Meet the Teachers of Sounds Good Westchester

Our teachers come from all sorts of backgrounds, but they’re united by a common passion: Sharing the joy of music with children and families in Westchester!

All teachers have successfully completed the live Music Together® Teacher Training, which is built on research in early childhood and music development. We keep our skills fresh through workshops every semester and advanced trainings offered by Music Together Worldwide.

photo Karen Hamlin

Karen thinks she has the best job in the world! She came to Music Together in 2001 as a parent and loved it so much she had to become a teacher. She's been teaching Music Together since 2007 and was awarded Music Together Certification Level I in 2010.  Karen has been singing and performing since she was a child and has sung in numerous choruses, including a traveling a cappella singing group. She received a BA magna cum laude in psychology from Yale University and a master's degree in early childhood and elementary education from UCLA.  She has taught all ages, from infant to adult, and she loves to bring her guitar, flute, and other instruments into the classroom.  Karen is mom to Sophie, Violet, and Asa.

 

 

     
photo Katie Alexander

Katie Alexander first came to Music Together as a mom of one-year-old twins in the summer of 2016. She and her girls loved the program so much that she decided to try her hand at teaching it! Katie has found joy in making music since she was a child. She sings at every opportunity, enjoys playing the piano, and played French horn in school bands and orchestras while growing up. Katie is a true Renaissance woman: When she is not “mom-ing” or being musical, she works as full time Social Psychology professor at a small liberal arts school. Her research interest is in attachment theory, which concerns the close social emotional bonds we form with others. Katie is completely devoted to her college-aged students but absolutely adores babies and very young children.

     
photo Annette Cepero-Jimenez

Annette Cepero-Jimenez is a simultaneous bilingual. Born from a Cuban father and a Colombian mother, she embraces her deep latin musical roots. Professionally, Annette is a bilingual speech language pathologist. She received her Masters of Science in Speech Language Pathology from Teachers College Columbia University. Annette has worked with families and their young children through private agencies for Early Intervention since 2008.  As a life long lover of dance and music, Annette has played the flute since elementary school, sang chorus (in church and school) and gospel choir at Columbia University.  Annette has 4 children, ages 19, 17, 4 and 1. She started attending Music Together classes with her daughter over 2 years ago and immediately fell in love. Annette is super excited to be part of the Music Together and Canta y Baila family and in bringing families together through music and movement. 

     
photo Jessica Garrett

As both an educator and as mother to a vibrant 1st grader and adorable toddler, Jessica has a strong appreciation for child development and the nurturing of individual creative spirits. Jessica majored in Elementary Education and minored in Theater at Lehman College. During her years in the classroom, she enjoyed singing and sharing her passion for music. Music brought a great dimension of beauty into her students’ lives. Jessica enjoyed singing from childhood with her identical twin sister and performing in the church choir and plays. Jessica is delighted about teaching and sharing music with young children and the community at large.  

 

     
photo Ariana Kaminskas

Ariana began performing at age 14 when she won the lead role in her Junior High School’s production of “Annie”. She went on to act in TV commercials and sing with local rock bands in Brooklyn, NY where she grew up. Ariana studied music and theater at Brooklyn College, acting with Eve Collyer and dance at Broadway Dance Center. She spent many years performing with “Club Date Bands” where she sang at parties, galas and events all around the country. Ariana received her Music Together Certification Level 1 in 2005, and loved bringing both her sons to classes when she became a Mom. She released her single “It’s My Time” by Ariana K in 2014, and enjoys entertaining at parties with her group “Ariana K Music Acappella Singers". Ariana loves the warmth, the joy and the little ones in her Music Together classes.

     
photo Amanda Kleinman

Cantor Amanda Kleinman is thrilled to be teaching Sing Shalom, a brand new Music Together class that incorporates Jewish songs alongside your Music Together favorites! A native of Dallas, Texas, Amanda has been a lifelong singer, earning a bachelor's degree in music and history from Middlebury College, and a Master of Sacred Music degree and cantorial ordination from the Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music. As Associate Cantor of Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, Amanda works to instill a love of music and Judiasm in adults and children of all ages. She especially loves serving as the clergy liaison to WRT's Early Childhood Center, where she leads Tot Shabbat and creates innovative musical programming for the community's youngest learners. In 2012, she recorded a CD of children's music, entitled Shalom Yeladim. Amanda is also a new mom to baby Jed, who is counting down the days until he can begin his first Music Together class!

 
     
photo Gabbie Savino

Gabbie's musical journey started as a student in the Music Together program! As a Music Together graduate and daughter of a Music Together teacher, she has been immersed in the program for nearly her whole life! She started piano and violin lessons at a young age, and went on to receive Bachelor's degrees in Music Education and Viola Performance from the State University of New York at Fredonia. An active teacher on Long Island since 2015 as well as a New York State certified music teacher, she is relocating to Westchester to pursue a Master's degree in Viola Performance. Hello everybody; she'll be so glad to see you and share music with your family!

     
photo Melissa Stylianou

Melissa has been teaching Music Together since 2007 throughout Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Riverdale and is very happy to be joining the Sounds Good family!  She adores singing and getting goofy with families and caregivers, and she attends classes regularly with her five year-old son Bayly. She is an accomplished jazz vocalist, recording artist, and educator, originally from Toronto, Canada.  Melissa has played at venues such as Birdland, Jazz Standard, and Carnegie Hall in New York and also performs all over the country with the 3-part harmony group Duchess. She is a graduate of Ryerson Theatre School in Toronto with a degree in acting.  Melissa plays guitar and ukelele and has received her Music Together Certification Level 1.

     
photo Jean Young

Jean has taught Music Together® classes in Larchmont for the past 22 years and directed Music Along the Sound for eleven years. She started the Generations classes at Willow Towers fourteen years ago.  Jean has been music specialist at Temple Emanu-El Nursery School in Manhattan for 30 years. She was musical director of the Chatsworth Avenue School Musical and she directed the children's choir at Community Unitarian Church. She produced Adirondack Adventure, her first CD of original songs, in 2013.  Jean challenges the adults in her classes to stretch their music and dance abilities. (What, me sing a round? Dance a contradance?) She encourages them to interact musically with their children to see how much fun it is to grow musically together! She loves to see the class dissolve into laughter trying to pass the eggs around the circle! And she relishes their satisfaction when everyone succeeds in keeping the beat!  Jean is proud grandmother to Aria and Autumn!