About us

Art Play Learn is the culmination of 30 years of teaching and learning. Meredith's path to founding Art Play Learn is long and convoluted and includes living and teaching in Japan for almost 4 years, working as a contract actor and teaching at almost every gig for 3 years, coaching professional stage performers on audition techniques in NYC, leading a team of arts integrators to create state and Common Core aligned workshops for Kaiser Permanente, creating an Infant and Toddler Enrichment Program through PGParks, and then developing a Japanese curriculum that has enjoyed so much popularity it sometimes keeps her up at night. Meredith's goal is to change the world through education and she knows she cannot do it alone. That is why she works hard to find the world's best teachers, to empower them to share their brilliance with the world and to find students for them to share their brilliance with.

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Meredith Kaunitz

CEO, Master Teacher

With 28 years of teaching experience, a curiosity about Neurology, Psychology, and Cognitive Science, and exposure to a wide variety of teaching strategies, Meredith has become a thought-leader in education. Developing and implementing new teaching strategies, Meredith has become a popular teacher and sought-out education consultant. 

Meredith has developed a distance-learning program, including 9 levels of Japanese (for 8-12 year olds, and for teens) with 2 writing supplemental classes, that has garnered the attention of almost 700 families and a 5-star rating. 

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Amber Ba'th

PreK Teacher, Acting Coach

Amber has been teaching preschoolers to teenagers for over 10 years; from the alphabet, to dance, and to the stage. She uses her many talents to teach “littles”, as she calls preschoolers, in ways many enjoy and can relate to; through the arts. She graduated Howard University with a BFA in Theatre Arts Administration, and has performed on stage, tv and film. She has been in the entertainment industry for many years, both in front and behind the scenes, and homeschools her two amazing children.

Michael Kessler

Brass Instrument Teacher

Michael Kessler is an Instrumental Music Teacher for Prince George's County Public Schools (PGCPS) where he is currently assigned to three elementary schools where he teaches beginning Band and Orchestra to grades 4, 5, & 6. Mr. Kessler believes that everyone has musical ability in them even if they are not aware of it, and that they are capable of learning music and an instrument with a little dedication and hard work. Mr. Kessler earned his Bachelor of Science in Music Education (2006) and a Master in Music Performance (2013) from Towson University. He currently holds an Advanced Teaching Certificate from Maryland State Department of Education.

 

In addition to teaching for PGCPS Mr. Kessler maintains a private lesson studio. As part of that studio he previously taught private brass instrument lessons at the Music and Arts Center in Bowie (2014-2020) and at St. Anne’s School of Annapolis (2007-2011). In addition to teaching Mr. Kessler was the Principal Trumpet of the Londontowne Symphony Orchestra (2009-2016) and a member of the Anne Arundel Community College Band and Orchestra (2008-2010).

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Jeanne Garrett

Piano & Voice Teacher

Jeanne Garrett (a.k.a “Ms Jeanne") has been a vocal/piano/theatre instructor/coach and choir/showchoir director for over 30 years. She has taught in the Bowie/Arundel Mills/Annapolis area  for the last 14 years. Jeanne began performing at the age of 4 and has studied with vocal coaches Lucille Zepp, Larry Carey, Karen Bureau, Susan Schreiner, and Linda Eder. She studied music at York College of Pennsylvania, Psychology at University of Maryland, and is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Mental Health Counseling at Liberty University. 

Jeanne has prepared students for auditions nationally with many being cast in lead and supporting roles both locally and in NYC, Florida, and Japan. She is often asked to judge pageants, run 

auditions, choreograph musicals and lead master vocal classes in the Pennsylvania and Maryland area. 

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Ezekiel Bailey

String Instrument Teacher

Ezekiel Bailey loved singing as a child. His elementary music teachers noticed his passion for music and recommended him to audition for the Maryland Children’s Choir. There he gained performance experience and a foundation in music theory.

As Ezekiel reached adolescence and his voice began to change he began to look for new ways to perform music. He picked up the guitar and started lessons. Within a couple of years he was accepted into the Baltimore School for the Arts where he studied classical guitar with the renowned Spanish guitarist Gustavo Them. After high school, Ezekiel was accepted into the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University. He went on to receive a Bachelor's degree in classical guitar performance while studying with Ray Chester and a minor in Lute performance under Mark Cudek. He continued his education and received a Master’s degree in classical guitar performance under the tutelage of Julian Gray. While at Peabody he also had the privilege of playing in masterclasses with many of the world’s top performers including Manuel Barrueco, William Kanengiser, Phyllis Bryn-Julson and John Shirley-Quirk. He also attended the Domain Forget Summer Music festival in Quebec where he participated in masterclasses with Pepe Romero and studied with Bruce Holzman and Patrick Roux.

