Meet the Team

Miss Amy, Director

Growing up in a musical family, Amy Payne does not remember a time when she wasn’t singing, dancing, playing an instrument, and smiling. Throughout almost 20 years of teaching pre-school Sunday school, she has known the joys and rewards of educating young children.

Amy played the piano, violin and sang in various school and church choirs. During several summers she participated in the UW Extension’s Music Clinics. She began playing in bell choirs in Middle School and has continued much of her adult life. Currently she plays the hand chimes with her church choir.

Amy lives in Madison. Daughters Amber, Sasha, and Brianna live nearby. Amy is loving her Sundays when she gets to care for her granddaughter Harley.

Amy is delighted her daughters will be involved with Musical Pathways Foundation. Brianna will be a classroom assistant for Sign & Sing during the summer; Sasha, an accomplished violinist will share her love of classical music; and Amber along with her daughter Harley are looking forward to their next Kindermusik class.

Amy is excited to share her passion, joy, love and knowledge of children, music, and play with the Kindermusik families at Musical Pathways Foundation.

Miss Andrea, Administrator

Andrea is so excited to have the opportunity to work with Betsy and the entire Musical Pathways team!! She knows the benefits of Kindermusik first-hand as her children have been enrolled in the Musical Pathways School for several years. Already having one Kindermusik graduate, her youngest will graduate Kindermusik this spring! Andrea’s role as Administrative Assistant is to help ensure that Kindermusik families receive exceptional care and service. Feel free to call Andrea should you have any questions or concerns and she will be sure to serve you!

Born in Minneapolis, MN, Andrea moved to Wisconsin when she was 2 and is a Monona High graduate. She moved to Waunakee 16 years ago where she married her husband of 10 years, Steve. They have two sons, Jake – 9 and Eric – 7.

Some of Andrea’s favorite hobbies are reading, listening to music, and making cards and other paper crafts. In her free time, Andrea likes to go out with friends or family for a good dinner and good conversation with a lot of laughs. But her favorite free-time activity is singing and snuggling with her children, when they let her. That’s where her true passion lies.

angie-415Miss Angie

Although Angie never took a music class like Kindermusik as a child, she experienced the blend of music and movement from age three through her college years by dancing. Her experience with ballet, jazz, tap, and modern meant music was always present in her life. Angie also played the flute in middle and high school. Her dad played the guitar in a band, and her sister is an elementary music school teacher. Music has always been a part of her life, and now will continue to be in a different and exciting way as a Kindermusik educator.

Angie graduated from UW-Madison in 2005 with a B.A. in English and a certificate in Dance. After working for the UW Foundation in the Annual Giving department for two years, she earned her teaching certificate and began teaching high school English. Six and a half years later, she became a stay at home mom to Finley, and a couple years later, to Harlow.

When Finley was a baby, Angie attended Meriter’s Mother Baby Hour and was first introduced to Kindermusik when Miss Betsy visited. Lots of Angie’s mom friends started the Village classes and loved them, but it took Angie until Finley was a year
and a half to start her in classes. She now wishes she’s would’ve started sooner! Finley has loved “music class” and all of the teachers she’s had, and Angie feels so fortunate to now be a part of an amazing team of educators at Musical Pathways!

Angie, her husband, Brody, and her two daughters live in Waunakee. They have two Golden Retrievers: Moose and Frankie. Her family loves to travel, even if it is chaotic and stressful at times, but also enjoy spending time at home taking walks, listening to music while cooking, going swimming, and watching movies.

Miss AmandaMiss Amanda

Bio coming soon!

Mr. James

James Killian is an active musician and instructor in the Madison area. He began playing guitar at age 11 and was writing music and performing in local bands shortly thereafter. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, James moved back to Wisconsin and started his professional music career by teaching guitar and playing in cover bands.

