Teachers

There are four Music Together guides that bring music to over 850 children in four Houston schools and at Casa de Esperanza.

photo Heidi Hock Kaim

KIPP Zenith Academy

A singer, music educator, and mother of two, Heidi Hock Kaim completed her music education/choral music studies degree at the University of Texas. Since 2005, she has taught music in both public and private schools, ranging from toddlers all the way up to 6th grade, in Austin and Houston. She began teaching Music Together at Prelude, in Preschools, and at KIPP in 2015. Heidi truly loves her outreach work and is grateful for the opportunity to bring music to underserved children each week. Although she is no rock star, she certainly feels like one when she steps into the outreach classrooms. These children are hungry for music, connection, community, and love. They sing their little hearts out and dance freely.

Heidi strives to teach with a positive, sweet, and energetic presence, always with the focus on the music and connecting to the children. She feels her outreach work has taught her that music can be healing, and can help children see life with new lenses. The most rewarding moments for her are when the children give spontaneous hugs and when they yell, "don't go!" after they sing the Goodbye Song. She recalls many special moments when the children have held each other's hands or put their arms around each other while singing. Heidi feels honored to do this work.

     
photo Emily Lopater Smith

Ninfa Laurenzo Early Childhood Center and Shearn Elementary

Mother of three Emily Lopater Smith is in her seventh year teaching at Prelude Music Classes for Children, which she discovered when her oldest child was a baby. While she still loves leading family classes, she feels that she is answering a calling by working for the Foundation. For Emily, there is nothing like the feeling she has when she walks into a classroom and sees how excited each child is to make music. Even when the classroom environment is challenging, music always changes the energy for the better and helps children self-regulate and express themselves.
 
Music Together's first philosophy states that "every child is born musical," and after several years teaching outreach, she has never been more convinced that this is true. One of her favorite aspects of the Foundation's work is seeing how children grow musically throughout the school year, from learning the songs at the beginning to spontaneous song and dance by year's end. Emily also appreciates how music can support the hardworking preschool teachers she visits and enhance the curriculum they present during the rest of the week. She believes that music can change lives in ways big and small, and is honored to bring music to children who truly need it!
     
photo Priscilla "Prill" McAfee

Fonwood Early Childhood Center

Priscilla “Prill” McAfee began teaching for Prelude Music Foundation’s Outreach since its inception. Currently, Prill teaches all 26 classes at Fonwood Early Childhood Center, including Special Ed students. She is thrilled to have the entire school involved in Music Together®.

Prill comes from a family with a long lineage of educators, with keen values of early childhood learning and social justice. A Juilliard-trained French horn player, Prill has held positions in world-class orchestras, including the N.Y. Philharmonic, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Aspen Music Festival.

She has been on the faculty of Saint Olaf College, and other universities, and has taught privately.

Currently, Prill sings in the 135-voiced International Voices Houston, and the First UU Sanctuary choir.  She is the proud mother of two children, and two grandchildren, who prompted her re-location to Houston.

Prill is delighted by this new chapter of teaching, “Each morning, I walk in the door at Fonwood, and everyone around me smiles and begins singing. Music connects us all in such a powerful way. It is deep honor and privilege to bring music to these wonderful children, and the teachers, grown-ups, and families in their lives.”

     
photo Dr. Ana Treviño-Godfrey

Casa de Esperanza