Spotlight On: Making Music!

A few days ago we directed the spotlight on our many dance class offerings. This post will focus on the classes in our Music Department, for ages 3-18!

When taking up any instrument, it is emphasized how important it is to practice regularly, take good care of your instrument, and the proper techniques for performing. Yet we tend to forget that our voice is also an instrument, that needs to be trained and cared for in the same way! Our choral options and vocal technique classes will help students of all ages to discover their voice and Sing Out. Classes are held in a nurturing environment where those with experience are challenged, and beginners are encouraged.

Check out these classes being offered this year. Many are more than halfway full, with only a few spots left, so be sure to register soon!


A Joyful Noise – Exploring Song

“A Joyful Noise” will introduce the basic concepts of rhythm, melody, and composition of music as students learn how to tell a story through song. Younger students will enjoy experimenting with hand percussion and simple instruments; older students will gain an in-depth understanding of technique and performance. Taught by Emily Cuellar and Kelsey Mclernon. (scroll down for more on them!).

High Notes – our Children’s Choirs

High Notes, Junior, is a fun, interactive class will offer young singers preparatory skills for a variety of musical endeavors.  This introductory level class will teach elementary musical and vocal skills through a combination of music, movement and fun activities.  Children will be encouraged to explore their voices and innate musicality in an emotionally safe, integrated learning environment that encourages self-expression and enjoying the gift of music.  Students will perform onstage with the Spring Junior Production, as well as host an in-class performance for friends and family. Led by Kelsey Mclernon.

High Notes is an intermediate level choir that will give students the opportunity to grow and develop more advanced musical and vocal skills in a true choral setting.  No music reading skills are required for this class.  Students will enjoy learning to sing more challenging, yet age appropriate music, including learning to harmonize.  Students will perform onstage with the Spring Junior Production, as well as host an in-class performance for friends and family. Led by Emily Cuellar.

Intro to Vocal Technique for ages 13-18

This class will introduce the fundamentals of good vocal production in an encouraging and safe group environment.  Focus will be on learning and establishing the foundations of healthy singing and vocal care.  Students will learn the basics of posture, breathing, vocalizing, diction, vowel formation and how to apply their techniques to repertoire.  Group as well as solo singing opportunities will be available in this class. For ages 13-18. Taught by Emily Cuellar.

Meet Our Music Department Instructors…

Emily Cuellar

Emily Cuellar fell in love with music at a very young age. Her dad is the music director at her Church, so she was able to start singing at a very young age. She is the second oldest of 7 children, and all of them play an instrument and/or sing. Growing up in such a faith filled and musical family has been a tremendous blessing, and is one of the reasons she decided to pursue music as a career.

In high school, Emily taught herself piano, guitar and started writing music. Her oldest siblings along with a few friends decided to form a Christian rock band where they led retreats and put on worship nights. She also loves theater! Emily grew up taking improve classes, directed “The Passion of the Christ”for two years and later played the role of Mary twice, and performed in multiple church skits. In May 2018, she was in the ensemble of “Beauty and the Beast” at Stadium Theatre.

The past four years, she has been studying at Salve Regina University. She played soccer there for two years, and then decided to quit so she could focus more on her faith and music. She is a triple major in Music, Philosophy and Psychology. Emily currently works as a Youth Minister at two churches, teaches voice lessons, and now is excited to be working and sharing her love of music with AWIP.


Kelsey Mclernon

Kelsey McLernon has grown up in a musical family her entire life, and has been singing since she can remember. She began musical theater at age 9, and has played Annie in “Annie,” Winthrop in “The Music Man,” Martha Watson in “White Christmas” and many other roles. Taking lessons from her father and later teaching herself, she has played piano since age 6. She has used that skill to write her own music, and is releasing her first EP this year. Check out her music videos here and find her music on Itunes, Spotify, and wherever digital music is sold! She has been involved in A Work In Progress since 2013, participating in four Mainstage Productions, interning for two Junior Productions, and interning for High Notes Junior last year.


We are thrilled to have such amazing teachers working with our students this year, and know that these classes will be full of life. Go to our Music Department page to see these classes in one spot. Register today before they fill!


Enjoy the remaining weeks of summer – see you soon!

Jen Roca for all of us


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