Meet the Director, Teachers, and Staff

Our teachers are passionate about music and the development of children and have all successfully completed the Music Together® Teacher Training Workshop developed by the Center for Music and Young Children in Princeton, New Jersey.  They have been carefully selected and have spent at least one semester observing classes led by an experienced teacher as well as participating in student-teaching activities.  We are confident in our teachers' abilities and take pride in the fact that each one brings her own musical personality to our classes.  We encourage you to meet them all!

photo Catherine Denmead

Catherine, our center director, discovered Music Together as a new mom living in Brooklyn, NY and has been hooked ever since!  Catherine is a West Hartford native and has an extensive music background.  She is an accomplished cellist with bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Eastman School of Music.  The Center for Music and Young Children in Princeton, NJ recently awarded Catherine Music Together Certification Level I status for outstanding achievement in teaching, musicianship, program philosophy, and parent education.  In addition to performing and teaching music, she has worked to expand opportunities for artists and musicians as a member of the program department at Chamber Music America and as a development consultant for David Bury & Associates in New York City.  Her commitment to forming meaningful connections through music has led her to such experiences as an 8-week residency in rural Kentucky as a member of the Florestan String Quartet where she performed educational programs for more than 17,000 school students.  It has been Catherine's lifelong dream to be immersed in music in ways that promote community and understanding among people of different ages and backgrounds, and has found that very dream right here with Music Together.  Catherine is a proud mama two beautiful, musical daughters, Ella and Chloe, and lives in West Hartford.

photo Susan Freese

Sue grew up in a large Canadian family. She is proud to say that her earliest and most vivid memories are of sing-a-longs within a vast sea of cousins, aunts, uncles and extended family surrounding an upright piano in a tiny little farm house. She attended performing arts high school and went on to minor in music education in college while earning her degrees in psychology and education. As an elementary and middle school teacher Sue always found a way to integrate music into her teaching and everyday life. When Sue had her first daughter, Olivia, she began Music Together classes and learned sign language as a way to connect and bond with her baby. She could see how special the Music Together program was for her whole family and wanted to share her experience with other families. Now a mommy to two little girls she brings her love of music and sign to families as a Music Together instructor. "We knew that raising our girls in a musically rich environment and using sign language had a significant impact on our girls' social, emotional and cognitive development. But, the best part of dedicating some of our family time to Music Together was the profound bond that resulted with each other and other families through sharing in this program! I knew I had to be part of extending that to other children and their families." Sue successfully completed the Music Together teacher training as well as Baby Signing Time certification in order to integrate signing into her Music Together classes. She teaches at Music Together of the River Valley as well as Music Together of West Hartford and Farmington Valley. She is also very excited to be serving as the Music Together Teaching Specialist at The School For Young Children at the University of St. Joseph in West Hartford starting with the 2014-2015 academic year.

photo Pam Hegner (Administrative Assistant)

Pam grew up in Tampa, Florida with a strong music interest, aided by her parents' love of opera. She was an all-state clarinet player in her teens, and took piano lessons as an elective for two years in college. Pam is a proud graduate of the Indiana University School of Journalism in Bloomington, Indiana. She worked as a tv producer/writer at the local and national level for over 15 years, including CNN. Pam's hobbies include sports, fitness and travel and she lives in West Hartford with Luke and her husband Brian. Pam is thrilled to join our center's team because she has seen the wonderful influence the program can have on a family. She began her Music Together experience when her son Luke was 4 months old by enrolling for the Babies Class during the Sticks song collection. She fell in love with the musical enrichment the program provided and met a wonderful community of mothers who became close friends. Pam and Luke continued Music Together through all nine song collections, and even repeated Sticks! Luke has been enamored ever since, asking to assemble his own box of instruments at home. How many kids ask Santa for an accordion?!?