His teaching philosophy stems from his passion for performance and creating original music. James teaches practical theory for composition and improvisation as well as proper technique and learning methods. He tailors his instruction to fit the interests of his students and truly appreciates the personal growth they experience over time.

In addition to instructing private and group guitar lessons in Madison, James does session work, produces music, and performs as a vocalist, guitarist, and bassist in numerous local projects. He enjoys instructing students of all genres but specializes in rock, jazz, and funk music.

jessicaMiss Jessica

Jessica Spicer is thrilled to teach flute, piano, and string lessons for Musical Pathways Foundation’s “Elite Artistry” division. Originally hailing from Wilmington, DE, she grew up playing flute and piano in school, church, and community programs. She moved to Wisconsin for college and attended Lawrence University-Conservatory of Music in Appleton. Jessica graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and Flute Performance in 2004. She completed a Master of Music in Music Education (Kodaly emphasis) at Silver Lake College in 2014.

Jessica currently teaches general music, as well as band and orchestra lessons, at Waunakee Community Middle School in Waunakee, WI. She also coaches and accompanies solo and ensemble students for festival each year. Her previous job experience includes teaching 6-12 grade band and general music in rural Wisconsin.

Jessica lives with her husband, Peter, and young son, Seton, in Waunakee, WI. Jessica is excited to have Seton participate and learn about music in upcoming Kindermusik classes. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family. Her hobbies include reading, jogging, ballroom dancing, and traveling.

Jessica believes in a holistic approach to music education by developing musical talent, while at the same time instilling creativity and self-confidence in the child. Most of all, she enjoys sharing her passion of music with students of all ages nearly every day!

small_kim_426-1Miss Kim

Kim grew up in Lake Geneva, WI, immersed in music and education. Her grandmother and mother were both grade-school teachers, who also played piano and guitar. Music was such an important part of Kim’s early years. Some of her fondest memories are of family sing-alongs, recitals and musicals. Kim took trumpet lessons for 7 years and piano lessons for 12. She was in Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, and recitals throughout her school years, and was a proud member of the UW-Marching Band. Kim graduated in 2002 with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from UW-Madison, and credits her math and science abilities to her early childhood musical experiences. If you ask Kim she will tell you, “Music remains my true joy and passion!”

After enjoying her work as an engineer for 8 years, Kim decided to become a stay-at-home mom after the birth of her first son, Drew. As she was desperately seeking a fun and educational parent/child program to attend with her child, a dear friend introduced her to Kindermusik, and the rest is history!

Kim comes to Musical Pathways Foundation as a lover of Kindermusik. She has two boys (Drew age 6, Graham age 4) that both began their Kindermusik adventures as infants! Kim is passionate about Kindermusik and truly believes that it has played a key role in the growth, and development of her children. Kim states, “Kindermusik has been a gift and a blessing in my parental life, and has taught me how to become a more loving, patient, fun, engaging and understanding mom.” 

Kim lives with her husband, Dave, and two boys in Middleton, WI. When not playing or singing with her children, you can find her jogging, attending UW athletic events, reading a good book, crafting or snuggling with her family. Kim is overjoyed to be a part of the Musical Pathways team and is excited to pass on the incredible growth and developmental benefits of Kindermusik to fellow parents and children!

Miss Reneé

In May of 1995, Reneé Frey received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Early Childhood from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. After graduation, she worked as an early childhood educator and program director, allowing her to teach and learn with children from birth through school age. In 1998 she began teaching third grade for the Middleton-Cross Plains School District. She continued in this role until the birth of her second child in 2004 when she was blessed to have the opportunity to be home with her children.

Reneé is a mother of two who has always been filled with a passion for children and music. Those passions have been clearly evident in much of her life’s activities. As a girl growing up in Oregon, Wisconsin, she was part of a musical family who often sang together in church and in the car when traveling. She was a member of her school chorus as well as her church choir. She also had the opportunity to lead children’s music in Sunday school. Reneé’s parents were both educators and instilled in her a love of and appreciation for many types of music, as well as the desire to be a teacher. In fourth grade she began playing the violin. Her involvement with orchestra continued through her college years at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.

