Our Teachers

All of our teachers undergo an intensive training through Music Together® LLC and the Princeton Center for Music and Young Children to become registered Music Together teachers.  All teachers complete a full apprenticeship before they begin teaching and once they have their own classes, they continue to receive the latest research from the field with ongoing Music Together workshops before the start of each new session. We are all passionate about music and the development of young children, and hope to inspire a whole new generation of music-makers who can sing in tune, move in rhythm and participate with joy and confidence as they create music with family and friends throughout their lives. We create a fun, informal, social setting that spurs engagement and supports each child's musical development. We love what we do!

  

photo Summer Rognlie Trisler

Summer Rognlie Trisler is the Director of Sunshine Music Together LLC. She received her training from the Princeton Center for Music and Young Children. She is also a graduate of California Institute of the Arts. Summer has had extensive experience both in performing and teaching. She has starred on Broadway in Mamma Mia! and in productions on the West End of London. She has done numerous cast recordings (Lady in the Dark, Maddie (title role), Personals - all available on Amazon) and co-starred in the Royal National Theatre's production of Lady in the Dark, which won the Olivier award for Best Musical. Credits also include Cats, Saturday Night Fever (Broadway), Damn Yankees and many others. One of her greatest joys to date is spreading the joy of music to children and their families through Music Together. Summer has also been a Montessori music teacher to pre-schoolers, as well as developed and taught a Musical Theatre educational program for elementary school children in the greater New York area. Summer was a "Music Together Mom," enjoying class with her daughter for years before becoming a teacher herself, and is passionate about what Music Together has to offer all families!  

     
photo John Ackermann

Sunshine Music Together LLC is thrilled to have on board  registered Music Together teacher John Ackermann!  John trained under the co-founder of Music Together, Lili M. Levinowitz, Ph.D.. John is stoked to be teaching Music Together!  Previously, he taught music and play classes for five years at Gymboree in Ballard.  John also currently teaches music at Sweet Pea Cottage Preschool in Queen Anne.  A working musician and performer, he plays mandolin, guitar and keyboards for two different Seattle bands.  He and his wife have two wonderful and challenging cats and are the proud parents to their son Theo and daughter Ilsa!

     
photo Darla Cardwell

As a professional actor, Darla has toured internationally in various productions on land and at sea, sung with the Boston Pops, and has worked locally in Seattle at the 5th Avenue Theatre and with Showtunes Theatre Company. She has degrees in vocal performance and music education with a minor in piano performance from Southern Methodist University. She has a masters degree in musical theatre from The Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Super mom to two beautifully self-expressed Sunshine Music Together graduates. 

     
photo Lara Allan

Lara is so delighted to be part of the fabulous Sunshine Music Together team! Lara spent her childhood as part of a family folk band, the Cutters, here in Seattle and went on to study Theater at Whitman College. She has a Masters in Arts Education from Goldsmith University in London and has worked at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in their Education Department and in international arts organizations in London, England. She returned to the USA six years ago and fell in love with the Music Together curriculum when she started bringing her then newborn son to classes (he is now 8) and again with her second son (now 3) who still loves the classes!!). Having performed in local folk bands, musical theater and lead workshops for family music at Folklife, she is happy to be back in Seattle and working hands on with the people she loves best.... kids! Lara lives in Wedgewood with her husband, aging cat and 6 month old, 3,7 and 8 year olds. She is currently learning the harmonium, mountain dulcimer and clogging and loves making up songs for her kids.

     
photo Aimee Filippi

Aimee Filippi is so excited to be a part of the Sunshine Music Together family! Aimee trained under the co-founder of Music Together, Lili M. Levinowitz. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Cornish College of the Arts with her B.F.A. in Theatre. A few of her favorite roles were Mrs. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, Lucianus in Hamlet, and Princess Huncamunca in the musical Tom Thumb. In the summer she performs with an improv troupe called No Parchment Needed at renaissance faires in Washington and Oregon. Aimee got to experience Music Together first hand by attending classes with the children she nannies and can't wait to play and be musical with more families. If you ever find yourself in the gift shop at the Seattle Children's Theatre you can dress up in hats and play puppets with her!

     
photo Carla Merkow

Carla is a registered Music Together teacher and has recently obtained her Level 1 Teacher Certifcation under the co-author of Music Together, Lili M. Levinowtiz.  She has been leading music experiences for young children since 2008. Carla was an early childhood music faculty member at MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis, The University of Texas String Project, and Seattle Symphony Soundbridge. She earned her bachelor's degree in Music Education from University of Minnesota. Carla refined her teaching expertise and pursued research interests in a master's degree at The University of Texas at Austin. Carla's research on infants' musical development has been published in Early Child Development and Care and the book Music and Media Infused Lives: Music Education in a Digital Age. Trained as a classical percussionist, Carla now performs marimba with the UW Zimbabwean Music Club. She lives with her husband, newborn and toddler daughters in Bellevue.

