Melissa has been making music ever since she can remember.

Her favorite thing to do as a child was not play with dolls or run around with the other kids....Melissa loved to sing. She would sit on a swing and sing; she would sing while doing chores; she would even sing at the dinner table (her parents had to make a “no singing at the table” rule).

Melissa started playing piano at age 6 and has enjoyed it ever since. (Although, she admits, her parents used bribery for practice incentive when she was young). She began playing and singing in church at age 12 and picked up guitar in her high-school years with which she played traditional old-time music with a bluegrass band. Choir was also one of Melissa’s loves in high school and, later, in college.

She spent a lot of time making music with her family, in the form of car sing-alongs, living-room jam sessions, special music for church, and impromptu kitchen dance sessions.

Melissa began teaching piano at age 14 when the parents of the kids she was babysitting began asking for lessons for their kids. Although she enjoyed her high school piano-teaching job, she realized she needed more education. Melissa attended Portland State University to study pedagogy with Mary Kogen.

After graduating with a BA in Music, she began working part-time in the nursery at a drug and alcohol treatment center, where she was able to see the amazing effects music can have on children – even those as young as newborns! She became certified as a Kindermusik teacher in order to learn more about how to incorporate music into the lives of very young children. She added Kindermusik to the classes offered through the small music school she started in Portland.

After moving to Prineville, Oregon, in 2011 to help her husband begin a restaurant and brewery, Melissa was hired as the Music and Arts Director at First Baptist Church of Prineville, where she leads the congregation in worship through music and art.

Currently, Melissa is enjoying being a mom to her two sons, Birch and Riddley, and whatever foster children God decides to place in her life. In her spare time (which there doesn't ever seem to be quite enough of) Melissa enjoys dancing, practicing her newest instrument (violin/fiddle), reading, traveling, making music with friends, and spending time with her family.