Ms-Clara-150
Ms-Amy-150
MacKenzie
Melissa Larson
AmandaWalshHeadshot
Ms-Katherine-150

Ms. Clara

As the daughter of 2 symphony musicians and a 5th generation musician, music has a deep and profound place in Clara D’Onofrio’s heart. In addition to “Ms. Clara’s” lifelong musical training, she has also earned her Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Northwestern University. She feels so blessed to have found a career that allows her to combine her passion for music with her knowledge of early childhood development. Ms. Clara is dedicated to living a life full of joy, laughter, love, and fun!

“I knew from day one of my daughter’s “mini musicians” class that Ms. Clara was extremely bright, talented and professional.  This class was BY FAR the most enriching of the enrichment classes in which we partook. Ms. Clara’s love of music is evident in her spirit and teaching style. She utilizes her beautiful voice and an assortment of instruments in teaching the children an array of musical terms and concepts.” – P.M., mom of one mini musician

Ms. Amy

With a Masters in Elementary Education and a B.F.A. in Music & Theatre Performance, Amy has combined her passion for the arts and her love of children to serve as an educator for numerous schools, theatres and artistic businesses for over 15 years. She is a firm believer in the benefit and power of arts education, and offers warmth, creativity and energy to students of all ages. She happily joins Ms. Clara’s team and looks forward to making learning Joyful and fun!

Ms. MacKenzie

With a heart for community and artistic connection, MacKenzie joins Ms. Clara’s Mini Musicians ready to share that passion through music! She holds a B.A. in Community Art & Theater and thrives on facilitating spaces for self expression and interpersonal engagement. Singing in choirs all her life, MacKenzie has found making music to be an especially positive way to connect with others and she looks forward to fostering this kind of environment as she begins her journey with this talented team.

“I knew from my first conversation with Ms. MacKenzie that she was the perfect fit for our Joyful community. Her cheerful and upbeat personality combined with her enthusiasm for sharing her love of music with children made my decision to bring her onboard a no-brainer, and I offered her the position on the spot. I’m overjoyed to introduce her to all of our wonderful families!” – Ms. Clara

Ms. Melissa

Having been blessed with an early childhood music education herself, Melissa Larson is very excited to be sharing this gift with the next generation of children. From founding her college vocal jazz ensemble to singing professionally for the Chicago Honey Bear’s Production Company, she has a rich musical background. Melissa is endlessly inspired by the joyful and loving spirit of children and is grateful to be combining this love with her passion for singing and the gift of sharing her heartsong in her hometown.

I have been taking my three year old son to Ms. Clara’s Mini Musicians for about a year and he loves it. Our teacher is Ms. Melissa at the Oak Park location and she is very sweet and has a beautiful singing voice. My son always wants to give her a hug when it’s time to leave.– S.A., mom of one mini musician

Ms. Amanda

As a certified music teacher and early childhood teacher, Amanda is thrilled to be able to combine her two passions at Ms. Clara’s Mini Musicians. Amanda has been singing since she could make sounds, and is an active musical theatre performer around the Chicago area. By day, she works in a kindergarten classroom, and incorporates music wherever possible. She looks forward to getting to share in the joy and enthusiasm that children bring to musical expression!

Ms. Katherine

Music has been a lifelong passion of Ms. Katherine’s and she feels blessed to have joined Ms Clara’s Mini Musicians in 2013. She holds a Master’s Degree from Jane Addams College of Social Work and specializes in working with Children and Families. Fostering a classroom environment which promotes community ties and family memories is important to Ms. Katherine. She feels fortunate to be able to give back to the neighborhood she grew up in through building a joyful setting for early childhood development.