The 2018 Blog Team – Networking on the National Stage

One of the benefits of CMN is the ability to network on the national stage with both experienced professionals as well as newcomers in the field of children’s music.  Whether you are looking for the perfect song for your classroom, asking about tips for your upcoming performance, sharing your own creative work, or debating the merits of current topics in the field, you are certain to find interested friends ready to engage.  So, in order to encourage a wide range of participants, we have assembled a staff of writers this year.  We are voices in the community, with varied backgrounds, living throughout the country, ready and willing to start the important conversations.

And since we are a music community, it’s fun to think of ourselves as a band, each playing different instruments to enhance the overall experience.  Of course there will be overlap.  We have lots in common with each other.  Of course there is room to improve.  We continue to search for others who bring unique perspective.  Of course there will be songs.  What would a CMN blog be without the songs?

Here is a song of mine to start us off – Would you like to

Play in my Band

Everybody go clap, clap, clap

Everybody go tap, tap, tap

Everybody go slap, slap, slap

Everybody go snap, snap, snap

Introducing . . .

The 2018 Blog Team 

Alice Burba comes to the field of educational music after working as a Child Welfare Training Consultant for over 32 years where she trained educators, professionals and caregivers about the needs of children. As a training consultant, Alice developed and implemented a variety of curricula specializing in Child Development, Brain Development, and the Effects of Trauma on Development. Alice’s Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and Master’s Degree in Education, paired with her years of experience, give her a unique foundation to teach adults about the needs of children.

As a musician and singer, she has always believed in the power of music to move, develop and teach. Over the past 12 years, Alice has been a regular conference speaker on the connection between literacy and music. Alice is President and Owner of Songs for Teaching and Co-Owner of Music, Movement, Magination, Inc.

One of Alice’s favorite songs was written by her son, Zach, when he was a teenager! “We gave him a few facts about birds that needed to be included in the song, and this is what he came up with!”
Joanie Calem is a musician, singer/song-writer, and teacher.  She has been creating music and teaching people of all ages since 1983.  Her goal in both performance and teaching is to invite audiences and students to share a sense of creating community through singing and playing together.

In every land, There’s a way to say

Hello friend, How are you today?

Joanie grew up in a family that traveled a lot, and sang a lot!  They sang old folk songs, jazz standards, and whatever else they could think of as they drove along.  When she was 15, she moved to Israel, and completed her high school degree at the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem.

She continued her musical training in piano pedagogy, both in the conventional and the Suzuki systems, and early-childhood music and movement.  She studied for many years with Anne Barlin, who is considered one of the “mothers” of the dance therapy field and an experienced teacher of the Dalcroze system, and an early member of CMN.  In fact, it is thanks to Anne that Joanie connected with CMN.  Joanie maintained a private piano studio in her home for 15 years, as well as teaching pre-school and early elementary music and movement classes in a number of local schools.

In 1998, Joanie and her family moved to the United States, and since then she has led classes and family music programs in the greater Columbus, Ohio area in a variety of schools and organizations.  Joanie is also a workshop presenter on the topic of disability awareness and inclusion for schools and community settings, focusing on how to meet the needs of people with Sensory Processing Disorder.


Katherine Dines is an award-winning songwriter, recording and teaching artist who performs for family audiences throughout the world.  To date she has created 12 albums in the series known as “Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta” MUSIC. Her songs have been Grammy-nominated, licensed by Disney, WalMart and Hallmark, featured on United Airlines, and can be heard regularly on family-oriented radio stations. She served on the board of CMN for many years and was the co-president last year. Currently she is heading up CMN’s Advisory Board.

One song Katherine includes in most all of her sets is “Muscle and Bone.” She wrote it for the TN Department of Physical Education when she lived in Nashville. First she cues the movements during the chorus “muscle and bone” and encourages children (or adults) to “lift” heavy weights up and down over their heads in time to the music.


