Our Teachers

We Love What We Do 

All of our teachers are passionate about music and the development of children and are trained to work with infants, toddlers and preschoolers.  We create a fun, informal, social setting that spurs engagement and supports each child's musical development. We are all Registered Music Together® teachers, trained by the Center for Music and Young Children in Princeton, NJ. 

Teacher schedule is subject to change without prior notice.

 

photo Gila Rappaport

Gila Rappaport was born, raised and educated in South Africa. Gila has been involved with every aspect of musical theater, from performing to production to directing. She is well-known in the Dallas area for her superb direction of "Fiddler on the Roof," "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" "Shushan Rock", "I Believe", "Alice in Wonderland" and "Annie".

Gila became a Registered Music Together Teacher shortly after 'feeling the magic' in her first class as a mom with her 9 month old daughter.  At first she just taught on Sundays but still couldn't get enough and quickly closed her import company and started teaching 6 days a week.  She loved the program so much, she bought the license in 2007.

Children and adults love her fun-loving, silly, South African style! Gila also teaches Zumba, Zumbini and does Musical Birthday Parties.

 

     
photo Debora Tillman

Debora Tillman resides in Dallas, TX, with her husband and son, Miles. Debora was born and raised in Brazil; where she grew up in a musical home and even released a Christian children’s album at the age of five.  In 2003, Debora and her family came to the U.S. as missionaries and musicians at a Brazilian church in Carrollton, TX.  Debora graduated in 2007 from Christ for the Nations Institute with an Associate degree in Practical Theology and Worship Ministry.

With a passion to impact others through music, Debora decided to go back to school to pursue a degree in music therapy.  Her journey began at Collin County Community College where she excelled and was awarded a full transfer scholarship to the prestigious Southern Methodist University (SMU).

In addition to her studies for four years, Debora was privileged to be part of “The New Collection,” a professional jazz ensemble that was led by Paris Rutherford who founded the UNT Vocal Jazz Program.  Debora recently graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy from Southern Methodist University and is looking forward to continue to work on her craft as a singer, musician, and eventual music therapist in order to impact people’s lives through the power of music. She has worked with children with developmental needs in multiple settings including Highland Park ISD, older adults with dementia, children and adolescents in an eating disorders program at Children’s Medical Center, and cancer patients at UT Southwestern as part of her clinical training as a music therapy student. She also taught music classes for babies and toddlers in a preschool and is passionate about working with little ones.

In 2016, a friend introduced Debora to Music Together and after enrolling her son Miles, Debora fell in love with the program and completed the Music Together teacher training in the Summer of 2017.  Debora now teaches classes for Music Together Dallas and remains excited about the opportunity of meeting and making music with families!

     
photo Jenna Hadar

While growing up in Maryland, music was a constant in Jenna’s life.  Her early years were filled with voice, theater, dance & piano lessons.  In her free time, she staged some “amazing” shows for her family in her living room.  In addition to living room performances, Jenna has over 30 years of experience in vocal performances and theater on public stages. She was a well-recognized actress for many years in the Baltimore theater community.  Favorite roles include Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz”, Minnie Fay in “Hello Dolly”, and Linda in “Blood Brothers”.  Jenna was last seen on the Dallas stage as Kate Monster in “Avenue Q” and musically directed “Grease” in the summer of 2015 in Plano.

Jenna is a true lover of all things “artsy”.  In college she enjoyed studying Art History, Music, and Architecture.  While she holds a degree in Interior Design, Jenna decided to close her residential design business in 2007 when her son was born.  While attending music and story time classes with her son she knew that teaching an early love for music and books was her passion!  In 2010, Jenna began working as a preschool song leader and librarian.  She was responsible for creating and writing the curriculum for “Reading, Music and Mitzvot”, a music and story time for community families and a Daddy and Me music class called “Cookies and Milk” in Charlotte, North Carolina.  

Bringing the love of music to people’s lives is Jenna’s passion.  One day, on a whim, she decided to Google “family music classes” and came across Music Together.  After researching the curriculum and philosophy she fell in LOVE with the program.  Upon completing her training is 2016, she jumped into teaching and has been looking forward to “work” each day since. 

When Jenna is not teaching Music Together, she is homeschooling her son Jacob, or involved in some theater project (either hers or Jacob’s).    

     
photo Jacob Hadar (Miss Jenna's son)

Jacob has been assisting his mother, Jenna, in Music Together since 2016. He is currently homeschooled and attends the North Texas Performing Arts Academy.  He plays some piano and is learning the guitar.  He enjoys music, writing his own musicals, playing video games, making slime, & hanging out with friends.  He has been doing theatre since he was 4. He enjoys watching the babies and toddlers enjoy the music and can’t wait until he is old enough to become a certified MT teacher!  When he grows up he wishes to be a homeschooling Dad, and a famous Broadway writer. 

     
photo Laurie Willis

In addition to teaching Music Together, Laurie is also a professional belly dancer, mother of two, and a Sunday School teacher/co-program director.  Laurie's love of music and dance began in childhood, attending ballet classes and watching her mother perform in the Sweet Adelines, a women's barber shop chorus.

