Jessica Heitmeyer, Director
Jessica grew up in Pickerington and received her BM from Capital University, and MM from the University of Oregon with an emphasis in Piano Pedagogy. While at Capital University, she also studied Organ Pedagogy and Literature with Janet Linker and Paul Thornock. She had the fortunate opportunity of studying Piano Pedagogy with Dr. Rebecca Johnson, current president of the Music Teacher's National Association. During her academic years, she presented for the Symposium on Undergraduate Scholarship and the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy. In addition, she was a previous winner of Capital University's Concerto Competition and performed as a soloist with the Capital Wind Symphony. She studied piano performance with India D'Avignon (Capital University) and Dr. Claire Wachter (University of Oregon).
Ms. Heitmeyer was previously on the piano faculty at O’Hara Catholic School and a group piano instructor at the Eugene Piano Academy in Oregon. In addition to teaching, she keeps an active performing schedule with choral groups, churches, and soloists. Her credentials and more than 15 years of teaching experience demonstrate expertise and a passion for teaching. Her published article in the Clavier Companion highlights her previous experience teaching at the Vermont Independent School of the Arts, a non-profit school. Jessica integrates technique, reading and ear-training to provide her students with a well-rounded education. She also encourages student independence through active listening and problem solving. To make lessons enjoyable for her students, Jessica selects music appropriate for their age, level and interests.
Emily Johnson, Assistant Director
Emily earned her B.A. in English from Texas A&M University in 1993 and has since worked in many fields, including office management, corporate liaison, sales, copyediting, and overseeing a non-profit. As a US Army dependent, she grew up around the United States and overseas, finally settling with her family in Pickerington, OH. She has two children involved in music study at the Music Palette. Emily is a firm believer in the importance of music instruction’s effects on children as they develop their skills and appreciation for music. She is very excited to be part of Music Palette’s team, seeing this come to pass every day.
Laurie Loper brings over 30 years of experience to Music Palette as a piano teacher and accompanist. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in music from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA, and a Master of Music degree in piano performance and accompanying from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She has previously taught both group and studio piano to students of all ages in multiple settings, including the Ohio State University – Newark, Otterbein University, Lawrence Arts Academy (Appleton, WI), the Music for Everyone Program (Green Bay, WI), and Hope College (Holland, MI). Her accompanying career has included student, faculty, and guest recitals at numerous colleges and universities. She has also maintained an active independent piano teaching studio wherever she has lived.
Mrs. Loper believes that each student is uniquely gifted, and she strives to develop those gifts through a strong student-teacher relationship, energy, humor, and a solid approach based on musical and technical fundamentals. She is a member of the National Guild of Piano Teachers, Ohio Music Teachers’ Association, and Music Teachers’ National Association.
Ginny Christopherson, noted violin teacher for many years in the Columbus area, is now available for violin lessons at Music Palette. She earned a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education and Applied Violin, and a Master's Degree in Applied Violin from the University of Montana. She also completed additional graduate work at Northwestern, studying violin with Edgar Muenzer of the Chicago Symphony and performing with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. She received extensive Suzuki pedagogy training from world renowned pedagogues Louise Berhend, John Kendall, Dr. William Starr, among many others; as well as a month of study in Japan under Dr. Suzuki. Ginny founded the Suzuki Music Center of Central Ohio and the Capital University Suzuki Program and Institute. July 1st, 1994 was designated “Ginny Christopherson Day” in Bexley in recognition of her service at Capital University with the Summer Suzuki Institute which has touched so many lives.
The Ohio Music Teachers’ Association awarded Mrs. Christopherson the Certified Independent Teacher of the Year Award in 2006. Her many former administrative roles include serving as Secretary for the Ohio String Teachers Association state board, Strings Chairperson for state and local divisions of Music Teachers National Association, and Board member for the Sunday at Central Chamber Music Series at the Columbus Art Museum. Her students have won many local, state, and national competitions and are leaders in their school orchestras and the youth orchestras sponsored by the Columbus Symphony Orchestra.
Music Palette students of Ginny Christopherson will receive instruction that will help them enjoy and excel at their performance level. Though space is limited, students at all levels, backgrounds, and ages are welcome.
Esther Upham Aluoch
Piano, Voice, Composition and Theory
Esther Upham Aluoch was born in Chicago, and grew up in the countryside of Indiana. She was awarded a full scholarship to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where she completed both her Bachelor of Music in Piano Pedagogy, and her Master of Music in Piano Accompanying. After completing her education, Esther taught class piano and other music subjects at Indiana University South Bend as an adjunct faculty member. During this time, she also gave private lessons at the University of Notre Dame and accompanied for their opera program. Throughout her career, she has maintained a private piano studio with students of all ages. As a composer, the first piece that Mrs. Upham Aluoch presented was a chamber piece entitled, "The Gospel According to St. John." Along with a small ensemble of four singers, cello, and flute, she performed this piece at Indiana University South Bend in 2004. Then, in 2010, her oratorio, “Love Revealed” was premiered in Jerusalem, Israel featuring the Israel Chamber Orchestra and the Jerusalem A Cappella Singers conducted by Elli Jaffe. There were two succeeding performances in 2012 and 2014. As a teacher, Mrs. Aluoch loves to work with students of all ages, from the beginning level to the advanced level. The parents of her students have always commented that their children felt very encouraged and inspired after working with her. Esther also teaches beginning flute and voice lessons.
Bobby Phillips is a recent graduate of Capital University where he studied Music Education. During his time at Capital, Bobby was a member of Chapel Choir, where he had the opportunity to travel and perform in Ireland, New York, and even Carnegie Hall. Bobby is currently a general music teacher at Winchester Trail Elementary School. He is also the director of the 5th Grade Guitar Club at Winchester Trail Elementary. Bobby teaches guitar, ukulele, and voice at Music Palette.
Guitar, Banjo, Piano,Ukulele and Voice
Jeremy Sheets is currently a student at Capital University, studying Music Education and Violin Performance. Jeremy has been playing violin since the age of six and has been a percussionist since the age of nine. During his time with the nationally acclaimed Grove City High School Band and Orchestra programs, he had the opportunity to march in the Rose Bowl parade and perform as a percussionist and violinist at Disney World. Jeremy is a member of the Capital Orchestra Program, participates in the World Music Ensemble, and is in the Pit Orchestra for the Music department. He also plays fiddle and mandolin in the Slick City Grass bluegrass group. Jeremy is very excited to join the Music Palette teaching staff and is looking forward to helping students of all age enjoy the power of music.
Audrey Rice received a Bachelor of Music Education from The Ohio State University and is currently working on her Master of Music Education at Capital University. Having previously taught students in grades PK-8, she is now a general music teacher at Winchester Trail Elementary in Canal Winchester, where she teaches grades 3-5 music and co-directs the 5th grade choir. Audrey teaches ukulele, voice, and flute at Music Palette.
Flute, Ukulele and Voice
Amy Jackson is a recent graduate of Capital University, where she earned her Bachelors in Music Education. She currently teaches K-6 general music and choir in Springfield, OH. Amy teaches voice lessons at Music Palette specializing in contemporary music, classical, opera, and musical theatre. Amy is passionate about helping others find their voice and fervently believes that everyone can sing. Through instruction, students of all ability levels engage in vocalises, multiple genres of music, and singing games that will challenge students while help them grow musically. Outside of the music studio, Amy is a Disney fanatic and loves doing escape rooms.
Christopher Santantasio is a writer and musician born and raised in New York. In 2010, he earned a Bachelors of Music in Education and Euphonium Performance from The Crane School of Music, where he completed an independent study in wind band conducting with Dr. Brian Doyle. He has performed as both principal and second euphonium with the New York Wind Symphony and the First State Symphonic Band. He has held teaching positions in Syracuse, Wilmington, Delaware, and most recently, Philadelphia, where he served as conductor and musical director of the POP Symphony Orchestra. As a writer, he is the author (with Dr. Marsha Baxter) of "From the Bandstand to the Classroom" (Music Educator's Journal). His creative writing has also appeared in several publications, including Lake Effect: An International Literary Journal, and One Story Magazine.
Molly Brown is a multi-instrumentalist, teacher, and writer. She received a B.A. in Music with a concentration in Cultural and Critical Studies at Bucknell University, where she also received both a B.A. and an M.A. in literature. She also studied music and English in multidisciplinary fashion at Hertford College, University of Oxford. She loves collaborative work and has most recently performed with Flux + Flow Dance Project. In addition to her passion for playing and for teaching piano, she also was a cellist in the Bucknell Symphony Orchestra, a member of the Bucknell Gamelan Ensemble, and has a significant background as a researcher/performer of Appalachian/Old Time ballads on the mandolin and mountain dulcimer. Her creative writing has also appeared in several publications, including Hobart, The Adirondack Review, Crab Creek Review, among others.
Hunter Mills is a current student at Capital University where he studies Guitar and Music Education. Hunter brings several years of private lessons experience, as well as a vast knowledge of jazz and contemporary styles to our studio. In addition to teaching, Hunter regularly performs in various pit orchestras as well as with The Nathan Baker Quartet and other local music groups. Hunter teaches both guitar and ukulele at Music Palette.