Susan Picking is a ukulele strumming, piano playing, award winning singer/songwriter. Ms. Picking has lived throughout the United States and currently resides in Beloit, WI. She grew up studying piano and cello in Michigan. She began private voice training in Long Beach CA and continued to earn a vocal performance and songwriting certificate from Long Beach City College.  Susan has studied Kodaly and Music Together



Susan has released 5 CDs. Three of her albums are for kids of all ages including Down in Your Soul (2008), Take Three (EP 2009), Wonder in the Wander (2011). Her most recent works are message driven Children’s Albums titled School of Life (2016), and School of Life – In Session (2016). Ms. Picking performs and offers Multi Day Artist in Residence programs for Elementary Schools teaching about Mindfulness, Kindness and Bullying Prevention through her songs.  A song she likes to include is

Be Kind

When not traveling, Susan loves hosting fellow musicians at her home in WI while they are on tour.  She is an active member of Children’s Music Network, International Bullying Prevention Association, International Hypnosis Federation, and has trained with


Sara Quintanar is a bilingual early childhood music educator and recording artist who created “Music with Sara” music classes in Spanish in the Los Angeles area. Parents and educators encouraged her to record music in Spanish for children. Thanks to them, she has now recorded four albums, Canciones en español, Más canciones en español, Bilingual Holiday Style, and Paseando With Sara, which have been celebrated for their simple lyrics, lovely melodies, and cultural flair.

Sara currently works in four schools teaching music and movement in Spanish to hundreds of children each week. Her first ever Songbook, “Talk. Read. Sing.” was published by Scholastic for First 5 California in 2016. Sara has three children ages 13, 11, and 6. She is currently working on the release of a new album, a collection of popular nursery rhymes in English and Spanish and a series of “Dragon” songs inspired by some of her youngest students.

Listen and watch Boom Shaka Boom Boom, from her album, Paseando With Sara

Randy Sauer was born and raised in Norton Kansas, Randy was involved with music all throughout his school years. His love of music eventually led him to attend Fort Hays State University, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education and later earned a Master’s Degree with an emphasis in music composition and recording. Presently, Randy is a K-6 Music Teacher in Hays, KS where he teaches elementary music and sixth grade band. He was selected as the 2013 – 2014 Outstanding Elementary Music Teacher by the Northwest Kansas Music Educators Association.

Randy has been teaching since 1990. After many years as a band director for grades five through twelfth, Randy began teaching elementary music and started using his composition skills to write music for elementary classes. This is where the beginnings of the “Jammin’ Randy” show started. Randy has been performing since 2008, performing in Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. Randy’s original music has won many awards over the years.

Randy really enjoys doing his original song

Hop Hop Shake

It is a fun song that gets everyone involved at his shows.  He uses it as a contest to get the parents and children all involved and loosened up to have fun!!


Since 2000 Janet Stephens of Bear Paw Creek has been designing and sewing up movement props along with instrument cases, and storage bags.  She is passionate about creating props that can be utilized with different age populations and different group sizes. She loves to connect with others: sharing songs, ideas, and activities.


One of her favorite songs to use as the original, and the base for piggy-back songs, is “Wheels on the Bus”.   It is familiar to the youngest of singers and provides so much flexibility for movement, participation and further creativity.  Enjoy this version from former Blog Editor, Aline Celeste, on her widely popular YouTube Channel



Edit Tuesday, January 23rd:  We have found the final member of our team in Sara (see her bio included above).

Get ready to hear our stories and feel free to contact one of us to share your own.  It is going to be a great year.  Thanks, Tim



    1. Hooray Sara, yes the work you do complements our team very well. It is a bonus that you are a west coast representative. I’ll send you an email.

  1. Wow, thank you one and all—I shiver with delight knowing you all, and learning your music, and all the creative composting we do for and with each other. CMN rocks!!

  2. That is one awesome team!! I can’t wait to read and share. Thank you Tim Seston for taking the ball and running!

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