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2017. When she isn’t busy studying the composer Sergei Prokofiev, she is singing, dancing and playing with her beloved Music Together families. Born and raised in Princeton, Katya trained as a flutist for 10 years, received a Bachelors in Music from Rutgers University and a Master's in Musicology from Princeton University. Katya’s pivotal early childhood musical experience was watching “The Magic Flute” on PBS with her mom at age four. Other fond musical memories include playing the flute in the New Jersey Youth Symphony and singing Beethoven’s 9th Symphony in Carnegie Hall with the Rutgers University Choir. Katya lived in Glasgow, Scotland for five years while working on her doctorate before returning home to Princeton in 2017. Katya’s favorite hobby is salsa dancing, and she is bilingual in Russian and English.

     
photo Kelly Wieand

Kelly knows firsthand the powerful role parents play in supporting a child's musical development. She grew up in a musical family, playing duets with her Dad throughout childhood, and studied dance and voice for many years. Kelly holds a PhD in Mathematics from Harvard University, and she worked as a mathematician until the birth of her son, Evan. After experiencing Music Together as a parent, she decided to teach so that she could share the program with other families. Kelly is a Certification Level 1 Music Together teacher, and has been teaching for 10 years. In addition to piano, Kelly plays guitar, recorder and sings with the Aura Polyphonica, an early music choral group based in New Brunswick.

     
photo Ken Guilmartin

Founder/Director, Music Together LLC. Ken led the Music Together program development for the Center for Music and Young Children, which he founded in 1985. A composer in styles ranging from the blues to opera, he graduated from Swarthmore College, studied composition at Manhattan School of Music, and is certified in Dalcroze Eurythmics.

     
photo Dr. Lili Levinowitz

Music Together LLC Director of Research. Ph.D., Temple University. Lili is coauthor of the Music Together curriculum with its founder Ken Guilmartin. At Temple, she directed the Children's Music Development Program. Currently Professor of Music Education at Rowan University, Lili is experienced in teaching preschool through graduate-school levels.

     
photo Mary Ellen Assue

Mary Ellen is a pianist and singer, of Venezuelan and Trinidadian descent. She has an M.A. in Voice Performance from Florida International University, an M.A. in English Literature, and minor in Spanish Language, from the University of Miami. Mary Ellen performs internationally in a variety of styles, including classical, opera, music theater, jazz, and pop and has been teaching students of all ages for more than fifteen years.

     
photo Norah Wasden

Norah is a singer and a Music Together mom of three boys. Music has always been a passion of hers. She grew up playing piano and violin, and fell in love with singing and choral music. She is also an experienced teacher, having taught English as a Second Language in the public schools. She sings with Princeton Pro Musica in their masterworks chorus and chamber chorus. She also works with children's music at her church. For two years, she taught children's music classes in Singapore and is very happy to be continuing with Music Together here.

     
photo Stephanie Overton-Hall

Stephanie is a Certification Level I Music Together teacher with a passion for sharing the joy of making music. She has spent her life so far in dedication to both singing and teaching. She holds a BMus from The College of New Jersey and is a NJ certified K-12 music teacher with 10 years of public and private school experience. She has sung professionally with the Philadelphia Singers, teaches private voice lessons in Pennington, NJ, conducts the North and Southampton Reformed Church Chancel Choir, and frequently works as a music director for various local musical theatre productions. Stephanie plays piano, flute, trombone and ukulele, and loves to make music of all kinds and throw dance parties at home with her husband and her children Cecilia and Thomas, who led her to find her true calling as a Music Together mom and teacher.

     
photo Susan Darrow

Susan is the CEO of Music Together Worldwide. She has been teaching Music Together classes for more than 25 years and was the founder of Music Together of Montclair, NJ. As a Teacher Trainer, she is actively involved in leading workshops and training teachers here in the US as well as internationally. She has a BA in Theatre Arts, Penn State University, MA in Child Development, Bank Street College in New York. Music Together Certification Level II. You can see Susan discussing early childhood music development here and here

     
photo Yuko Nestle

Yuko is a Music Together Certification Level I teacher with a lifelong love of singing and piano, and has been teaching Music Together classes at Princeton Lab School since 2012. She started as a Music Together mom in 2006, joining the program with her two daughters in Tokyo and later in Hopewell. She is thrilled to continue her Music Together experience as a teacher, where she can share the joy of music-making with children and their grownups. Born and raised in Japan, Yuko plays piano and guitar, and is bilingual in English and Japanese.

     
photo Lou Steele

Lou is the proud father of Juliet and Lucas. He loves making up songs with his kids throughout the day, and singing about whatever is happening in the moment. Lou is also a professional actor, pursuing his dream of working on Broadway. He has a BFA in Theatre, with a concentration in Acting, from Montclair State University. Lou has a passion for musical theatre and telling stories through song. He spent nearly a decade leading "Mommy and Me" classes with a popular performing arts company on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. After finding himself in Hopewell and enveloped in the joy of the Music Together program, he took the Music Together training and is thrilled to be joining the team. He looks forward to making music together with you and your children.

     
photo Sally Graham

Sally is so excited to be joining the Music Together family. She holds a B.S. in Music Education with a PA Teaching Certification. During the week, Sally teaches music at Stages Academy Preschool. In he spare time she likes to sing, dance, and craft. You might even see her in local theater productions from time to time. She is looking forward to sharing her joy for this program with families.