Conservatory Connections

For Schools & Community Organizations

Conservatory Connections

Music Education for the Community

Inspire, energize, and generate lifelong learners with a skilled Wisconsin Conservatory of Music teacher at your school, day-care center, senior center, or organization. Conservatory Connections programs provide curriculum-based music instruction to community partners throughout southeast Wisconsin, tailored to each partner’s specific needs and goals.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, we have updated our curriculum to be delivered virtually and are prepared to offer live or recorded instruction via your preferred online platform. In-person, blended, and fully online programs are available for Summer and Fall 2021.

 

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EXPLORE AVAILABLE PROGRAMS ONLINE AND VIRTUAL INSTRUCTION

In all my years as a principal, I’ve never seen students more enthusiastic about music class than with our Conservatory teachers. It’s all hands-on from the very first class.
– PRINCIPAL ANGELA SMITH, BURBANK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, MILWAUKEE

Exceptional Music Education
for Your School or Organization

happy student

Grades: K4- 5th grade

General Music – Music Counts Curriculum

Our general music program, Music Counts, provides creative, engaging, curriculum-based classroom music education that meets state and national standards. A comprehensive music program designed to build fundamental musical skills, Music Counts aims to give every child a lifelong love of music.

Music Counts is available to public, private, charter, and choice schools as a fully integrated school music program or as a supplement to existing programs.

 

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kids playing drums

Grades: 5th-12th grade

Rhythm Residencies

Rhythm residencies focus on general music concepts and incorporate body percussion and instrumental exploration through bucket drumming. Using African drums, World Music residencies focus on the folkloric music of the African diaspora in the Caribbean. Students will discover African, Cuban, Haitian, and various cultural traditions through these programs.

 

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children playing with boomwhackers

Ages: 0-4 years

Early Childhood Music

Our early childhood program, Music Explorations, is an engaging and playful introduction to musical concepts for our youngest students who are at day care centers, preschools, libraries, churches, and other organizations.
Students will explore and learn musical concepts through singing, call and response, movement, and hands on music making in an encouraging and joyful environment.

 

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kids playing guitar

Grades: K4- 12th grade

Instrumental & Vocal Instruction

World-class educators are available for private and group instruction in your school or community. Lesson schedules are planned in collaboration with your organization and instructors are chosen based on the needs and abilities of your students.

Programs include:
Piano | Voice | Percussion | Guitar | Strings | Brass Woodwinds | Jazz | Rock | Suzuki | Songwriting | Theory

 

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woman playing violin

Grades: K4- 4th grade

Suzuki Strings

Students learn violin, viola, and cello using the Suzuki Method. The method treats music education in the same way that people learn to speak their native language; through listening, imitation, and repetition in a positive, nurturing learning environment with active parental participation.

All students will develop a solid technical foundation, tone, and musicianship skills with our highly trained Suzuki teachers.

 

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kids playing brass instruments

Grades: 5th-12th grade

Ensemble Programs

Help your students build team and social skills by collaborating with classmates and making new friends through music. Conservatory faculty direct ensemble students in choir, band, orchestra, jazz combos, rock bands, and chamber music. Programs include classroom instruction, rehearsal, and public performance opportunities.

 

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Over 80 Community Partners in the 2018-2019 academic year.


General Music Faculty

Adam Fisher

Chair – Woodwinds, Brass & Percussion

Education

  • Bachelor of Science, Music Education | University of Wisconsin – La Crosse
  • Master of Music, Trumpet Performance | University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee

Background

  • Joined the Conservatory faculty in 2017.
  • Plays with groups such as the Wisconsin and Milwaukee Philharmonics and the Lake County Symphony Orchestra.
  • Premiered new music with Present Music and DIY Chamber Ensemble.
  • Plays in the pit orchestras of dozens of musicals around Wisconsin.
  • Taught master classes throughout the Midwest.

Danielle Gedemer

Education

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music, Vocal Performance | University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Background

  • Joined the Conservatory faculty in December 2021.
  • Has taught singing in various forms since 2013.
  • Composes and co-directs an annual musical for the West Bend Parks and Recreation Department.
  • Has attended two National Association of Teacher of Singing conferences and completed the Estill Singing workshops.
  • Enjoys singing at St. Paul’s Episcopal and throughout the Milwaukee community.
  • Wrote a libretto for the Florentine Opera for Kids program.

Benjamin Haimann

Education

  • Bachelor’s Degree, Music Education, Music Performance | Ohio State University
  • Master’s Degree, Music Performance | University of South Carolina

Background

  • Began his musical studies at age nine, playing drum set and taking private percussion lessons.
  • Coached the percussion ensemble and spent time conducting the wind ensemble as a Teaching Assistant and Counselor for the Instrumental Music Program at The North Carolina Governor’s School East(summers of 2014-2015).
  • Was the Front Ensemble Instructor with the Grove City High School Marching Band, including a trip to the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California (2016-2017).
  • Received the prestigious Presser Foundation Scholarship while studying at Ohio State.
  • Worked as a Graduate Assistant for the University of South Carolina percussion studio and was the percussionist for the Spark Collective, a graduate quintet focusing on community engagement through music.
  • Won the concerto competition at the University of South Carolina in 2018 and performed Kevin Puts’ Marimba Concerto No. 1 with the University of South Carolina Symphony Orchestra in 2019.
  • Enjoys practicing marimba, making coffee, and hanging out with his dog, Lila.

