Phyllis Cohn
- Director of Education

She earned her Bachelor's Degree in Theatre and Elementary Education, from Lehman College and her Master's Degree in Curriculum Development from Fordham University. During her tenure as a classroom teacher in Community School District #12, she pioneered the "open classroom" as a model for teaching arts education in a K-6 school. She has had 22 years experience as an arts administrator.

Christine Campbell – Teaching Artist

Christine is a BFA Graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Graduate Acting Program. Since 1985, she has been a Master Teaching Artist for mainstream, special ed, and ESL populations. She offers assembly performances as well as professional development for teachers.  She is an active member of the  African Folk Heritage Circle and has received funding from the African Burial Ground Foundation. Chris is also a teaching artist for Lincoln Center Institute.

Joy Kelly – Teaching Artist

Joy earned her B.A. in Theatre Studies from Wellesley College. Since 1998, she has been offering interactive storytelling and musical programs focusing on African American culture, living history, and vocal music. Recently she co-directed our junior versions of "The King and I" and "The Wizard of Oz"; she also co-directed a revised version of Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing". In addition to Music for Many, Joy directs Theatreworks, USA "Freedom Train". She also offers Storytelling and Theatre residencies for ArtsConnection.

 April Armstrong – Teaching Artist

April Armstrong - Teaching Artist April earned her Bachelor of Music-Voice from the Manhattan School of Music and her Master of Arts in Music Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Since 1999, she has been teaching music and drama residencies. Her programs focus upon American Music survey, multi-cultural/world songs and stories, vocal music/choral, instrument making, mask making, the Harlem Renaissance, and puppet making. She also offers Storytelling and Theatre residencies for Lincoln Center Institute, Manhattan New Music Project, and Arts Horizons. She is the Consultant/Project Coordinator for the Family Music Workshop Series at the Flushing Town Hall/Flushing Council for the Arts.

 Bob “Bobaloo” Basey – Teaching Artist

Bobaloo graduated from Syracuse University. Since 1995, he has been presenting storytelling, music, and visual arts residencies with our organization. He has received the Staten Island Council on the Arts and Humanities Grant and is the featured storytelling artist for Battery Park City Parks Conservancy. He is also a teaching artist for the Flushing Town Hall NY Music Series.     

 Jacqueline Roytman   Teaching Artist 

Jacqui received a B.F.A. Fine Arts, from the University of New Hampshire. She has had twenty- five years experience as a dance instructor and choreographer. Jacqui's dance residencies focus upon a variety of dance styles including: jazz, modern, hip hop, folk, ballroom, & swing. Additionally she offers programs in circus skills, gymnastics, pantomime and juggling. 

Robert Casilla – Children’s Book Illustrator, Teaching Artist 

Robert's formal training in art took place at the School of Visual Arts in New York City where he earned a BFA degree. Since 1984, Robert has worked as a freelance illustrator for magazines, book publishers, postage stamps, educational publishers and others. He has illustrated over 25 children's books, many of which are picture book biographies of people such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Jackie Robinson, Rosa Parks and John F. Kennedy. He has also illustrated many multicultural children's books such as Jalapeno Bagels, The Little Painter of Sabana Grande, The Legend of Mexicatl and First Day in Grapes. Robert visits many NYC schools to talk about the visual journey a story takes him through for the illustrations for his books.

Laura R. Gadson - Teaching Artist

Quilt and craft artist Laura R. Gadson is a native New Yorker whose primary medium of visual artistic expression is quilting. . Ms. Gadson's talents and the ability to teach others her crafts has made her instrumental in the success several large projects including Frederick Douglass Academy's 1996 South African Doll Project and exhibitions for Harlem Girls Quilting Circle. Currently she shares her love for the arts with students of all ages through various arts organizations including Yaffa Cultural Arts Inc., Music for Many Inc., Brooklyn Center for Psychotherapy, Harlem Needle Arts and Opus Dance Theatre and Community Service Inc.

