I am passionate about children and their musical development. One of the things I love most about Music Together® is that it has a solid research base. My degree is in Psychology, with a research emphasis. Because Music Together is engaged in ongoing research, it's Directors and Teachers are fortunate to have access to the latest research from the fields of neuroscience, psychology, anthropology and even archaeology about how and why humans are wired to make music.
Perhaps the most fascinating recent research has been the discovery that the ability to make music is naturally selected. Think about that for a moment. It means that making music is innate, it is part of what it means to be human.
For the last more than 20 years, Music Together has had an active interest in reversing the trend showing the decline of community music making in our Western Culture. Research now shows that children of Western Culture are 2 years developmentally delayed in achieving basic music competence than children of other cultures. Many do not achieve it at all anymore.
I am absolutely committed to reversing the trend we are seeing in our communities in which we have lost our cultural music making, instead leaving music making to the "professionals"- perhaps buying an "appropriate" CD, rather than actively making music. As a Music Together Center Director and teacher, I work to create a fun, informal, social setting that spurs engagement and supports each child's musical development. My background includes piano, voice, musical theatre and dance. I bring world music, energy and all around goofy fun to Music Together classes.
As Director of Little Woodstock Music Together, I regularly attend Songs and Skills Workshops with my fellow directors and teachers from all over the state of Washington. I am always so heartened by the unbelievable level of professionalism, passion and commitment to early childhood music and cultural music making that I find at the workshops. I am grateful to be surrounded by so many in the Music Together community who are also doing this work.
Perhaps one of my favorite things about Music Together is it's deep understanding of multiple intelligences, personality, learning styles and age appropriate behavior. Over my 12+ years teaching and directing Music Together and seeing 200 kids per week, I am still endlessly fascinated by all of these same things that I was fascinated by in college. I am grateful, after these years, that I have become (as Music Together encourages all their teachers/directors to be), a true early childhood advocate in my community.
I've had the honor over the years of working in different settings in my community outside of my Music Together classes. If you're looking for a local endeavor to support, I heartily recommend looking at Kids In Concert. I was honored to teach for them at the Headstart Early Learning Center in Suquamish 3 years ago, and to be a teacher/mentor for their after school program two years ago. Kids In Concert is based on the El Sistema model, and is a thing of great beauty. Watch this video for more information about El Sistema: https://www.youtube.com/embed/Nwlj6YtaGk4
Kids in Concert would love your support: http://www.kidsinconcert.org/
Owner and Director of Little Woodstock Music Together
After starting Little Woodstock Music Together in 2004 and teaching in Washington for the last 14 years, Heather has recently relocated to Montana. Little Woodstock Music Together is expanding into Missoula, Montana and she has brought on two teachers (and counting!) to teach classes in both Washington and Montana. Future plans include offering Music Together Generations Classes in both Washington & Montana, expanding Music Together Mixed Ages Classes, and adding Music Together Preschool programs in Montana too!
Angie Biehl grew up in a musical, Montana household. Her mom was a music teacher for over forty years, and some of her earliest memories are of singing with her mom and 3 siblings for special occasions, parties, family get togethers, and church services. There was always something musical happening in the lives of the Biehls! Students coming and going for music lessons, family members practicing various instruments, listening to all sorts of music, school music programs, and local performances.
Montana has always been home for Angie, and music has taken her around the country and all over the world. Her musical travels began in high school, and after graduating she traveled with a music ministry to India, Africa, and 26 states in the U.S. Upon returning from her international musical travels, she studied music education at the University of Montana.
While an undergraduate, Angie was introduced to the world of bluegrass/folk music by her brother, Nate, and began singing and playing Dobro (resonator guitar) in a band, Broken Valley Roadshow. The band quickly became a local Missoula favorite and started playing festivals and shows around the country.
After graduating with a Bachelor’s in music education in 2006, then taking one last tour with the Broken Valley Roadshow across the country, Angie moved to Albuquerque, NM and enrolled at the University of New Mexico. She earned a Master’s in percussion performance in 2009 and then moved back to Montana where she taught music in a rural K-12 school and also maintained a private music studio, teaching percussion, piano, and voice. She also traveled to rural Montana schools, doing workshops and master classes in percussion.
In 2010, Angie moved back to Missoula, and was the associate principle percussionist of the Missoula Symphony Orchestra, and also spent time singing and playing in six different bands. In 2011 Angie was introduced to the wonderful world of music therapy. Another move in pursuit of music took her to Kalamazoo, Michigan where she attended Western Michigan University and received a second Master’s degree in music therapy. In 2014, after completing a 6-month internship in music therapy at Bronson Children’s Hospital and Hospice of Southwest Michigan, Angie passed her certification exam and officially became a Board Certified Music Therapist. Her first job as a music therapist took her to Elkhart county, Indiana to work with individuals of all ages with developmental, cognitive, and physical disabilities. She lived in Indiana, and worked for ADEC, Inc. helping people discover and use the power of music to live lives of choice and possibility.
Angie's ultimate goal was always to move back to Montana and bring music therapy along with her. In 2015, after finishing her Master’s in music therapy, she decided that the time had come to take the leap of faith, and bring music therapy to Missoula, Montana. She started her private practice, Missoula Music Therapy.
Angie is living her dream and now fills her days working with people of all ages and all stages of life, sharing the power of music and helping others discover its influence in order to live a better life. In addition to her work as a Music Together teacher, she facilitates music therapy groups for older adults in memory care with Alzheimer’s and dementia. She is a music therapist for Partners in Home Care Hospice, sharing music with people at the end of life. She also works with individuals in her private practice, bringing therapeutic music intervention to people with cognitive, neurological, developmental, social, psychological, and physical differences. In addition, she is a music therapist on staff at the Providence Center Neurobehavioral Medical Inpatient Unit working with psychiatric patients.
In addition to living her musical dream, Angie enjoys playing percussion in the Missoula Symphony Orchestra, gardening, fly fishing, skiing, dabbling in essential oils and natural wellness, and can be found soaking up the unique culture of Missoula… especially the outdoors, arts, and musical events.
Ariana Mohit grew up in a bicultural household filled with music, dancing, and the kind of silliness that comes with having 14 cousins. So when her best friend suggested that she take drama as her elective in high school, she decided to give it a try. For one thing, she couldn't imagine anything more dramatic than growing up half Persian in Los Angeles, and for another, it was sure to be an easy 'A'.
As it turned out, drama was the easy 'A' she was expecting. What she didn't expect was to fall so deeply and faithfully in love with the theatre.
Unfortunately, being an actor was not one of the three acceptable career paths (doctor, lawyer, engineer) available to a child of immigrants, so Ariana attended law school and kept her love for the theatre a secret.
She successfully practiced and taught law for over a decade before making the life-changing decision to become a stay at home mom.
As anyone who has ever been at home with a small child knows, getting outside is paramount to one's sanity. So Ariana began looking for an age-appropriate way to share her love for the performing arts with her young daughter. It was then that she discovered Music Together. She fell in love with the program and has been a "Music Together Mom" since 2012; bringing her daughter and then her son to classes in both California and Washington.
Ariana's passion for Music Together has grown as she has watched her children (now 3 and 5) become music makers and fall in love with music. She is excited to bring that enthusiasm and joy into her own Music Together classes where she aspires to create a playful, relaxed environment in which to share the magic of music!