Ezekiel has been teaching guitar since he was 18 years old. Through the years he has branched out into bass guitar, ukulele, music theory, ear training, music transcription and composition, as part of his teaching practices. He can also teach lute but no one has ever asked for that one. He is proficient in most styles of music including classical, jazz, rock, blues, funk, etc. basically if it makes sound, he can play it. He has taught students of all ages from 4-80. Many of his students have gone on to successful music careers and/or prestigious music programs such as Berkeley School of Music, Peabody Conservatory, Baltimore School for the Arts, Salisbury State University and Colorado State University.

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Alexandrea Franklin

Art & Elementary Education Teacher

Alex earned her Masters in Elementary Education at Ball State University. During her undergraduate at St. Joseph's College she studied art and began her journey implementing art into her own classroom. She spent 5 years teaching 3rd grade working with new English Learners and sharing her love of the arts with her students. She is known well for her painting and drawing skills and is always looking for new, fun ways to create new forms of art. She worked as a Girl Scout Leader for 6 years where she was able to explore different art forms in nature as well as teach children how to create these art forms. Her love for education shines through in her ability to help guide others in their journey with the arts.

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Nicole "Cole" Garlando

Mindfulness & Movement Teacher

Nicole (Cole) Garlando is a dance artist and educator (dance improvisation, choreography, performance, somatic research, movement education, meditation, installation art, poetry, philosophy, cosmology). Garlando has a Master of Fine Arts in Dance from The Ohio State University (2017) and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from Ohio University, Athens (2001). Cole has been teaching movement, creative arts and mindfulness-based practices for more than 25 years in public and private schools, universities, community centers and arts organizations. Most recently teaching movement and meditation in an online retreat for educators and care providers (2020-2021) with the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, FL and offers their own online class series for adults via www.nicolegarlando.com. Cole recently exhibited “DISTANCE” in Columbus, Ohio - a mixed media installation based on light, time and change. Cole served as Artist-In-Residence at Creative Current (2019) and piloted a dance / interdisciplinary artist residency at the Cultural Arts Center (2018) in Columbus, Ohio where she is now developing an interdisciplinary Artist Residency program which will go live in Spring of 2021. Grateful for past residencies / teaching / contracts with Wittenberg University; Wexner Center for the Arts; Feverhead; Greater Columbus Arts Council; Ohio Arts Council; Columbus City Schools; VSA Ohio; Columbus Museum of Art; Ananda Center; Arts in Stark; Lions Lincoln Theatre; Downtown Massillon Association; Massillon Museum; Stark County Schools; Ohio University and The Ohio State University, Cole is also grateful for ongoing connections to the Mind and Life Institute; Bebe Miller Company; Bearnstow; and a new project/ podcast with long-time friends and collaborators called, “Benevolent Instruction”.

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Dana Parker

Music, Art & Science Teacher

Dana Parker has been a professional singer for over 30 years. Her first stage performance was at the age of 10, and by age 13 she was signed to her first of 3 major record labels. She has worked alongside many in the music industry and is currently the lead singer in a band based in Washington, DC. A writer and producer, Dana has studied voice for the span of her career and continues to work with choirs and vocal groups. She is a certified Audio Engineer, having studied sound design and studio techniques, and also holds degrees in Electrical Engineering and Network Engineering, Cyber Security.

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Alejandra Zuñiga

Spanish Teacher

Alejandra is a native Peruvian.  Sharing the love for her language and culture has become her passion. She has a degree in Business Administration from St. Augustine University. She understands what people go through when learning a new language having arrived in the U.S. just twelve years ago.  Here in the U.S. she has accumulated more than 7 years of experience in early childhood development. She am a homeschool mom and has taught her own children for the last two years. Her work as a professional educator and experience as a home educator has stoked a passion for education and the inherent experimentation needed to discover the best possible approach for each unique and individual child.

Scott Baker

Drums & Percussion Teacher

Scott is an accomplished musician and teacher. A Maryland native, he started playing the drums at age 7. As a young student, he studied with Dr. Richard Bick and Gary Elliot (U.S. Navy Commodores). He attended St. Mary’s College Md. as a Percussion Performance Major, continuing his studies with Gordon Stout. While in attendance, he performed with the Percussion Ensemble, was first chair in the Orchestra and played with the Jazz Band.

 

Scott was a co-founding original member of Chrysalis recording and touring artists Here Today and Vigil. After Vigil, Scott kept busy playing a wide variety of styles from Rock to R & B, Jazz, Blues, Big Band and Country in countless venues with numerous groups and artists.

 

Over the last 20 years, he has taught beginner to advanced students of all ages from young children to adults and seniors. His strength is in reading, fundamentals and technique on the Snare Drum, as well as teaching all styles and forms of drum set from Modern Pop to Classic Rock, R & B, Jazz, Blues and Latin.

