Meet our Team

 
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cathy Huser
Co-owner Thrive Arts, Licensed Kindermusik educator

Cathy started Kindermusik of Cleveland in 1996 and has been recognized as a top 1% Kindermusik Program worldwide every year since 2000. Cathy and her husband, Kevin, opened Thrive Arts January 2017 and are thrilled to bring all their Kindermusik classes into one beautiful location. She loves that Kindermusik reaches every child’s learning style and she sees the tremendous impact that a continuing musical education can have on a child’s development.

Cathy studied voice and has sung with many groups in Northeast Ohio, including The Western Reserve Chorale, PAND, The Renaissance Feasts at Stan Hewitt Hall, The Cleveland Music School Settlement Chamber Choir and Madrigal Singers.

She is also passionate about helping parents make parenting easier and more meaningful. Cathy has attended several Conscious Discipline Workshops, including an intensive 7-day workshop with Dr. Becky Bailey, creator of Conscious Discipline. 

RACHEL STONEKING
Studio Facilitator, Dance Program Coordinator, Licensed Kindermusik Educator, Certified Leap n' Learn Instructor

Rachel has loved both music and dance for as long as she can remember. She has broad experience teaching Kindermusik to children, and teaching various styles of dance to students ranging from the very young to University students. Rachel loves exploring how a child's development blossoms, and how the bond between parent and child strengthens, in inspiring and exciting ways through music and movement! She received her Master of Fine Arts degree in Contemporary Dance from Case Western Reserve University in  2012.  While in her graduate program, she studied voice with  Professor Beth McGee of the Theater Department, and Professor Marla Berg at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

DORINA NIKOLAEVA
Licensed Kindermusik Educator, Licensed Simply music piano instructor

Dorina's love of music stems from her years of comprehensive musical study in European culture where music education is a proud tradition. Seven years of music learning began in her Russian elementary school with study of music theory, musical history and literature, piano playing and choral singing. From this upbringing we have a warm and welcoming music enthusiast and a strong believer in music education for children. Dorina is eager to share her zeal for music and its positive influence on child development.  She is passionate about helping children discover their own strengths and talents, which she nurtures with Kindermusik’s unique, developmentally appropriate educational method and joyous, progressive piano instruction.

SARAH COLWELL
Licensed Kindermusik Educator

Sarah was surrounded by music as a child. After all, her grandmother was the music teacher in the small town where she grew up. Grandma taught Sarah to play the piano, and her school days were filled with choir, musical theater, and the band's percussion section. Naturally inquisitive and imaginative, Sarah loved exploring new instruments and trying new things. Following in Grandma's footsteps, Sarah is passionate about gently guiding children and families along their own paths in her Kindermusik classes, and she loves seeing those family relationships deepen through their shared love of music.

TARA PELL
Licensed Kindermusik Educator, board certified music therapist

Tara's role as a Kindermusik Educator is a natural extension to her career in music therapy. She loves seeing first hand the benefits of exposure to music at an early age. And with her passion for music and movement she feels privileged to be such a positive influence shaping young brains at their most impressionable window in life. Tara's academic work in music therapy and psychology helps her to appreciate and advocate the immense benefits that appropriate exposure to music has on our well being. Tara earned her Bachelor of Music degree in Music Therapy, with a minor in Psychology, at Baldwin-Wallace University in 2000 (cum laude), and she received her Master of Arts degree in Music Therapy at St. Mary-of-the-Woods College. In addition to teaching Kindermusik at Thrive Arts, Tara also serves as a music therapist at University Hospitals (adult oncology) and also leads Toddler Rock sessions at the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame.


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rachel stoneking
Studio Facilitator, Dance Program Coordinator, Licensed Kindermusik Educator, Certified Leap n' Learn Instructor

Rachel has loved both music and dance for as long as she can remember. She has broad experience teaching various styles of dance to students ranging in age from the very young to university students. Rachel loves working with the children at Thrive because she loves cultivating curious learners, encouraging imaginative movers, and being right there as their confidence blooms. Rachel received her Master of Fine Arts degree in Contemporary Dance from Case Western Reserve University in 2012. While in the MFA Contemporary Dance program, she received numerous awards and scholarships to study both domestically (Durham, NC and NYC) and abroad (Tel Aviv, Israel). Rachel's choreographic work has been presented at Cleveland Public Theatre and at CWRU. In addition to teaching at Thrive, Rachel also lectures in the CWRU Dance Department.

