MEET THE SPEAKERS
How to Integrate Music and Art into Your Day to Day Homeschool Life
Meet the Host
Justina Thurston of Jus’ Classical
Justina Thurston of Jus’ Classical is a musician, video and course creator, and songwriter. She has a degree in music therapy and has worked as an early childhood music teacher for over 20 years. At her church, she also helps with the music ministry, playing oboe in the orchestra, and teaching Sunday school to early elementary-aged children, using her Westminster Shorter Catechism songs. Justina is also a blessed wife and homeschooling mom of three.
At Jus’ Classical, she seeks to encourage other homeschool moms and families, especially in focusing on Christ, and in enjoying classical music and great art through her courses, like The Composer Detective, a music appreciation course for families, The Artist Detective, an art appreciation course for families, Making Music with Handel, a music fundamentals and tin whistle course, and Drawing with Rembrandt, a beginning drawing course. She brings them all together for families to get both music and art in the Jus’ Classical Fine Arts Membership.
Musik at Home
Kathryn Brunner is a composer and music educator who is passionate about child development and music literacy. She is the founder of Musik at Home, an online music studio where she offers an entire program of early childhood, elementary music and piano classes along with ukulele and percussion classes to prepare children for a lifetime of meaningful musicianship.
With 20+ years of teaching experience, she is on a mission to help parents and children spend meaningful time making music together at home. Over her teaching career, she has taught hundreds of children how to become artists at the piano with students performing at Carnegie Hall, and she has had the privilege of leading thousands of young children in joyful musical play in her local studio, church and community.
As a songwriter and recording artist, her songs can be found everywhere you listen to music. She lives in the Washington DC metro area with her husband, Stanton, and two daughters whom she homeschools.
Music in our Homeschool
Gena Mayo is a homeschooling mom of 8 who has been teaching music in various forms for over 25 years. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education and a Master’s degree in Vocal Pedagogy (teaching voice lessons).
It has been her joy to teach elementary and junior high choir, high school voice classes, private voice lessons for teens through adults, early childhood music and movement classes (babies through preschool), elementary general music, and music appreciation for elementary through high school. But her favorite music teaching experience has been as musical director for stage musicals such as Seussical, Shrek, Singing in the Rain, Newsies, and Beauty and the Beast.
It is Gena’s desire to help all homeschoolers include music in their homeschools through her website Music in Our Homeschool and her online course site.
Gail Masinda is an accomplished musician and educator with over 50 years of experience in the field. Her expertise in sacred music is well-known, having been a church musician for just as many years, and as a Certified Church Musician with the Presbyterian Church (USA). She was a staff writer for Sheet Music Magazine from 1985 to 2000 and has contributed to numerous other periodicals and written several music instruction books.
Beyond her work in music, Gail is a dedicated living history reenactor and author. She has written many books and stories about United States history, drawing upon her knowledge of music and the arts to provide a unique perspective on American culture. She shares weekly history stories on her YouTube channel, History Heights.
Gail is well-equipped to offer insights and advice on incorporating music and history into homeschooling curricula. Her vast experience in music education and passion for history make her a valuable addition to any educational event.
How Great Thou Art
Barry Stebbing has been an artist and educator his entire life. He is the author and creator of How Great Thou ART Publications, with over a dozen art texts, teaching homeschoolers the fundamentals of drawing and the academics of color theory and painting.
During the past dozen years he and his wife have extensively traveled throughout North America teaching homeschoolers in 3 day art classes, now estimating that they have personally instructed over 60,000 Christian students.
Barry Stebbing has recently been selected by the American Family Association to teach a variety of art programs on its homeschooling network.
Land of Light
Ann Land is the owner and founder of Land of Light Art and The Light Club. The Lord gave he a vision for Land of Light where she is continually adding new Art/ Biblical lessons and video episodes to the memberships monthly. Art is a perfect way to help kids remember the story of the Bible and the love of Jesus for them.
The Light Club follows a Biblical timeline and cover the entire Old Testament. The lessons build art skills and enhance creativity in a way that kids absolutely love while focusing on a Biblical truth in a fun innovative way. Ann believes that art is the perfect vehicle for kids to understand the love of God and remember the story of the Bible in a way they’ll never forget.
As an art teacher in public schools with a degree in art education, Ann has taught over 7000 kids over the years. Because of her teaching, the kids whe has taught have developed in their creativity, composition and problem solving skills as they gain confidence in their unique creativity. Almost all of them continue on in their artistic journey as they grow, for Ann has instilled a love for art and confidence in their God given creativity.
Andrew Pudewa is the founder and director of the Institute for Excellence in Writing and a father of seven. Traveling and speaking around the world, he addresses issues related to teaching, writing, thinking, spelling, and music with clarity, insight, practical experience, and humor. His seminars for parents, students, and teachers have helped transform many a reluctant writer and have equipped educators with powerful tools to dramatically improve students’ skills.
Although he is a graduate of the Talent Education Institute in Japan and holds a Certificate of Child Brain Development from the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, his best endorsement is from a young Alaskan boy who called him “the funny man with the wonderful words.” He and his beautiful, heroic wife, Robin, have homeschooled their seven children and are now proud grandparents of fifteen, making their home in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Heart & Soul Homeschooling
Sara Jordan is the blogger behind Heart and Soul Homeschooling, a site created in 2008 to encourage and equip homeschool moms to confidently provide a delight-directed education to their children. She is a mom of three homeschooled daughters, a speaker, and a homeschool consultant.