She took her first child, Verona, to Music Together classes years ago and fell in love with the program. As Verona grew, she proved over and over that Music Together really does lay the ground work for future musical accomplishments, easily developing her talents in Irish whistle, voice, and piano.  She now brings her second child to classes and is continually astonished at his musical development.

Laurie is very excited to sing and play Music Together with you and your family!

     
photo Cindy Peterson

Cindy has been singing for as long as she can remember, growing up listening to (and singing along with) records of Broadway musicals and her parents’ music from the 60’s in Wichita, Kansas.  After several years of piano lessons, a few playing the flute, and singing in choir in high school, she started college not sure exactly what she wanted to do for a career, but with the intent of pursuing a music minor.  A few semesters later, she was a Music Education major at Friends University in Wichita, where she sang and toured with the Singing Quakers.  Since graduating, Cindy has been teaching music to elementary school children for nearly two decades in Kansas and Texas, earning her Master’s in Elementary Music Education with a Kodály emphasis along the way.  

She married her husband, Seth, in 2012 bringing her from her lifelong home in Kansas to Plano, Texas.  They have since been blessed with two beautiful, energetic, funny children: Knox and Janie.  She continues to sing in choir and lead children and youth in music activities at church in Allen.  Though she has loved working with thousands of amazing kiddos over these years of teaching music, Cindy resigned her teaching position in Allen to have the opportunity to spend more time with her babies in these precious years, while also continuing to share the joy of music with our community’s youngest citizens and their grown-ups.  She is so excited to share her passion for music, movement and creativity with MTD children and families! 

     
photo Alice McIlrath

Alice McIlrath was born and raised in American Fork, Utah.  She began singing in a children’s choir at the age of 8, studying piano at the age of 9, and the violin at the age of 11. Music soon took over her life (in a good way) and she knew that was what she wanted to study in college and do for a living.

Alice holds a Bachelor of Musical Arts in Violin Performance from Brigham Young University - Idaho.  During her studies she participated in many music competitions, winning multiple awards including the opportunity to solo with the Weber State Symphony Orchestra.  She has performed with professional groups such as the Idaho Falls Symphony, Cheyenne Symphony, and Wyoming Symphony as well as multiple college symphonies and chamber ensembles.

Alice was introduced to Music Together and received her teaching certificate while teaching private violin lessons at a Music Together studio in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2008. She didn’t actually start teaching Music Together classes until 2014 when the opportunity presented itself after moving to Laramie Wyoming.  She taught Music Together classes for 3 years while raising her two beautiful children.

Now Alice is due in February 2019 with her 3rd child and is more excited than ever to introduce the joys of music to as many children and families as possible. She loves watching her own kids’ musical growth and sees daily the impact Music Together has made on her own family. There is such a joy in helping young families bring music alive with their children in music class and at home.

     
photo Jenna Leonard

Jenna Leonard is excited to be joining the Music Together Dallas family! Jenna and her daughter, Madison, have been attending MTD classes since Winter 2018. After watching Madison’s personal developments and seeing the benefits of early exposure to music education, Jenna fell in love with the Music Together curriculum and program!  She is thrilled to have the opportunity to share music with other families!

Jenna grew up in Dallas in a very musical family. Both of her parents served in church music and have backgrounds in music education. Jenna attended many choir rehearsals growing up! Jenna chose to carry on the torch and attended Oklahoma Baptist University, where she obtained her degree in music education with a vocal emphasis. During her time at OBU, she was actively involved in the choral and preparatory departments (working with babies through college aged musicians). After graduation, Jenna returned to DFW and spent 8 years teaching secondary choral music in the Eagle Mountain-Saginaw and Denton Independent School Districts.

Outside of Music Together, Jenna and Madison can be found participating in events with the Carrollton Early Childhood PTA, attending story time and reading any chance they get, or at home playing games and doing puzzles with Daddy (Matt) and their sweet pup (Cash).

     
photo Miriam Morales

Miriam Morales has been teaching for 10 years and truly loves working with students of all levels and encouraging them to develop a deep love for music. She graduated from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas and holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Media with an emphasis in Piano from the University of Texas at Arlington. She also holds a Masters Degree from Dallas Theological Seminary in Media Arts and Worship.

 

Miriam has taught for multiple music studios and non-profit organizations in the DFW area including the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Dallas, Big Thought, Junior Players and Arts Net.

She has served as the pianist for several churches and performs for weddings, corporate events and private parties. Currently she is the Executive Director for Music with Miriam, a lessons studio in Park Cities which has equipped over 200 students to play music they enjoy.