Kaisa Herrmann

Kari Johnson

Education

  • Bachelor of Music, Piano Performance | St. Olaf College
  • Master of Music, Piano Performance/Pedagogy | University of Wisconsin-Madison

Background

  • Joined the WCM faculty in 2019 with 18 years of experience teaching private lessons as well as group piano.
  • Studied under Catherine Kautsky, Jessica Johnson, and Kenneth Graber.
  • Enjoys teaching students of all ages and levels, and her students have regularly participated in WMTA Auditions and the NFMC Festival.
  • Has served as an adjudicator for piano festivals and competitions.
  • Worked as a faculty member at community schools in the Boston, MA and Madison, WI areas.
  • Is a collaborative pianist for instrumental and vocal soloists and choirs.

Hannah Johnson

Education

  • Bachelor of Music, Jazz Studies | Indiana University Jacobs School of Music

Background

  • Joined the Conservatory faculty in January 2019.
  • Teaches and plays various styles of music on the drum set, specializing in jazz.
  • Plays with her modern jazz quartet in the Milwaukee area.
  • Featured as an instructor for the Vic Firth video series “Inside the Teaching Studio” entitled How to Sound Like Elvin Jones.
  • Has played with musicians such as Leni Stern, Ingrid Jensen, and Jamie Baum.
  • Enjoys teaching the bucket drumming and world percussion classes through the Conservatory Connections program, as well as private percussion lessons.

Leah Keller

Education

  • Master of Music in Music Theatre Vocal Pedagogy | Carthage College
  • Bachelor of Arts in Music Theatre with a Dance Minor | Carthage College
  • Academic focus on Functional Voice Training, Cross-Training, and the effects of Religious Trauma on Vocalists

Background

  • Joined the WCM team in 2021.
  • Milwaukee Based Actor, Voice Specialist, Choreographer, Dance and Theatre Instructor.
  • Has taught through Kindermusik with Emilie (Kenosha, WI), Character Kids Theatre Program (Frankin, WI), and The Boys and Girls Club (Kenosha, WI).
  • International travels include an Educational tour of Seussical in China (Shanghai, Xi’an, Beijing); Choreographer for The Lion King Jr. at Kwan Kwan Theatre School (Jinan, China); Member of the 2019 Carthage Choir, winners of the Spittal International Choral competition, under the direction of Dr. Garcia-Novelli.
  • Studied under Dr. Corinne Ness, Jeremy Ryan Mossman, Lorain Schwaber, and Peg Cleveland.
  • Believes that teachers are the guides to help bring agency, creativity, and inspiration to their students. Through their curriculum, teachers have an obligation to teach humanistic values as well, such as empathy, honesty, and responsibility.

Laura Mintz

Education

  • Bachelor of Music | Indiana University
  • Master of Music | University of Michigan

Background

  • Joined the Conservatory in 2018.
  • Received Suzuki Teacher Training with Mimi Zweig and Judy Offman.
  • Has taught students of all ages and levels for 25 years.
  • Created and directed Suzuki and traditional instrumental programs in schools in New York, Texas, Wisconsin, and London.
  • Has enjoyed a varied career as an orchestral violinist and freelance chamber musician, performing in the US and Europe with the New World Symphony, New Haven Symphony, Bayou City Chamber Orchestra, National Repertory Orchestra, and the Spoleto Festival Orchestra.
  • Chosen by Isaac Stern and Sir Georg Solti to perform and record as a member of the Solti Orchestra Project at Carnegie Hall.
  • Received first prize in the Fischoff International Chamber Music Competition.

Alexis Nungaray

Talia Pavia

Co-Chair – Strings

Education

  • Bachelor of Music | Northern Illinois University
  • Master of Music | Northern Illinois University
  • Performer’s Certificate | Northern Illinois University

Background

  • Member of the Conservatory String Faculty since 2018
  • Studied with international soloist Shmuel Ashkenasi and trained with the Grammy Award-winning Vermeer Quartet as a member of NIU’s Graduate String Quartet In-Residence
  • Received numerous awards and scholarships, including graduate fellowships, from both the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and the NIU Graduate School to pursue violin studies.
  • Performs as Associate Principal Second Violin of Camerata Chicago, is on the substitute list for the Minnesota Orchestra, and has touredboth nationally and internationally in chamber music festivals, including the Zeister Musiekdagen Chamber Music Festivalin the Netherlands.
  • As first violinist of the Ethereal Shima Quartet, her chamber music interpretations have been called “remarkably sensitive and mature” by John von Rhein of the Chicago Tribune.
  • Performance credits include the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic (Concertmaster, Emmy Award-winning recording), Chicago’s Symphony Center, and at acclaimed venues throughout the world with renowned artists including the incomparable fiddler Mark O’Connor and jazz Vocalist Kurt Elling.
  • Pavia’s students have won numerous concerto competitions and have gone on to pursue classical and contemporary violin performance at universities such as the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the Berklee School of Music.