Dani Dowler

Client Care Coordinator, Certified Leap 'N Learn Instructor

Dani is the child whisperer, effortlessly connecting with children at eye level with genuine interest in what they're thinking about and what's going on with them. She loves immersing her students in the Leap 'n Learn pre-ballet curriculum, and her passion for gymnastics and dance influences her enthusiastic teaching in tap, swing and other dance style classes, too. She has taught both dance and gymnastics to children and adults for over 15 years - and she loves it. Dani holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in psychology and theater with a concentration in dance, and Master of Fine Arts degree in contemporary dance from Case Western Reserve University, where she was awarded the Lily Dreyfuss Memorial Award for Excellence in Dance. Her choreography has been presented through Cleveland Dance Exchange, Mather Dance Collective, Chorus Girl Camp, Get Hep Swing, and the Short Vincent Shakers. In addition to teaching at Thrive, Dani is a part-time lecturer and production manager for the CWRU dance department.


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Erin Magaw
Art discovery 1

Erin is passionate about encouraging toddlers and preschoolers to discover and explore their world through art, and to see the beauty in the textures, shapes and colors around them. She is known for her patience, creativity and loving manner with children and adults alike. Erin earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education from Ohio University and her Master of Early Childhood Education from Capella University. She is also lovingly known by her students at Carol Nursery School where she is a preschool teacher for three and four year olds.

Angela Schaal
Art Discovery 2, 3. Art evolution

Angela came to Thrive Arts with broad experience and study in the arts and art education. Her gentle, encouraging demeanor invites students to confidently try new things and create their own art. She hails from Dresden, Germany, an old city steeped in beautiful architecture and art. Before coming to Thrive, Angela owned and led Arts & Crafts stores in Dresden where she sold art materials, hosted art shows, created her own artwork and taught art to children and adults. After receiving her Bachelors of Education, Angela taught elementary school students in German language, mathematics and art for over 20 years. During this time, she continued her education in painting and drawing at the Art School of Zurich. She also earned a degree from the School of Health in Dortmund and became a Counselor of Psychology.

Angela and her husband moved to the United States in 2014 to be closer to their daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren.

Here at Thrive, she loves that she can continue her passion for teaching and for helping her students create their own beautiful art.

 
 

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doreen hall
Piano, Voice

Doreen has been teaching piano, performing and composing music for over 30 years. Her goal is to know her students well, reveal what motivates them, and teach them how to practice so that they can create beautiful music and enjoy playing the piano. She teaches beginners through advanced students with a standard classical piano repertoire, and enhances the student's experience by tuning in to what they enjoy, and mixing in music theory, composition and improvisation. Doreen earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Theory and Composition from State University of New York, Fredonia, and she did post graduate work in Elementary Education at Adelphi University. She is a Certified K-12 teacher (State of Florida). Doreen believes every student is special and that music education is the most wonderful gift we can give to ourselves and loved ones.

Kay Tabor
Piano, Voice

Kay grew up in a very musical family, and has been singing her whole life. She has been teaching private voice and piano lessons since 2008 to students of all ages and levels. Before coming to Thrive, Kay had 47 weekly students in Columbus, Ohio. She makes lessons fun and engaging, exposing students to a variety of genres including classical, pop, jazz, and musical theater. She tailors lessons to each student’s interests and helps them discover music they appreciate and enjoy. Kay believes that music is for everyone and that anyone can benefit from and enjoy musical study. Her formal lessons started with piano at age four, clarinet at age 10, and voice at age 15. She earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance (magna cum laude) from Wittenberg University (Springfield) and went on to graduate studies in Early Music Voice and Vocal Pedagogy at Indiana University.

Joshua Konow
Piano

Joshua was drawn to teaching at Thrive because he values the community that is building here and he loves the creative ways we reach and engage our students. He came to Cleveland in 2010 to study at Cleveland Institute of Music. He is very active in the Cleveland arts community as a teacher, conductor, and performer. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music and his Master of Music degree from CIM, studying under Antonio Pompa-Baldi as a piano major. 

When not at Thrive, Joshua spends his days as Music Director and Conductor of TrueNorth Chamber Orchestra, Music Director of Westlake United Methodist Church,  Music Director of Federated Church in Chagrin Falls, and as Principle Conductor of the Solon Philharmonic. 

He has performed as a conductor and pianist in locations throughout the United States, Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Italy. He is a four-time State Music Teacher National Association 1st Prize winner in Piano Performance.  

Jinyang tian
Piano

Jinyang Tian has taught a full range of student levels in the Chicago, Illinois area for the past eight years. She also performs as both pianist and organist, and has been in demand as an accompanist for instrumental and vocal soloists, chamber musicians, and large-scale opera productions.

A core tenet of Jinyang’s teaching philosophy is to establish strong musical fundamentals through individual musical exploration. Through the study of classic and contemporary literature, students will reinforce good performance and practice habits while playing music that interests them. Jinyang believes that every student has musical potential and that it is her responsibility to dig into that potential in order to plant a seed of musical love into each student’s heart.

