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 Aimee Filippi

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. Some favorite roles include Princess Huncamunca in Tom Thumb the Musical and Penny in ACME. In the summer she performs at Renaissance Faires with her improv troupe Clergy of Errors. Aimee got to experience Music Together first hand attending classes with the children she nannied and loves that she gets to continue with new families every semester.

     
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!