Mary K Ferreter – Assistant Executive Director
I have been working along side Neil Moore since January 1999. It was his vision and incredible integrity that inspired me to change careers to be a part of Simply Music. It has been a wonderful journey and I am excited to see what the future holds.
I am one of the Simply Music Directors and on the Simply Music Council. I have played many different roles during my tenure but I currently head up our philanthropic ventures, communications, and oversee all administration. Supporting staff development, both personal and professional, and maintaining the Simply Music Culture within the organization are what I love to do. When not at work I’m outside – riding my bike, hiking the Sierras, working in the garden or walking my dogs.
Gian Montesini – Director of Operations
I have been with Simply Music since 2009 – started out as a parent, taking my daughter to her Simply Music lessons, then I became a teacher and got to experience for myself the joy that Simply Music brought to all my students and since January 2012 I have joined the head office staff as the Director of Operations. I have to say that, by far, this has been the greatest professional experience of my life.
After spending 25 years in large corporations such as Ford Motor Company, Volkswagen and Hewlett Packard, both in my native Brazil and in the US, it is very rewarding to be part of a dynamic team fulfilling this mission of making “… a world where everyone plays.” I am a Project Manager by trade, with extensive experience in finance and controllership, as well as the services industry.
When not tracking projects for Simply Music, I enjoy teaching music and drama to K-6 students, playing squash, running, playing the saxophone and spending time with family & friends.
Robin Keehn – Director of Development
I have been a Simply Music Teacher since 2003 and have worked for Simply Music since 2009. I grew up making music—my first formal lessons were Suzuki violin and then I changed to the piano when I was 10. I played very well by ear and loved to play with other musicians. I studied piano through college but never quite conformed to the classical training I was given. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Masters in Public Affairs from the University of Washington.
As a young mother, I enrolled my first child in Kindermusik and in 1995 became a Kindermusik Educator. I taught traditional private piano lessons but actively looked for a way to teach in groups where students joyfully participated together and could use the musical gifts that they had. In 2003 I found Simply Music and it has transformed my teaching and my own relationship with the piano and other instruments. The results that my students achieve are consistently remarkable. I love teaching Simply Music!
I currently am the co-owner of Aspire Academy of Expressive Arts in Sequim, Washington where I have had the honor of teaching hundreds of students to play the piano. I am the Director of Development at Simply Music and am responsible for the Teacher Training Program, providing ongoing support for teachers as well as developing programs, recruiting teachers and taking on anything that needs doing. I also serve on the Simply Music Council.
Stacie Davison – Teacher Services Manager
I am the Teacher Services Manager and I have been a Simply Music staff member since 2006. I have an administrative role and my main job duties include handling the banking, teacher status updates, payroll, inventory, and Simply Music Rhapsody teacher management.
I am originally from Ventura, CA. My twin sister, Stefanie, and my parents still live there so I enjoy going to visit as much as I can. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from San Diego State University in 2003. I attended California State University, and earned a Master’s Degree in Psychology in 2010.
In my free time I enjoy running. I have been a runner for 4 years and have completed over 35 races including 11 half marathons and 2 full marathons.
I have a green cheek conure name Gracie that I absolutely love and adore. When I am not playing with Gracie, I enjoy camping, scrapbooking, going to the beach, makeup, sewing, and listening to my favorite band, Incubus.
Samantha Born – Media Services Manager
I was born and raised in Sacramento, CA by my wonderful parents and with my two sisters and brother. My family is all still in Sacramento, but they’ve grown in numbers!
I received my Bachelors Degree in Business Administration from California State University, Monterey Bay, in 2009. My husband and I returned to Sacramento soon after graduating and purchased our first home.
I began working at Simply Music in the winter of 2010 and am currently the Media Services Manager. My days consist of overseeing all of the Simply Music social media platforms, developing and maintaining the array of new Simply Music websites and pretty much anything else media related!
These days, my husband and I anxiously awaiting the birth of our first child this fall, while preparing our first “baby,” Diego for the change!
Anthony Valera – Web Developer
I just recently joined the team at Simply Music, and am excited in developing all sorts of cool things. I was born in the San Francisco bay area and grew up around technology. Building my first computer as a kid, made me realize how much I enjoy building and creating things.
I’ve been developing websites on-and-off for 7 years and have experience in PHP, MySQL, HTML, CSS, Responsive Design, Widgets, and a tiny bit of Ruby and C++. I’m currently attending Sacramento City College and hope to transfer to Sac State soon.