Jennifer Rodriguez

Education

  • Bachelor of Science, Music Education | Ball State University
  • Master of Arts (in progress), Flute Performance | University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Background

  • Spent the past 5+ years teaching woodwind sectionals, flute sectionals, and private flute lessons at a variety of schools in the greater Indianapolis area.
  • Worked as the Community Programs Assistant for Classical Music Indy 2018-2019 and as Assistant Education Coordinator for the Muncie Symphony Orchestra in Spring 2018.
  • Worked as an Education Intern for the Chicago based not-for-profit, Fifth House Ensemble, in 2017.
  • Acted as inaugural secretary for the Flute Guild at Ball State University in 2017.
  • Performed Density 21.5 in Summer 2017 at the Milwaukee Art Museum through the Fresh Inc. Festival.
  • Sings with her band EKRUTEAK.
  • Spends her summers working as Program Coordinator for Music for the Sake of Music, a music not-for-profit providing free lessons and music ensembles in Green Bay, WI.

Emmy Rozanski

Education

  • Doctor of Musical Arts, Trombone Performance | Arizona State University

Background

  • Emmy Rozanski is an enthusiastic music educator and active freelance trombonist in the Milwaukee and Chicago areas.
  • Adjunct music faculty at Alverno College, teaching artist for Sistema Ravinia, and low brass instructor at Highland Park High School.
  • Traveled to El Salvador in the summers of 2019 and 2018 as a teaching artist with MusAid, leading classes in technique and ensemble skills, as well as teaching private lessons.
  • Currently the principal trombonist for the Skokie Valley Symphony Orchestra (Skokie, IL) and has recently performed with the International Women’s Music Festival Orchestra (Madison) Summit Brass (Denver), the Powder River Symphony (Wyoming), and the Billings Symphony (Montana).
  • Toured Switzerland performing with the Arizona Contemporary Music Ensemble.
  • She is researching motivation and growth mindset as they pertain to musicians and educators and presented on these topics at the 2019 International Trombone Festival and International Women’s Brass Conference.
  • As part of her doctoral project she wrote and illustrated a children’s book about the trombone, Mr. Fitch Joins the Band.

Joshua Sevigny

Education

  • Bachelor’s in Music Performance | Crane School of Music
  • Master’s in Music Performance | University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee

Background

  • Holds principal positions with the Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra and the Lake County Symphony Orchestra.
  • Has performed with the Southwestern Suburban Symphony Orchestra, Present Music Milwaukee, Northern Symphonic Winds, Racine Symphony, Wisconsin Philharmonic, Antioch Brass Quintet, and The Big Top Circus Band, and is on numerous sub lists in both Wisconsin and Illinois.
  • Performs with a number of local jazz and rock groups in the Milwaukee area.
  • Runs a large, successful low brass studio.
  • Has placed in and won numerous national and international competitions.
  • Does recitals and masterclasses at universities and solos with orchestras in the area, like the Lake County Symphony Orchestra this season.

Dana Sherman

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts, Music Performance and Mathematics | University of Wisconsin – Madison
  • Master of Music, Music Performance | Northwestern University

Background

  • Started at the Conservatory in the Fall of 2018.
  • Is currently Principal Horn of the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra, Third Horn of the Wisconsin Philharmonic, and a member of Alloy Horn Quartet, which was the Featured Guest Artist at the 2018 International Horn Symposium and featured soloists with the Kenosha Symphony Orchestra and Dubuque Symphony Orchestra.
  • Is a substitute musician with Lyric Opera, Milwaukee Symphony, Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra, and Grand Rapids Symphony.
  • Held positions in Omaha Symphony (Acting Associate Principal Horn) and New Mexico Philharmonic (3rd Horn).
  • Served as Brass Instructor and Associate Band Director with the El Sistema inspired program at Ravinia.
  • Taught horn at the Merit School of Music in Chicago, Glendale Community College in Phoenix, Arizona, and the Omaha Conservatory of Music.
  • Played at several summer music festivals, including Peninsula Music Festival (in Door County, WI), Grand Teton Music Festival (in Jackson Hole, WY), Pacific Music Festival (Japan), Sarasota Music Festival (Sarasota, FL), and Aspen Music Festival (Aspen, CO).

Brandon Washington


Thank You

Supported by the City of Milwaukee Arts Board & the Wisconsin Arts Board

WCM Jazz Residencies in Schools are supported in part by a grant from the Milwaukee Arts Board and the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin.