Karen R. was born and raised in a musical family in Lindstrom, Minnesota. Karen has loved to sing and play instruments almost all of her life, and became passionate about music early in her childhood. She has played 7 instruments proficiently including piano, bass guitar, acoustic guitar, ukulele, trombone, recorder, and voice (also an instrument). As a child, Karen took private instruction in piano and classical guitar. She sang and played guitar in her first band in the fifth grade! In high school she played trombone in band, bass guitar in stage band, and sang in the high school choir and stage chorus. In high school, she also sang and played acoustic and bass guitar in a rock band called the 6 pack, which performed for school dances and community events. Karen was also the singer and guitarist, leading the Young Life group. Even though Karen has had training in many instruments, she has had the most training in voice.
As an adult, Karen has sung extensively in church choirs, women's ensembles, and has been a featured vocal soloist at church services, Christian retreats, and women's ministry events. She was extensively involved in vocal music at Grace Community Christian Church, where she was the singer and guitarist leading and teaching songs to women Bible study groups, preschoolers at vacation Bible school, and Kids Praise Club for elementary aged children. For Kids Praise Club, she also taught the children the choreography for the performances. Presently, Karen is a Choir Director for the K-3 Make A Joyful Noise group at First Presbyterian Church (FPC) in Mesa, AZ., and also taught singing and choreography to the children at VBS at FPC. Karen also had a main roles as Mrs. Paroo in The Music Man in April of 2013, and Mrs. Bucket in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in April, 2014, The Jailer's Daughter in Wind in the Willows, and Mrs. Brill in Mary Poppins, performed by the First Players at FPC. Additionally. Karen is presently a substitute elementary school teacher at Grace Community Christian School, and teaches General Music K-12 at Young Disciples Christian Academy.
During Karen's college career, she was a voice major at Mesa Community College (MCC) and Grand Canyon University (GCU). At MCC, she performed in the Sun Valley Chorale (SVC) and Cadence women vocal jazz ensemble. SVC performed classical songs at the Mesa Arts Center, and Cadence performed jazz songs for MCC events. Karen was also involved in musical theater at MCC. Karen was an opera singer at Night at the Opera, and a Broadway singer at Broadway Bound, both at MCC. At GCU, Karen has been in the President Singers, Canyon Singers, Canyon Chorale, and Union Choirs. Canyon Singers were the honor students and ambassadors for GCU and traveled locally and out of state to recruit students for GCU. As a voice major, Karen has had 9 semesters (4 ½ years) of private voice instruction under the tuteladge of Dr. Cathy Hauan at MCC, and Dr. Sheila Corley at GCU. Karen has three degrees from GCU: A Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with a Minor in Music, a Master's of Education in Reading and Curriculum, and a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education. Music is Karens passion and she desires to teach it to all ages and stages of people. Music is the universal language and creates joy and healing in the soul.
Presently, Karen owns her own home music studio called Starshine School of Music in which she teaches piano, voice, and guitar. Karen also teaches Take Lessons music students (an online music student placement company) piano, voice, and guitar in her home. Karen is also an active Mary Kay Consultant.
*** Lesson Details ***
Karen's teaching style is very patient, nurturing, encouraging, and fun-loving. Karen is a teacher who sets loving but firm boundaries and guidelines. She implements structure and organization, but is not overly strict and harsh. She believes in encouraging, loving, and imparting knowledge with her students so that they will maximize their potentiality and their inner musical stars will shine.
Karen teaches piano, voice, guitar, and music theory for beginning through intermediate (for voice she teaches beginning through advanced). The curriculum that Karen uses is varied according to the student's personality and learning level. She uses her vast knowledge and information from her education and past experiences, and also Alfred Essentials of Music Theory, Alfred's Instructional books, Hal Leonard Pro-vocal Series, Faber Piano Adventures for all levels, and other resources. She also uses an assignment lesson plan book so that each student will know her clear objectives, what is expected of them and so that communication is established with the student's parents if the student is under 18. Additionally, Karen uses incentives, a point system, and rewards for self-discipline, consistent practicing, musical accomplishment and growth, and a good attitude.
Karen's students learn and perform remarkably well because of her very loving, organized, and comprehensive teaching style. They progress in amazing ways on a weekly and monthly basis. They look forward to coming to their lessons because they are treated with such respect and care. They know that Karen has such a passion and love for music, which is so contagious and is passed on to them. Therefore, these music lessons are enjoyable and enriching for the teacher and student alike.
*** I have a current Fingerprint Clearance Card
*** Studio Equipment ***
Guitar, Kimball piano, CD and cassette players, extensive music literature, Demo and Karaoke CD's.
*** Specialties ***
I have been classically trained as a voice major at college level. However, I have had so much musical experience (singing, and playing guitar and piano) in varied genres including rock and roll, Broadway and theatrical music, country western, Christian contemporary, folk songs, and children's music. I am very familiar with all kinds of music.
I am a Music Teacher at YDCA, teaching students in Kindergarten through 12th grade. I teach general music, music theory, recorder classes, piano classes, guitar classes, and singing. I also organize recitals and special events for the students at YDCA.
I have been Choir Director for elementary aged children choirs including Choristers, Choreography Groups, and Vacation Bible School groups. I have also been a substitute Choir Director for the FPC Sanctuary Choir.
I was given a Certification of Cosmetology after completing 1500 hours at Oliver Thein Beauty School
Founded in 1907, NAfME is among the world’s largest arts education organizations. NAfME advocates at the local, state, and national levels; provides resources for teachers, parents, and administrators; hosts professional development events; and offers a variety of opportunities for students and teachers.