Why Music Rhapsody
We believe that every child is born with an innate and profound musicality. At the most basic and obvious level, this musicality is demonstrated every day in such things as our ability to walk and talk. Our musicality is a gift, and with proper nurturing, it grows with your child.
The Music Rhapsody program, developed by internationally renowned music educator Lynn Kleiner, is based on a philosophy called Orff Schulwerk and addresses each age and stage of childhood development. It meets your child exactly where he or she is. Beautiful and diverse songs, singable phrases, and the use of repetition, instruments, puppets, and visuals all foster the love of music in an exciting and creative environment. It’s a program that, to its core, acknowledges and values the input and creativity of each and every child.
Music Rhapsody perfectly prepares students and parents to transition into our playing-based Simply Music Piano method. Simply Music Piano has students from age six through adult playing arrangements and accompaniments of contemporary, classical, blues, jazz, and gospel from from their very first lessons. Utilizing an approach that honors and emulates the natural development of all humans, we temporarily delay the reading process and teach you and your child to play by immersing you in great-sounding music immediately!
At Music Rhapsody, we believe that music should be an integral part of life, and that everybody has the ability to acquire and retain music as a lifelong companion. As such, we provide programs that offer seamless continuity – from birth through all ages of adulthood.
What is Orff? The “Experience First” Approach
The Orff philosophy was developed by German composer and music educator Carl Orff and associate Gunild Keetman, and focuses on allowing students to learn by doing what they already enjoy. Children learn to hear and make music before they learn to read and write it, much like how they learn spoken language. Orff includes activities that all kids like to do: sing, chant rhymes, clap, dance, and play instruments. Musical concepts, vocabulary, form, harmony and expressive qualities as well as pitch matching and listening skills are taught in a joyful, game-like atmosphere. By starting with Orff (and then adding piano with Orff classes around the age of 6 or 7), timing, listening and musicality is jump-started so the child is given the best chance for a lifetime of music making pleasure!
Music Rhapsody Team
Music Rhapsody Founder
Lynn Kleiner is an internationally recognized leader in music education and has been teaching since 1978. She is the founder of Music Rhapsody, a music school teaching thousands of children ranging from infants through teens in daycares, preschools, elementary schools and Music Rhapsody centers since 1983.
Lynn’s instrument and DVD kits for children have received the prestigious Oppenheim Award, the Dove Award, and are recommended by the National Parenting Association. Additionally, Lynn has several books and CDs which have won the Creative Child Award, and she has her own line of children’s percussion instruments in partnership with REMO.
Lynn is a popular presenter for the AOSA (American Orff Schulwerk Association) as well as Orff Associations in several countries worldwide. She is a frequent presenter for national and international early childhood associations, NAfME (the National Association for Music Education) and has presented several times for the International Society of Music Educators.
Music Rhapsody Director & Owner
Deonna Johnson has a Bachelors of Arts in Music from CSULA and has been working with children in schools since 2013, including organizing and implementing a program for orchestral students, teaching music production, composition, and music theory to middle schoolers and high schoolers.
She trained in the Orff Schulwerk approach under Lynn Kleiner and currently teaches early childhood music and Simply Music Piano at Music Rhapsody. Deonna is a talented multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, and has produced and recorded two albums, her most recent being “Journey”. She has also produced and engineered recordings for many other artists.
She has also been a church music director for over 10 years and is pursuing a masters and license in music therapy.
Zachary Kenefick received an MFA in Music Composition from California Institute of the Arts, a BA in music from CSU Long Beach, has studied early childhood education with Lynn Kleiner. After certification through Music Rhapsody’s Orff Teacher Training in 2016, Zachary worked with multiple preschools and elementary music programs in the greater LA area. He has also worked with LACMA’s Andell Family Sundays, creating music activities for families visiting the museum. He is happy to also be teaching Simply Music Piano.
Shuwen Zhao is a Chinese-born music professional with a Master’s Degree in Piano Pedagogy and Composition. With a background in performance, sound experimentation, and experience in film scoring, Shuwen combines creative music-making with a passion for inspiring and educating students, aiming to create a nurturing and engaging learning environment.
Sharon Ledesma received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Clemson University, with a minor in Piano Performance. While at Clemson, she received a music scholarship and accompanied both the University Choral groups and Musical Theater productions. She has taught piano lessons for ten years. Sharon is also a certified AMS Montessori teacher. She enthusiastically taught music and movement in her K/1 classroom as well as summer camps. Sharon looks forward to using her Orff and recorder training in her classes.
Harold Rodriguez, who was a 2006 National Taekwondo Champion, has trained in early childhood music and Orff under Lynn Kleiner. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Universidad Pedagogica Nacional. Bogotá, Colombia and has experience teaching many different age groups.
Adam Portocarrero has a master’s degree in Jazz Studies from CSU Long Beach and is a talented trumpet player. He has been teaching private lessons and in schools since 2009, and has completed Music Rhapsody training in the Orff approach.
Ann Louise Thaiss
Ann Louise Thaiss holds a BA in Vocal performance from the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University, Long Beach and is currently working towards an Associate’s Degree in American Sign Language. Certified through Music Rhapsody’s early childhood and elementary Orff teacher training, she has been an Early Childhood music specialist since 2013. She also trains teachers internationally in Music Rhapsody’s Early Childhood and Elementary Orff approach.
Erin Guiltner has been teaching music over 25 years. She began her musical career at age 5, playing the violin. Next she played clarinet, and piano. At age 11, she began studying the flute, which became her favorite instrument and her focus. She has a Bachelor of Music Degree from Oklahoma City University. Erin loves making music with students of all ages, and has taught babies through high schoolers.
Lynn Kleiner’s Holiday Songs and Winter Adventures Earns 2019 Book Of The Year Award
Creative Child Magazine has awarded Lynn Kleiner’s Holiday Songs and Winter Adventures book with the 2019 Book Of The Year Award! Fall/Winter lessons and concerts are made fun and easy with these delightful activities and recordings. Jam packed with songs, rhymes, dances, lessons, arts, crafts, and more!
Lynn Kleiner’s Music Rhapsody Kits Capture Prestigious Oppenheim Award!
Throughout our 35+ year history, our products have earned acclaim several organizations, including Creative Child Magazine, Dove Foundation, National Parenting Center, Oppenheim Best Toy Awards, and the iParenting Media Awards, and as well as endorsements from Kids First, REMO, and Alfred Publishing.
The Oppenheim Award, in particular, was awarded to Lynn Kleiner’s instrument/DVD kits. The award is given by the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, which is the only independent children’s media evaluation company in the United States. The organization analyzes games, toys, computer products and appropriate musical instruments for children by age groups.