 Dorothy Duncan – Teaching Artist

Dorothy is a founding member of the Music for Many organization. She earned her BA from Barnard College and her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. She is a clarinet and recorder instructor at Hoff-Barthelson Music School (Scarsdale, NY), the Music Institute at Hackley School (Tarrytown, NY), Bronxville (NY) Public Schools, as well as a teaching artist for Music for Many. Dorothy developed a recorder program for first graders at PS 51, Queens; the success of this program is evident in that the program will is currently entering its fifth year.

Barbara Aliprantis
– Teaching Artist

Barbara earned her BA from Empire State College and a certificate from St. John's University in Multiple Intelligences & the Arts. She is a trilingual (English/Greek/Sign) storyteller/teaching artist, workshop facilitator, and sign language instructor who is experienced in working with linguistically diverse populations and students with special needs. Since 1997 she has been a resident storyteller for Music for Many. In addition she is a Sign Language Instructor at Queensborough Community College, a contributing member of the African Folk Heritage Circle; she is member of The National Storytelling Network, The Storytelling Center, Inc., and the League for the Advancement of Storytelling in New England.

Ayodele Maakheru -
Teaching Artist

Ayodele attended Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, City College of New York, and Brooklyn College.; his major was for ethnomusicology. Ayodele is a musician, songwriter, performer and teacher of: guitar, banjo, mandolin, electric bass, harmonica, ukulele, djembe drum, shakere and voice. He teaches music (history, theory, composition and ensemble), instrument building, as well as cultural heritage.

Elaine Greenstein - Teaching Artist

Elaine earned her BFA in Fine Arts at Boston University, Master of Fine Arts at Pennsylvania State University, and MS in Education at Long Island University. She was a New York City Teaching Fellow. During her tenure as a classroom teacher she combined curriculum with art and literacy to enhance and foster student writing and expression. She designs visual arts residencies that support the school's literacy program enabling students to use visual expression to enhance their learning experiences.

Robin Vaughn - Teaching Artist

Robin attended the High School of the Performing Arts and was a scholarship recipient at the Alvin Ailey Dance Center. She earned her Bachelor of Arts, at Hunter College. Her residencies span all four arts disciplines. Her visual arts residencies include: Print Making, Puppetry, Photo Journalism, Mask Making, Create-a Book, Soft Sculpture, Mural Painting, & Collage. Robin offers vocal music residencies, dance & movement residencies and theatre arts residencies. Her programs for mainstream as well as Special Education populations involves a multi-disciplinary approach.

Pat Russell - Teaching Artist

Pat earned her Bachelor of Arts at North Carolina School of the Arts. She is certified by the Arts in Education/Creative Dramatics Training program and the Literature to Life Teaching Artist Training program. Pat pioneered our "Me Nobody Knows" which is a soft sculpture and journal writing residency. She also offers residencies in rhyme time, clowning, puppetry, mask making, creative dramatics/play writing, to name a few. Each residency encourages cooperative learning, stimulates motivation, encourages confidence and good self-esteem for students of various backgrounds and needs.

Paula Lockheart - Teaching Artist

Paula has an BA in music, an MA in Ethnomusicology, and has certification in Kodaly and Orff Schulwerk. Paula has been a teaching artist in the NYC public schools for a decade; her programs involve both general education and special education populations. Her artist in residence programs focus on music and also employ creative dramatics, story telling, composition, song writing, movement, visual arts, singing and elemental instrument play. She often works to integrate the arts with literacy, mathematics, science, and social studies; her approach is multi-cultural.

Anne Pasquale - Teaching Artist

Anne has been writing and performing for children for the past fifteen years. She presents Living History theatrical performances, residencies and workshops that bring history to life. Anne's historical programs include: Liberty Belles, Nellie Bly, Calamity Jane, Helen and Me, and Deborah Sampson. In addition to her historical programs, Anne also offers multi-cultural storytelling residencies.