 

Scott has a solid track record of success with his students. Pupils have received Music Scholarships to Dematha High School. He has helped numerous students prepare and succeed in auditions for Honors, Jazz, Marching and State Bands. He has also had students get accepted into music programs at Notre Dame, University of Maryland, Howard University and Towson University. After many years, Scott still loves playing and teaching and really enjoys passing on and sharing his knowledge, passion and excitement for music to his students.

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Yolanda Goss

French & GermanTeacher

Ms. Goss is a multi-cultural picnic all by herself. She has made it a goal to search far and wide for the best of wherever she is. She studied French and German at the 'Harvard of the South', Berea College in Kentucky. She studied German as a Foreign Language at the Lessing Kolleg in Marburg, Germany and translation at the School of Interpretation (Dolmetch-Institute) at the University of Vienna in Vienna, Austria. She has been teaching French, German, Spanish and ESL for over 35 years. Some of her happiest achievements range from providing instruction in German to enable a college student to go to the University of Goettingen to watching a very young learner from England make up games which caused her to teach herself vocabulary without her even knowing she was doing so. Even though Ms. Goss has taught students how to pass international exams, like the London Chamber of Commerce exam; she is happiest when she can bring out a learner's joy of learning and natural brilliance. Her instruction includes verses, song, movement and story telling. The atmosphere in class is relaxed, encouraging, caring and fun.

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Rachel Jackson

Theater Teacher

Rachel is a professional actor/director based in Nashville, TN. She
graduated with her BFA in Acting from Millikin University in 2018, and
is signed with Heyman Talent Agency. She loves to read, spend time
with friends, and snuggle with her Chihuahua, Nessa!

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Nikhila Deo

Kindergarten Teacher

Nikhila completed her Masters in Business Management in Marketing and Finance from Symbiosis Institute of Business Management in India. 

Before her relocation to the United States from India, she worked with the world’s largest selling English daily The Times of India, where she headed their Newspaper in Education division.  During her tenure, she was the recipient of the company's Award for Excellence.

Since her move to New York city where she currently resides, she has been working as a teacher with Sylvan Learning Center and Kokua Education. Her forte is teaching Creative Writing and English.   She also works as a Content Writer with her work being published on various websites.   Nikhila has a love for arts and crafts and she has led craft classes for both children and adults.  

An avid traveler she has travelled to over 30 countries.  She believes that traveling is one of the most fulfilling and multi dimensional forms of education.  She has been giving students an insight into global culture, history and geography of various countries by taking them on virtual trips around the world.  

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Patrice DiChristina

Art & Farm Science Teacher

Patrice received a BA in Art and Psychology from Oberlin College in 2018. Since then, she has worked as a studio assistant, an art teacher, an artist, and a farmer, sometimes all at once. Patrice loves reading, painting, hiking, and hanging out with her cat. 

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Richa Marwaha

Hindi, Punjabi & Marathi Teacher

Richa is a teacher at The Golden Door Charter School in New Jersey. She taught children of all ages through a media integration approach while working for The Times of India. She has a Master's Degree in Accounting and Taxation and a long work history in Marketing and Sales. In addition to English, she speaks Hindi, Punjabi and Marathi. She is available to tutor in any of those 4 languages.

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Serina Lui

YouTube MarketingTeacher

Serina completed her Bachelor's Degree in Business Marketing at San Francisco State University. She has experience in the sports, non-profit, and education industries. She has a passion for teaching and loves to help others by providing the assistance in areas she struggled with while she was growing up. She understands that people come from all different backgrounds and has both the patience and understanding to support the people she meets. Serina also loves to work out, go on food adventures, and spend time with her loved ones!

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Kristyn Peters

COVID-Grade Saver Tutor

Kristyn Peters graduated with a degree in Interdisciplinary 

Studies with a concentration in Elementary Education from Chowan University in 2020. She currently works with kids diagnosed on the Autism spectrum and with other challenges, ages 6-12, at the Faison Center. She is a member of the NEA. In high school, she was a SMART Mentor and a Peer Mentor.

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Trinity Hill

COVID-Grade Saver Tutor

Trinity Hill is a college student studying Forensic Science. She has always had a passion for teaching children. In her freshman year of college, she obtained an early childhood certification. She did her internship as a teacher's assistant at Ardmore Elementary School.

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Stephanie Bellinger

Preschool & Kindergarten Art Teacher

Stephanie Bellinger is a licensed elementary school teacher with over a decade of teaching experience. She began her career as a third grade teacher. After six years at the elementary level, she entered into the world of early childhood education where she fell in love with this age group. Stephanie currently works as a primary Montessori art teacher as well as an online English teacher for students in China. She also owns a small business where she offers arts and crafts workshops to people in her hometown. Stephanie has a passion for encouraging her students to focus on process art—where the process of creating and exploring materials is valued over the end product.