Teaching has been my way of sharing my twin passions for nature and music. At the tender age of 19, I started guiding people on canoe, backpack and winter camping trips and teaching environmental education. After graduating from Oberlin College with a degree in biology, I worked for three and a half years in the Dominican Republic, essentially as an environmental education teacher. Upon my return to the states, I met Chris, teaching at an environmental education center. We went to teacher school at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls to become credentialed and teach in Alaska.
It was in Manokotak, Alaska that music reappeared in my life as part of my professional life. In addition to teaching math and science, I was asked to teach band and general music, much to my delight.
We moved to Juneau in 1992 to grow the Juneau Montessori Children's House into an elementary program. I have slowly moved toward playing and teaching music but have always kept my interest in the Montessori classroom as a music teacher.
I teach the Montessori music curriculum of theory, music reading and music writing to the lower elementary in addition to teaching recorder classes. With the upper elementary, I extend the Montessori curriculum in theory and composition and teach a beginning full orchestra. With the adolescents, I teach a smorgasbord of improvisation, music talent exploration and mariachi.
In addition to teaching music in the Juneau public Montessori programs, I play principal trumpet in the Juneau Symphony, the CrossSound Sinfonietta and Juneau Brass Quintet; I produce an annual trumpet recital; I teach and administer Thrush Hill Music (a private lesson studio); I direct the Juneau Student Symphony; and I teach skiing at Eaglecrest.
My introduction to Montessori education actually occurred at the environmental education center where Chris and I met. We worked with a number of groups from different Montessori schools and noticed some very remarkable traits in the students. They were so self disciplined, curious, and excited about learning. After teaching in Manokotak, we looked into one of these Montessori schools, Lake Country, in Minneapolis. They sent us to Bergamo, Italy for a the AMI Montessori Elementary training and employed us for our first two years of Montessori teaching.