Robert Kimmel Smith – Children’s Book Author

Robert ‘s books have won many awards; he feels that his most important job is to make reading rewarding for all kids. His books are funny, but always funny about something important. Robert writes about making a moral choices, his secret agenda is to create books so entertaining they get kids hooked on reading.

Colin Bootman – Children’s Book Author and Illustrator

Colin was born in Trinidad. Soon after moving to the United States he embraced art as a measure of escape from the pressures of adjusting to a new environment at an early age. He has illustrated many children’s books and is the recipient of the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book Award 2004, The Teachers’ Choice Award, The Ashley Bryan Medal, Bank Street Book Best Children's Book of the Year, and Golden Kite Honor Book Award which recognizes excellence in children's literature.

Caren Calder – Teaching Artist

Caren earned her BS in Dance from SUNY Brockport and has taken courses in theatre at SUNY Binghamton. Her expertise is primarily in dance, but she is also a  storyteller, African drummer, and has  training with Shekeres and Mbiras. In addition to her programs with our organization she is  an Adjunct Instructor for “Introduction to West African Dance” as well as a teaching artist for Riverbank State Park, Arts Connection, Harlem School of the Arts, and Lotus Music and Dance Studios (World Dance Heritage Project).

Crystal Holder – Teaching Artist

Crystal is also known to many as “Crystal Energy”.  She has taught poetry, storytelling and dance workshops at various schools and community centers throughout the tri state area.  She has collaborated for dance and drum workshops with Forces of Nature, Yaffa Productions, Sutura Dance Theatre,  Pathways for Youth, and Harlem Children Zone. Crystal is also an IFPA certified personal trainer.

Patricia Lakin  - Children’s Book Author

Patricia, a former elementary school teacher, has written over 35 children's books. Her program focuses upon her experience as a "late blooming" reader and writer."  She shares with students how an idea is transformed into a book and the many steps taken by the author, editor, and illustrator to get any book "just right."  ABIGAIL ADAMS, FIRST LADY OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION was named as a  Bank Street Children's Book Committee's Best Books for 2006 and SUBWAY SONATA was named Bank Street Children's Book Committee's Best Books for 2002.

Phyllis Shalant - Children's Book Author

Phyllis writes books full of adventure. During her author visits, she focuses on the process of creating a story and she explores the elements of writing. She uses stories from her life and excerpts from her writer's notebook to show how real life can be the inspiration for fiction. She is the recipient of the New York Public Library 100 Best Books and Best Books of 2002, Bank Street College of Education. Phyllis teaches writing children's literature at Manhattanville College.

Robin Bady - Teaching Artist

Robin earned her BFA at Tisch School of the Arts and her MA from New York University, Educational Theater Program. She performs solo or accompanied by a guitarist and/or a homemade instrumentalist. Her stories come from the oral as well as written traditions. Robin teaches storytelling workshops to teachers, focusing on collaborative story creation and curriculum connections. She is a member of the National Storytelling Association and The Storytelling Center of New York.

Janaki Patrik - Teaching Artist

Janaki has been trained in Kathak classical north Indian dance, Hindustani vocal and tabla drumming. Awarded a Merce Cunningham Studio scholarship, she studied Cunningham technique, repertory and choreography. She received her Master of Arts from Columbia University. She is the co-founder of The Kathak Ensemble & Friends, an arts-in-education organization that illuminates Indian culture through the arts. Her performances and residencies at schools and cultural institutions in the tri-State area are facilitated by Young Audiences/New York, Young Audiences/New Jersey, the Henry Street Settlement, the Carnegie Hall's Education Department and Music for Many.

Melanie Hope Greenberg - Children's Book Author and Illustrator

Melanie has illustrated 16 children's picture books and has also written five books. She travels throughout the United States presenting her author-illustrator workshops to elementary students, to teachers and to published artists and writers at schools, libraries, conferences and museums. She is the recipient of awards from Bank Street College Children's Book Committee, New York Books for New York Kids, NY Public Library, to name a few. Melanie is a member of Children's Book Illustrator's Group and the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.


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