In my free time I enjoy traveling, playing and listening to music, creating websites, and being with family. I play guitar and a bit of piano, as well as produce using DAW’s. I look forward to the future and would love to create the technology to get us there.
Stephanie Iadanza – Art Director/Senior Designer
After graduating from the Art Institute of Philadelphia, I developed my design skills, not only in print, but in various forms of creative media such as web, photo and video. Working with clients such as: Comcast, General Mills, Villanova University, Metanexus Institute and more, has allowed me to be the detail-oriented, savvy and hard-woking Designer that I am today.
I head the art department of Simply Music, ensuring that each program’s (SMP, TX, PAS, SMR, SMA) individual and unique branding needs are met. While maintaining the general look and feel of the organization as a whole(the Simply Music Brand), I also oversee the overall presentation of Simply Music’s program materials. This includes: visual identities, concepts, maintaining original or stock artwork, formatting & layout development, stylizing components, print management, etc. Having my hands in almost everything Simply Music, I work in tandem with José Rivera, my ‘right-hand man’, Daniel in the Video Dept., Chase in the Audio Dept., and Samantha in the Web Dept. on ensuring the integrity of the brand within all aspects of the company; ensuring each individual piece is visually communicated properly to its intended target audience regardless of format.
Jose Rivera – Graphic Designer
After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Graphic Design from Sacramento State in 2011, I joined Simply Music as a graphic designer in July of 2012.
As a graphic designer, my role is to contribute to Simply Music’s global visual identity by maintaining consistency in the look and feel of all Simply Music programs with a clean, modern design approach.
When I am not working at Simply Music, I spend my time working on various creative projects, reading (mostly science-fiction) and hiking around the hills of Northern California.
Sarah Mace – Administrative Assistant
I just began as an Administrative Assistant in May 2013, and am excited to join the Simply Music family! I mainly work on processing orders, help with teacher inquiries, process new teacher information, and assist with other administrative duties. I love the unique culture at Simply Music and look forward to what’s ahead for us!
Outside of work, my favorite things to do include music, food, and traveling. I frequently go on road trips and love traveling all over Mexico. I hope to one day travel to every state there and in the US. Aside from that, I love to get my hands dirty, whether its cooking, baking, painting, or some other way to make a mess! And, of course, I love to spend time with my friends, family and dog, Finn.
Daniel Kielman – Videographer
I received a Master’s of Fine Arts in Cinema from San Francisco State University in 2010. I joined Simply Music as a Video Production Specialist in 2012, overseeing and managing all of the video production elements for Simply Music. I produce videos of the best quality possible that engage the viewer. I have been working in the realm of film and video for over 10 years, constantly refining and expanding my skills in the medium and taking in every ounce of cinema that I can.
I grew up in Sacramento, CA and see my family often. My sister and I make it a point to regularly watch a horror film every Friday night and catch up on TV shows. I enjoy running in order to train for marathons and regularly play guitar and violin; music is a passion that I have a hard time keeping quiet about.
When not at Simply Music I do concert photography, write, watch films and produce a podcast. I am constantly trying to beat video games and attending local shows with friends. A few of my favorite films are Magnolia (1999), Persona (1966), Notorious (1946), High Fidelity (2000) and My Neighbor Totoro (1988). My favorite album is The Beatles’ Revolver, my favorite TV show is Arrested Development and my favorite game is The Legend of Zelda (NES).
Kevin Meyer – Teacher Trainer
I first began studying music as an adult. After one year of musical, self-instruction, I heard of a method from Australia that presented a new way to read music. It was here that I first met Neil Moore.
I then participated in the very first Simply Music Teacher Training that was offered and immediately changed careers to be a full time Simply Music Piano Teacher.
I absolutely love teaching piano. I have run a studio, averaging 80 students in both Private and Shared Lessons, for the last 15 years or so. My current responsibilities include teaching, running Introductory Sessions as well as working with teachers to improve their teaching and knowledge of the Simply Music curriculum. Currently, I conduct Simply Music Conference Calls, hold local teacher meetings and assists in the training of new, Simply Music teachers.
I have a passion for working with teachers to both improving their teaching skills as well as expand their businesses.
