Kidstunes Music Academy
Lara is the Owner and Founder of Kidstunes Music and Movement. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Music Education from the University of North Florida and has worked with young children for over 20 years now. She began playing the piano at age 5, sings, plays recorder, ukulele, some guitar and percussion. Trained as both a musician and a dancer, she has performed with various groups, was crowned the Orange Park Mardi Gras Queen in 1988, and was first runner up in the 1989 Miss Clay County Pageant, a precursor to the talent-based Miss America Pageant. Attending the University of North Florida as a National Merit Scholar, she studies Music Education and Performance, and was a singer and accompanist for both the UNF Jazz Choir and UNF Chamber Singers. She has gained valuable experience serving in her church through music, as Choir Pianist and Assistant Director, Children's Primary Music Leader, and Primary Classroom Teacher. Her background also includes extensive work with music and children in various areas, teaching for several years as a Music Specialist at the elementary level - including Pre-K, Varying Exceptionality classes, General Music for all levels through 5th grade, producing several musical productions, directing the 4th and 5the grade chorus, and ongoing work as a private piano instructor and accompanist.
She has incorporated her experience and research into the very heart of the Kidstunes program, composing original music, continually updating the curriculum, and personally mentoring each instructor. Lara has become a recognized name in her field, having presented at numerous National and Regional Conferences for various organizations in the fields of Early Childhood Education and Music, and has two in-service training workshops approved by the NC Division of Child Development. Having received her Level 3 certification with the Early Childhood Music and Movement Association (ECMMA), she is the former VP of North Carolina Chapter of ECMMA and has served on their National Board of Directors. She has also bee selected to present at their 2016 International Convention. She is also a member of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association, the National Association for Music Education and the North Carolina Association for the Education of Young Children. Lara's passion for her work shines through in all she does and children love to have her as their teacher. She believes that continued growth in this field is essential, which is evidenced by her enthusiastic endeavors to spread her work as well as that of her peers.