Category Archives: Music Together

Melissa Ludwa

  • Master of Education, School Counseling, Butler University, Indiana

Melissa Ludwa earned a Masters in Education in School Counseling and is an Early Childhood Music Specialist. She is a Certification Level I teacher for Music Together and looks forward to making Music Together again with the families at Crescendo Academy of Music in Kalamazoo.

Melissa, has fed her passion for singing by engaging in solo and ensemble work in a variety of genres and venues throughout career. While studying at Butler University in Indianapolis, Melissa participated in workshops with The King’s Singers, Rockapella, and Take 6. She has been a founding member of The Cleveland Chamber Choir as well as Kaleidosong in Cleveland and Six in the City in Indianapolis- two select vocal jazz ensembles. Additional highlights from Melissa’s musical experiences include performing at the Bay View Music Festival near Petoskey, MI; singing live with Bobby McFerrin; attending Master Classes with Diana Krall and Harry Connick, Jr.; and several seasons as an ensemble member and soloist with Encore Vocal Arts in Indianapolis. Perhaps most importantly, Melissa still sings lullabies nearly every evening to her own boys, now ages 5 and 8.

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Caitlyn Bodine

  • B.A. Music, Southwestern University, Georgetown, TX
  • B.A. Spanish, Southwestern University, Georgetown, TX
  • MT-BC degree equivalency, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI
  • M.M. Music Therapy, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI

Caitlyn has been teaching private piano lessons since 2008 when she quit her full-time job because she couldn’t handle its non-musical nature anymore!  After helping to establish a thriving music school in Chicago’s Lincoln Square neighborhood, she relocated to Kalamazoo in 2011 to pursue a masters degree in Music Therapy.  As a board-certified music therapist, Caitlyn works contractually and privately in Kalamazoo, primarily with at-risk children and families and with seniors in memory care.  In addition to private lessons and therapy, Caitlyn is a certified Music Together teacher and a Music Together Within Therapy provider.  When not playing an instrument, Caitlyn can be found on her bike, in the woods, or singing to the plants in her garden.

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Jeanna Cervantes-Hickman

  • Bachelors of Music Performance (Voice), University of Michigan
  • Masters of Music Education and Education Certification, Michigan State University

Mrs. Cervantes-Hickman is a music educator for the Kalamazoo Public schools.  She has taught K-5 elementary general music in the Kalamazoo Public School system since 2002.  Mrs. Cervantes-Hickman is an active member of the West Michigan Orff Chapter and holds a Level I Certification from Anderson University.  As an educator, she is interested in the connections of music and brain development. She enjoys integrating social studies, world music, movement, art and other disciplines into her elementary school classes.

Prior to teaching in the public schools, Mrs. Cervantes-Hickman taught early childhood music classes at the Michigan State University Community Music School.  She was first introduced to Music Together in Kalamazoo as a parent, as she attended classes with her daughter at Crescendo Academy of Music.  She has returned to teaching early childhood classes and strongly believes that music at an early age is crucial for social, cognitive, physical and musical development in all children.

She is married to Kip Hickman, Principal Trombone Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, and they have three daughters.

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Bev Guthrie

  • Bachelor of Arts & Bachelor of Education Degrees, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.

Bev is a Music Together® Preschool Specialist. In addition to teaching at Kalamazoo College, Bev plays oboe with the South Bend Symphony Orchestra.

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Cathi Smits

  • Crescendo Academy Music Together Program Director
  • Cert II Music Together Specialist

Cathi Smits has been teaching Music Together for the past 17 years.  After completing the Music Together training under the direction and mentoring of Dr. Lili Levinowitz (Coauthor of Music Together LLC), she taught at Pakachoag Music School in Worcester, MA for five years.  When her family moved, she continued to teach Music Together in Wisconsin. While teaching in Wisconsin, she completed the professional Music Together Cert I Training with Susan Darrow (now the CEO of Music Together). She operated a licensed site for four years in Hudson, WI for “Music Together in the Valley” for before moving to Kalamazoo, MI.

Along with teaching family classes at Crescendo, Cathi is a Preschool Music Together Specialist for Marvelous Music which is a collaboration between the  Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra and Crescendo Academy of Music. Marvelous Music brings Music Together into nearly 40 Headstart, KPS PEEP, and other high-needs classrooms each school year. While preparing for the Marvelous Music program, Cathi continued her professional training with Music Together LLC by being selected for the challenging and demanding Cert II training, completing her training in 2010 under the direction and mentoring of Ken Guilmartin (co-author/founder of Music Together).  Cathi’s passion for making music with little friends and their families is well known.  Some have said that “Miss Cathi” is legendary in their child’s lives. She continues to work passionately and lovingly at changing the world one Music Together class at a time.

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