Reneé lives in Cross Plains with her husband Tony and their two children Logan and Mahala, where music continues to be a tie that binds the family. It is not uncommon to find the family singing and dancing together in the living room of their home or having drum/keyboard/guitar jam sessions on a daily basis. It is a joy for Reneé to watch her children develop the same love of music that is so much a part of her life. She is excited about this opportunity to share that joy with other families as she joins the Musical Pathways team and looks forward to building on her history of teaching and learning with young children.

Miss Betsy, Founder and President of the Board

Betsy Flanagan obtained her Bachelor’s in Music Education (summa cum laude), Kindergarten thru 12th Master’s degree from Illinois State University in Choral Conducting and Vocal Performance, and has completed her Doctoral coursework in Choral Conducting from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana where she was awarded a Fellowship on staff. Betsy has taught children of all ages and backgrounds in public grade schools, high schools, universities, summer camps and also privately in her home studio for over 30 years, providing her students high quality instruction together with passionate motivation.

Betsy is one of 4 Kindermusik educators worldwide who are members of Kindermusik International’s Speakers Bureau. Since 2004 she has traveled the world teaching other Kindermusik educators how to both elevate their programs and how to incorporate the most current techniques and research in early childhood education. Betsy also co-authored Kindermusik International’s 2005-2006, 2006-2007, 2009 and 2010 and 2011 Professional Development seminars. In May of 2008, Betsy traveled with Kindermusik CEO Michael Dougherty to Bombay India to start-up Kindermusik in that country by training the Educator Trainers of the EuroKids preschools. The EuroKids’ company trainers were responsible for training their educators throughout 28 states in India reaching over 75,000 children. India makes the 63rd Country to offer Kindermusik.

Betsy brings her love of music and young children together at Musical Pathways Foundation’s Kindermusik classes and Elite Artistry conservatory lessons at the First Presbyterian Church of Waunakee and at 3 additional home studio locations in Sun Prairie and Madison. WI. Musical Pathways Foundation has once again been awarded the Maestro status by Kindermusik International, recognizing Musical Pathways a one of the top Kindermusik programs in the world.

Early childhood experts agree that a young child’s most important teacher is the parent or caregiver, and that the best place for a child to learn is in the home where they feel safe and secure. Betsy established Musical Pathways (neural pathways) when she recognized the need for a studio to help make great parenting easier, and to pull families together from the youngest member to the most senior. Utilizing high-quality musical experiences, Musical Pathways works to develop the whole child.

Classes are designed to bring the parent/caregiver and child together on a weekly basis to play together and bond in a warm and nurturing musical environment. The parent/caregiver is then provided a “home materials” kit which allows the parent to “take the fun and learning home” all week long.

While providing a fun and invaluable musical foundation, Kindermusik fosters learning and growth in all areas of child and Senior brain development. Children are prepared for future learning environments such as math, language, science, athletics and fine arts; future challenges socially; and future endeavors requiring strong self-esteem and confidence. Seniors experience a rebirth in quality of life. Musical Pathways’ mission is to change the world one child, one family at a time, and is a not-for-profit foundation 501(c)3, and would like to expand its offerings to include more special needs, adoptive family, socio-economically challenged and additional senior programming as well. 100% Tax Deductible Donations are welcome.

Betsy lives in Waunakee with her husband Larry who is a partner with D&S Dental Lab of Waunakee. Their son Matthew, his wife Melissa, their daughter (grandbaby Sami), and son (grandbaby Drew) also live in Waunakee. Betsy directs the Adult Choir at the First Presbyterian Church of Waunakee, is the director of the Joyful Ministry Singers, is a Business Consultant and is an avid golfer and gardener. She is an active member of the Waunakee Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, and the Optimist Club.