Our Teachers

All of our teachers are passionate about music and the development of children.

They create a fun, informal, social setting that spurs engagement and supports each child's musical development.

photo Leah Celebi

Leah came to Music Together® by way of her two sons Evren and Milo, and fell in love with the program.  She quickly realized that Music Together was an amazing way to introduce young children, in a developmentally appropriate way, to the art of making music.  She is thrilled to share her love of music with children and their families and is truly excited to bring this fantastic experience to the city of Detroit!

Leah studied viola and piano at the Chicago College of Performing Arts and received a Bachelors in Viola Performance in 2003.  In 2006, she received a Masters in Viola Performance from the University of California Santa Barbara Studying with internationally-renowned soloist and pedagogue Helen Callus.  While in Santa Barbara she performed with the Santa Barbara Symphony, Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra and the Irish band, Dannsair.

As a certified Suzuki teacher, she joined the faculty at Suzuki Royal Oak Institute of Music in 2008 where she teaches both viola and violin. Although a classically trained musician, Leah can be heard performing live and in the studio in a variety of genres as a member of the critically acclaimed world jazz ensemble Musique Noire.  She has also performed behind nationally renowned performers such as Aretha Franklin, Three Mo' Tenors, Marcus Belgrave and many more.

     
photo Giles Simmer

D. Giles Simmer is a lyric soprano based in Detroit, Michigan. She began singing growing up in Atlanta, GA and during her teen years was privileged to sing under such conductors as Paul Salamunovich, Raymond Chenault, James Oliverio and Robert Spano at multiple venues in the metro-Atlanta area. It was as a result of these opportunities that she found her true love and joy in vocal performance. Simmer earned a B.A. in Music from Hillsdale College where she was a recipient of the Howard Music Scholarship and L.A. Weichselfelder Scholarship, in addition to maintaining an active membership in Sigma Alpha Iota. She currently studies with Dr. Karen Kness at Western Michigan University, where she recently completed her M.M. in Vocal Performance. Simmer has been recognized as a semi-finalist or winner in several national competitions including the William C. Byrd Competition, the Orpheus National Music Competitions, the Opera Maya Papaya Playa Competition and NATS competitions. She has performed with Opera Grand Rapids, Arbor Opera Theatre, Comic Opera Guild, and Michigan Opera Theatre and has been a staff singer at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Detroit since 2009.

     
photo Karen Vesprini

Karen “Bosco” Vesprini is a Detroit based singer, dancer, and actress, who has performed across the globe. She took on a love for the “Arts”, as a little girl, and always had a passion for performing.

Karen has performed with the phenomenon known as Detroit Women, a band once conceded as one of the most vocally-powerful Blues bands in the U.S. and Canada. They received more than 17 Detroit Music Awards, including “Outstanding Blues Band”. Karen has lead and background vocal credits on their album “Sassitude”. She was a longtime member of the “Budweiser True Music” band extraordinaire, Black Bottom Collective, which style is labeled as Alternative/Hip Hop/Soul. Her performance credits with BBC include opening for National Recording artists, Nappy Roots, Talib Kwali, DJ Clue, Sekou Sundiata, Angelique Kedou, Dwele, Kem and Will Downing. The band won 5 Detroit Music Awards, including “Outstanding Funk Band Recording”, and “Outstanding Funk/Hip Hop Group”. BBC has made print apperances in HUE, Vanity Fair, and Rolling Stone magazines. They were nominated as one of the top six “Bud True Music”, unsigned bands, by Rolling Stone. BBC released two albums, “Stay Low Keep Moving” and “People Mover”, which Karen performed lead and background vocals, and also has writing credits on.

As a solo artist, Karen has recording appearances with, jazz violinist Gerald Dameon, jazz trumpet virtuoso Marcus Belgrave, Elzhi of Slum Village, and pianist/producer Vernon Hill. She was also featured on the highly anticipated album “Natural Aspirations”, with the band Rotating Assembly, produced by world renowned house music DJ Theo Parrish. She also performed background vocals with, Oscar and Grammy Award winning producer, Luis Resto on his single “Effigy”. Karen and her husband Dr. Frank Vesprini, (owner of Vesprini Chiropractic Life Center, who also plays guitar and bass), founded the band Karen Bosco and the People Next Door. They have performed around the Metro Detroit area and are currently working on their first studio album. They also perform with the Loritos Band, a spanish family band for kids, and is on the band’s debut album “Lunatino”. Karen and her husband are raising and homeschooling four little musicians, Isabella, Bennett, Eva-Sarai, and Rocco.

Karen was introduced to the Music Together program by her friend and Motor City Music Together Director, Leah Celebi. After taking her son to classes and gaining a deep appreciation for the program, Karen decided to become a MT teacher. “Music Together has given me a deeper understanding of music education, and the incredible impact that music has on children. Not only that, but it has re-enforced my feelings of how needed and important music is for us ALL.”

     
  Kelley O'Rouke

Kelley is a registered Music Together teacher, is a certified early childhood educator and has taught preschool through Pre-Kindergarten for several years. She is also certified in elementary and secondary education. Kelley presently teaches swim classes to children, ages infant through middle school, both privately and for Bloomfield Hills Schools. While growing up, Kelley was involved in Acapella Choir and Musical Minority at Dondero High School in Royal Oak. She went to college as a music major before switching her major to education. Kelley discovered Music Together while living in Princeton, NJ, where the home office is located, and went through the program with all 3 of her children. She is a firm believer that Music Learning Supports All Learning®. Kelley is excited to share her love of music with children and parents.

     
photo Emily Schienke

Emily Schienke was a music therapy major and has a BMT from Eastern Michigan University where her major instrument was voice. She performed with EMU’s university choir in Carnegie Hall in NY City. She also plays guitar and some percussion instruments and played flute in grade school and high school marching band. She has worked as a music therapist for the past 8 years working with children and young adults with varying disabilities including autism, Downs Syndrome, Williams Syndrome, and other types of cognitive, speech, and motor delays. She has also taught piano lessons to typically developing children as well as children with special needs. Emily is presently doing part time music therapy work, and is a mother to 3 wonderful little girls, and is looking forward to teaching Music Together classes. Emily is a registered Music Together teacher. As Emily says in her own words, “I have experienced the enjoyment and powerful bond that music can bring to a family in my own home and in the homes of many of the children I have worked with. These experiences led me to the Music Together curriculum as a way to teach and further be involved in family music making.”