     
photo Laura Coyer Selleck

Laura has a Doctoral degree in Piano Performance from the University of Washington and a Masters in Piano from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. As a pianist she has played concerts throughout the Seattle area and the San Francisco Bay area as well as performances in Southern California, Colorado, New Mexico, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Laura is also an active cellist and is a member of the Puget Sound Symphony Orchestra. Music has been a central part of her life since she was young through years of study on piano and cello, participation in numerous orchestral and chamber groups, and as a solo performer. She has worked for many years as a music educator through her private piano studio and as a teacher of early childhood music classes in preschools and elementary schools. Laura received her Music Together certification in 2014 with co-founder Lili Levinowitz and was a Music Together parent for many years with her own two children. She is thrilled to be part of the Sunshine Music Together team!

     
photo Bridgit Jacobsen

Bridgit Jacobsen is thrilled to begin teaching at Sunshine Music Together.  She discovered Music Together 12 years ago and it has been one of the greatest joys of her life ever since.  Bridgit did her teacher training in San Francisco in 2006 and taught there for the following four years. In 2010, she moved to Portland, OR where she has continued to teach for the last eight years.

Bridgit’s love of music began as a small child as she sang in her church choir and learned to play piano in Upstate New York.  In high school, she picked up the guitar and started writing songs. Bridgit studied voice at Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY and at Ithaca College, but eventually left the Northeast for California in 2001.  She began singing and playing keys in numerous bands almost immediately. In 2005 and 2006, Bridgit toured the US and Europe as a member of Sufjan Stevens’ band and recorded an EP with him. Since moving to Portland, she has been a session singer for a number of bands and musicians including Laura Veirs and The Decemberists.  Bridgit has been writing and recording her own music for the past 15 years.

Bridgit has worked with children in a variety of settings over the years - as a babysitter, camp counselor, and preschool teacher.  Getting out her guitar, singing songs, and being silly with kids is what she has always done. Bridgit now has young children of her own and family music making is a way of life.  She thanks her lucky stars every day for the opportunity to share her love of music with children and families and is so excited to become a part of the Seattle community!

 
     
photo Benni Sara Claflin

Benni Sara Claflin is a graduate of New York University Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Drama. Born and raised in the Puget sound area, Benni was deeply influenced by their mother’s passion for a vast array of music from a young age. They were introduced to the Music Together program while nannying for a local Seattle family and fell in love with Music Together as a caregiver. They became a registered Music Together teacher soon after. Benni is so thrilled to combine their passion for music and the arts with their experience in early childhood development through Music Together!

     
photo Megan Benoy

Megan took her Music Together Teacher training with the co-founder of Music Together, Lili M. Levinowitz in San Francisco. She taught in Silicon Valley for a little over a year before moving with her family to Redmond, Wa, where she is delighted to join the Sunshine Music Together Family. Megan grew up in a suburb of Los Angeles where she took dance, voice, and acting lessons from a young age. The dance studio was the center of her family’s life for much of her childhood. She trained in ballet, jazz, lyrical, and tap and traveled as part of the studio’s dance competition team. She attended a performing arts middle school and high school where she majored in musical theater and dance. She performed as part of the chorus in various community theater productions in Santa Monica. Though she majored in Business at the University of California Santa Barbara and has a Masters of Science in Marketing from the Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business, she never lost her love of music. She took piano and music theory classes at the Community School of Music and Art in Mountain View, Ca.

Megan has a passion for child development and respectful parenting principles. She fell in love with Music Together while attending classes with her daughter. For four years as a stay at home mom she joyfully made music each week in Music Together classes and now she’s so excited to be able to foster that experience for other families. 

     
photo Amy Lakhani (Substitute Teacher)

With a music teacher for a mama and a fiddle-playing pop, Amy grew up singing around pianos, campfires, and countless church crowds. After performing with formal choral groups, she worked as a guitar-toting camp counselor, and some of her best musical memories come from singing duets with her sister at weddings. With a master's degree in English, Amy taught college writing and communications, and then worked as a marketing manager for Microsoft, Intel, and several startups. Amy became a registered Music Together teacher after taking a class with her own kiddos and seeing the uninhibited fun and joy it added to their lives. She lives in Magnolia with her family, where they devise new dance moves on the daily (ask her to do the "side-crab" sometime). She is giddy about the opportunity to make music with families and is honored to be a part of this talented team.