Sara has a degree in Social Work with an emphasis on Early Childhood Development, which began her interest in educational alternatives like homeschooling.
Erica Johns homeschooled her 6 children for 24 years before graduating the youngest of the bunch in 2021.
Erica is also owner of Enrichment Studies, where she helps homeschool families enjoy art and music appreciation in an easy and enjoyable way.
Heather is a Christian, a wife, a mom of ten, and a home educator.
She’s a certified Master Teacher and Curriculum Creator in the Principle Approach® philosophy and method, and she has been teaching with it for over 15 years.
Her degree is in Visual Communications. She has taught art with the Biblical Principle Approach in Christian homeschool co-ops for over seven years.
Featured Guest Interviews
KH Studios, Director of Big Ideas Productions (Veggie Tales)
Kurt is probably best known for his 25 years of work as the Director of Music for Big Idea Productions and their ground-breaking and world-famous video series VeggieTales and 3-2-1 Penguins. His roles have encompassed song-writing, scoring, arranging, performance, conducting, and production. He has composed for over 50 videos, a dozen CDs, 2 major motion pictures, and has sold over 75 million video and audio units. From his tuba playing on the VeggieTales Theme Song to his co-writing of songs like The Hairbrush Song and His Cheeseburger, Kurt has left his mark on children’s entertainment.
Following Big Idea, Kurt has spent years as a freelance composer in the Nashville area. First came scoring for 5 seasons of CBN’s Superbook, translated into dozens of languages and seen world-wide. He has also written songs and score for other video series such as Randall Goodgame’s Slugs and Bugs, Mike Nawrocki’s Dead Sea Squirrels, and Andrew Peterson’s Wingfeather Saga. In addition, Kurt has written and performed on projects for Disney, Blizzard Entertainment, Sesame Workshop, and for documentaries, commercials, apps, and museums.
Kurt grew up in a musical family, watching his mother play organ and direct church choirs, singing next to his father in church choir, being inspired by his two older brother’s trumpet and woodwind playing, and performing church solos on his trumpet beginning in junior high school. Kurt began arranging in junior high with a very lame attempt at the Star Wars Main Title for a school ensemble, but by high school was directing a German band and arranging for various ensembles. He earned his BA in band and choral conducting from Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, where he was president of Nordic Choir, under the directing of world-renown conductor, Weston Noble.
Kurt’s early career included teaching general music in the Bahamas, band directing in Chicago, performing for a year on the road, singing 500 shows one summer at a theme park, and becoming a church director of music for 8 years. It was at church that he met Phil, Mike, and Lisa…Bob the Tomato, Larry the Cucumber, and Junior Asparagus. The produce aisle has never been the same…
Inspired Art, Watercolor Fine Artist
Mark Parmalee is a full-time Watercolor Fine Artist in Virginia. His award-winning artwork has been displayed both locally and internationally. His studies began under Bill Weltman in New York City, and for three years focused on the foundations of drawing and illustration. To this day those techniques are instrumental in Mark’s art creations.
Many have seen Mark around Fredericksburg, VA and other local areas Plein Air Painting. When weather doesn’t permit, he can be found in his Art Bus Studio.
Mark is inspired by varying colors, lighting, shadows, angles, weathered worn subjects, interesting buildings, whatever grabs his attention to capture the impression of a scene. He then uses watercolor to create a piece.
His motto is “Whatever you do, do it with all your heart as unto the Lord.” Colossians 3:23
Special Guest Interviews
Two Sisters Violin
Evangeline Nelson was homeschooled K through 12 and studied violin and piano during her homeschool years. She earned a BA in music from the University of Northern Colorado in 2019.
Evangeline and her sister Annika cofounded Two Sisters Violin in 2019. Currently Evangeline teaches violin and piano at Two Sisters Violin Company and at several private schools in the Northern Colorado area. She previously was a teacher assistant at Poudre School building violins and violas the Summer of 2021.
Annie Nelson is a homeschooling mom of 10 children and the wife of a rancher, who encouraged music studies in their home. She has taught for years in the Colorado Heritage Education School System, a homeschooling program, where she specializes in teaching literature. She has graduated eight of her children, loves to cook and host others, and spends a good deal of her time with grandchildren.
Special Guest – Family Art Create Party
Sheryl Cullen Art & Design
Leader of A Family Create Party! LOVE Letters: An Art Lesson Inspired by Robert Indiana’s LOVE Sculptures & Paintings
Sheryl Cullen is an artist and art educator who believes that God has called her to use her gifts of art and creativity to inspire joy, hope, and meaningful connections. With a M.A. Ed. degree, 11 years of classroom experience teaching PreK-5 art, and two years of teaching painting in the bigger world, she founded Sheryl Cullen Art & Design to bring joyful creating and cheerful connecting to people of all skill levels.
As an artist, Sheryl views her work as a form of worship, honoring God’s creativity and goodness, and co-creating with Him. As an art educator, she strives to create a safe and welcoming environment where people can authentically express themselves through art and the art-making process, and experience the joy of making something beautiful.
Through her work, Sheryl wants to inspire others to pursue their passions and use their gifts to make a positive impact in the world. She’s excited to share her love for art and passion for teaching with everyone attending the Music & Art Homeschool Summit!