Shawn Bouman

Master Teaching Artist

Shawn is a former Greenville High School teacher, working with students with cognitive impairments. Prior to joining Mind Meets Music, Shawn also served as a substitute teacher to numerous preschool to high school classrooms throughout Kent and Ottawa county. Shawn studied music at Grand Rapids Community college and graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2004 with a Bachelor’s degree in Special Education and Elementary Education.

I truly believe music is an effective tool to teach literacy. I have always loved music.”

Kelly Garbarino

Master Teaching Artist

Kelly has spent her entire career working with music and/or youth. In addition to her position as a Master Teaching Artist, Kelly has extensive experience as a youth choir director, private voice and piano teacher, and camp counselor. Kelly holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Lee University.

“I have always had a love for children and for watching children grow.”

Dee Gross

Master Teaching Artist

Dee first developed her love for music through extensive involvement in community theater. Over the past several years, Dee has taught private piano and voice lessons and been the Music Director for several musical theater camps. Dee holds a Bachelor’s of Music Education from Grand Valley State University.

“I love everything that Mind Meets Music represents. Using music as a tool to train young minds at an age where it’s most essential is an incredible task that I get to carry out every day.”

Malia Huffman

Master Teaching Artist

Malia has devoted her career to teaching music to children. She has extensive experience in working with youth theater and musical productions both as a director and a choreographer.  Malia studied music theater at the Boston Conservatory of Music and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Musical Theater from Point Park Conservatory of Performing Arts.

“The most rewarding part of this job is spreading the love of learning and music in fun and exciting ways.”

Morgan Moss

Master Teaching Artist

Morgan is a seasoned educator who has taught at-risk early elementary students in the West Michigan area. During her tenure as an early elementary teacher, she was also an integral member of student intervention groups for literacy and mathematics. Morgan graduated from Clarion University of Pennsylvania in 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education.

“I became an MTA because I saw the excitement the children in the classrooms had for the program. I could see them learning in a nonconventional way and knew I wanted to be a part of it.”

Ruth Nelson

Master Teaching Artist

Ruth joined Mind Meets Music with 18 years of combined experience in social work and education, serving children, youth, young adults, and educators. She is passionate about art and community, and has dedicated herself to encouraging innovation in education. Ruth holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Michigan State University, a Master of Arts in Education from Aquinas College, and a Master of Arts in Reading/Language Arts from Grand Valley State University.

“Mind Meets Music uses music to reach the minds, hearts and bodies of kids who most need it. I wanted to experience the joy of music with kids and inspire and be inspired by them.”

Paige Towery

Master Teaching Artist

Paige has brought music into the lives of many students; ranging from preschool through 12th grade. Over the past years, she has led several music classes and choral groups in schools and in her community. Paige joined Mind Meets Music after graduating from Aquinas College with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education.

“Music gives me the energy I need to live life more fully and is what I try to use to help others reach their full potential.”

Mind Meets Music Diversity Statement

To attract and sustain a diverse workforce by recruiting, hiring, developing and retaining high performing employees who work collaboratively to carry out the mission of Mind Meets Music.