Gordon Harvey – Director of Programs
I have taught piano since 1994 and have worked with Simply Music since its beginning. I attended the first Simply Music Teacher Training in 1998 and, with Kerry Hanley, launched the organisation in Australia. Since then I’ve worked in a great variety of roles, including management, administration, teacher training, certification and coaching, and online development. As Director of Programs, I am involved with developing content and working with other teachers creating programs for Simply Music. I am a member of the Simply Music Council and also edit and write for The Playground, the Simply Music blog.
Although I only formally learned piano as an adult (as one of Neil Moore’s very first students) I have been a musician most of my life. I play bass and keyboards and compose music with my bands Mediadogs and Strawman and have written music for film and television.
Caroline Schmidli – National Manager
I grew up on a farm in the county of Devon, England and after doing an exchange program and meeting my future husband, moved to Melbourne, Australia in 1994. My background is varied, but one which has ultimately given me all the skills and experience to finally work with Simply Music; having worked in the care industry with the elderly, children and mentally disabled young adults, then moving into corporate administration, running my own music business with Mini Maestros and teaching piano.
The performing arts are a big part of my life. I have acted in numerous theatre productions and even dabbled in film and television. Musically I have been gifted with the ability to play a number of instruments. Of course, piano is one of my main instruments and I played trombone in the British Legion Band for several years. However, the instrument I feel the most affinity with is the Irish whistle. I have started a Celtic band and attend sessions where rooms are filled with an eclectic mix of people and instruments all playing with such joy and a sense of community; something that resonates with the culture of Simply Music.
Mel Karajas – Publicity & Outreach Manager
I joined Simply Music in July, 2009 and it has been an incredible ride so far. I began as an office assistant doing everything from packing and despatching orders to finances and website work. I am presently the coordinator of The Playground, trainee of our design department and part of various team for events.
I am also a partner to Mark, mother to Cooper and Logan, lover of 90′s house music, trying very hard to establish my vegie patch and working on my ‘faux hawk’.
Gretta Dunn – Teacher Services Manager
I have been working for Simply Music since 2011 after moving to Melbourne from country Victoria where I had been teaching. My role at Simply Music is in Teacher Services, which includes processing online orders, teacher enquiries, CSU’s, and other day to day tasks.
When I’m not at work I am a performing musician a songwriter and a part time teacher.
Kerry Hanley – Teacher Trainer
I grew up on a farm in the wheatbelt of Western Australia. I took traditional piano lessons for years from the age of 8, later also studying double bass. Apparently singing before I could walk, >I took voice lessons as an adult. I completed a Certificate of Music in Jazz (piano) at the W.A. Academy of Performing Arts and have been teaching piano since 1989. Having worked with Neil Moore since 1992, I introduced Simply Music to Australia (with Gordon Harvey) after Simply Music’s inception in early 1998.
After establishing a network of teachers in Perth, I moved to the U.S. for four years, working for Simply Music on a multitude of projects, including the filming and production of both the Teacher Training and Student Home Materials.
Now based in Melbourne, Australia, I teach from my studio (commercial premises) in Balwyn North, where I employ and coach a Simply Music teacher.
I am currently employed by Simply Music (Australia) to train and license new teachers, and to assess and coach teachers in their applications to elevate their Simply Music Teacher Status. I love teaching this program; sharing my experience with other teachers; and playing a part in creating a world where everyone plays!
Ray Nelson – Teacher Trainer
I have been involved with music education over the past 27 years. I graduated from Northwest University in Washington State, with a degree in music and have served on the musical faculty at the University of the Nations in Kona Hawaii, as well as the Culture House School of Performing Arts, and Trilogy Cultural Arts Centre, both located in the Kansas City area.
I began using the Simply Music method in 2006 with my students, and after a period of time developed my studio into all group classes. After seeing the need for more teachers in the Kansas City area, I pioneered and developed the Kansas City Simply Music Teachers Association (KCSMTA) which continues to have a strong and growing membership.
In 2011, I relocated along with my wife and three children, to New Zealand, were I developed “Keys 2 Success Creative Arts Academy”, a full-time studio, offering Simply Music classes, as well as a variety of classes in the creative arts for all ages. I am actively involved in promoting Simply Music through conducting Teacher Information workshops, as well as training and mentoring new teachers in New Zealand. I have a passion to help teachers reach their full creative potential in their studios. Along with my wife Maxine, we run the GLO (Giving Life Opportunities) performing arts children program in our local church, during the school holidays, which reaches out to the youth in our community.
I have also had the privilege of being a guest presenter at a number of Simply Music Conferences, held in the USA and Australia, and enjoy networking with other SM teachers.