Jinyang earned two masters degrees from Northern Illinois University: one in piano performance and one in collaborative piano. She earned her undergraduate degree from the Shenyang Conservatory of Music in Shenyang, China.

Madelaine Matej MacQueen
Voice

Madelaine is a critically acclaimed vocalist and she loves teaching students of any age at Thrive. She enjoys the engaging spirit of the arts community here, and while she's busy pursuing her Ph.D. she is energized by her enthusiastic voice students.

Madelaine graduated from University of the Pacific in 2016 with a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance (summa cum laude). She studied with tenor Daniel Ebbers and was designated a Powell Scholar in Pacific’s most distinctive academic program.  She has trained in master classes with Wagnerian soprano Linda Watson, William Schumann from the Academy of Vocal Arts, and Broadway music director Paul Staroba.  In 2015, she was inducted into Pi Kappa Lambda, the national honor society for musical achievement and academic scholarship. Her first-place competition awards include the Avanti Award (2016); Kathe Underwood Scholarship of Stockton Opera Guild (2015); the Ray Eberle Vocal Scholarship of the Glenn Miller Birthplace Society (2013); the Classical division winner of the California Capital Chapter, National Association of Teachers of Singing (2013); and the Manlio Silva Young Artist Award from Stockton Symphony (2012).

THOMAS POORE
Guitar

With over 30 years experience, Thomas has taught at the North Carolina School of the Arts Community Music Center and the Cleveland Institute of Music Preparatory Department. He teaches students of all ages, from beginners to aspiring professionals. Tom helps students get the best progress from their practice time and foster a love for the process of learning to play the guitar.

Tom is thrilled to join the Thrive Team because he loves how Thrive focuses on the process of learning to meet each child where he or she is developmentally.

Tom’s background in teaching children includes Suzuki training, outreach programs through the Broadway School of Music and Passport Program, and the Cleveland Public Schools Arts in Summer Education Program. Tom earned his bachelor’s degree at the North Carolina School of the Arts, and master’s degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

James Matej MacQueen
Violin, Viola, Scottish Fiddle, Music Theory, Composition

James shares his joy for music by teaching lessons that are fun, exciting, and intellectually stimulating. He helps students learn musical self-expression through technical mastery of the instrument. In addition to mastery of the violin, students will become familiar with music theory and music history through the repertoire they work on. 

Students have the option of exploring the Suzuki method, traditional methods, and Scottish fiddle. In addition to these three main areas of focus, James also offers lessons for viola, music theory, and composition. 

James earned a Master of Music degree in Violin Performance from University of Denver, and a Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance and composition from University of the Pacific. He is a registered violin teacher with the Suzuki Association of the Americas. In addition to his passion for teaching, James performs music from the classical and Scottish genres locally and nationally.

Rebecca Shasberger
Cello

Praised for the “maturity and sensitivity” of her playing (Casa Magazine), Rebecca Shasberger is passionate about sharing music with others both as a performer and teacher. As a concerto soloist Rebecca has been heard by audiences from California to China, and as a chamber musician she has been recorded by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in a live performance of a world-premiere string octet. Rebecca is the founding cellist of the Kalos String Quartet, with who she attended the McGill International String Quartet Academy. Additional summer festival appearances include the Banff Centre, the Aspen Music Festival, Credo Chamber Music, and the Toronto Summer Music Festival. In the orchestral realm Rebecca has performed with the West Coast Symphony, the Canton Symphony, and the Lancaster Festival Orchestra, among others. Rebecca received her Master of Music in Cello Performance and Suzuki Pedagogy from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Performance from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. She has taught in a variety of settings across the country, and loves watching her students grow both as people and musicians through learning to play the cello.

Jacqueline Wood
Flute

Jacqueline teaches Flute and Piccolo specializing in classical performance and pedagogy. Her personal philosophy is that music should be accessible to students of all ages, skill levels, and ability.She believes that studying music provides a unique and enriching experience that cannot be duplicated anywhere else. She is committed to helping students achieve success in music. Jacqueline graduated from Baldwin-Wallace University with a Bachelor of Music Education degree in 2014 from Cleveland State University with a Master in Music Performance degree in 2016.

Steven Seritti
Brass

Steven is passionate for educating and empowering students who have a desire to learn. His personable and friendly demeanor helps him adapt to the individual needs of his families. 

Steven has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a focus on International Studies, and a Bachelor of Arts in Music with a focus on Trombone Performance from Baldwin Wallace University. Steven is also an English Language instructor at ELS Language Centers in Cleveland OH. He lived in Hiroshima Japan for several years as an English Language Instructor at Artlingual Language Institute.