Study at NEC

Lead Teaching Artist, El Sistema Colorado
Denver, Colorado

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Megan’s passion for music began at an early age, largely due to school music programs and the Portland Youth Philharmonic. Acknowledging the gifts she continually receives from music, she has developed a love for giving back through teaching and sharing her passion.

After beginning her career as an orchestral librarian, she served as a music facilitator in rural communities across Oregon through AmeriCorps. In 2008, she joined Ethos Music Center, a nonprofit dedicated to the promotion of music and music-based education for underserved youth. In her roles as Rural Coordinator, Rural Outreach Project Manager, and Director of Programs, Megan helped the Ethos team bring music to thousands of students. She has also enjoyed working with Caldera, where arts and the environment are used to help transform the lives of young people.  

Prior to becoming a Sistema Fellow, Megan was an active freelance violinist and teacher in Portland, OR. She has performed with regional orchestras and ensembles, as well as with local folk, vintage swing, and jazz bands.

In September 2014, Megan was hired to be a Lead Teaching Artist at Garden Place Elementary School for El Sistema Colorado, an El Sistema-inspired program founded in 2012 that serves more than 700 children in North Denver. El Sistema Colorado’s instrumental and choral ensembles provide joy and enrichment while building students’ musical, social and cognitive skills. Central to its vision is enabling students to participate from early childhood through high school graduation. As these programs grow into full fruition, and the early participants advance through their educational careers, El Sistema Colorado is cultivating a community to support its young musicians’ academic success, self-confidence, creativity and social-emotional development.

Photo: Reba Sparrow