Children's Music Center
of Jamaica Plain
Our Teachers

Below are biographies of all of our teachers so you can get to know us a little better!

photo Christy

CENTER DIRECTOR, Music Together®, INTERGENERATIONAL,YOUNG PIANISTS, RHYTHM KIDS, UKULELE. An Early Childhood music educator since 1999, Christy Zarlengo has been the director of Urban Music Together since 2001, and founded the Children's Music Center of J.P. in 2006. Christy has taught piano lessons, Suzuki piano and early childhood music classes at ZUMIX, Brookline Music School and the New School in Cambridge. She has an undergraduate degree in Psychology, and is an alumnus of the Berklee College of Music, where she studied voice, piano and songwriting. Christy has also studied at the summer Dalcroze Institute at the Longy School of Music, and has completed Certification training with the Center for Music and Young Children in Princeton, NJ. Christy is co-creator and featured teacher in "Little Virtuoso: Music's Everywhere," an interactive music DVD/CD for children infancy-5 years. Available at:

photo Anna

MUSIC TOGETHER AND INTERGENERATIONAL MUSIC: A Musician and Professional Storyteller, Anna Adler designs classes for young children and families that are joyful and highly interactive. Raised in a family of musicians and storytellers, Anna received formal training in piano, voice, and trumpet.  Anna’s professional training includes a Master’s of Science in Education from Bank Street College and a Bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College.  A highly skilled educator for over 25 years, Anna recently joined the “Music Together family” and is delighted to be a part of the JP Music Center under Christy!  In addition to leading music and storytelling classes, Anna consults with childcare organizations, schools, parenting groups, local colleges, and community nonprofits to provide customized early literacy professional development, coaching and training services.

photo Janna


Janna Bruene has enjoyed teaching piano to children and adults for many, many years, focusing on creating beautiful melody, strong rhythm and meaningful harmony in all kinds of music. Classical music is her first love, but she listens carefully for what appeals to her students and how they learn, often using improvisation to deepen their skills. She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in music, and has done work in Dalcroze Eurhythmics, choral conducting, and vocal coaching. Janna grew up on a Midwestern farm and loves the out-of-doors and wild animals. Curling up with a good book is another joy!

photo Akela

MUSICAL THEATRE - Soprano Akela Franklin is quickly establishing herself as one of New England’s promising young singers, vocal pedagogues, and early childhood music educators. She specializes in performing operatic and solo vocal repertoire, but also enjoys interpreting musical theater and contemporary works. Ms. Franklin has a strong passion for pedagogy and education, and she is excited to join the Children’s Music Center of Jamaica Plain staff as the Musical Theatre instructor!

Akela moved to Boston in 2016 to begin her graduate studies at Longy. Since then, she has taught voice, choral activities, and general music with organizations all over the city such as Boston City Singers, Longy School of Music El Sistema Side-by-Side program, Youth & Family Enrichment Services (YoFES), and First Unitarian Universalist Society in Newton (FUUSN). She maintains a private vocal studio from her home in Allston and also offers in-home lessons. 


photo Manuel

PIANO LESSONS - Born in Madrid (Spain), Manuel Garcia-Baro is a pianist and composer with a long background as an educator. He studied Piano and Classical Composition in the Katarina Gurska Music School and the Royal Conservatory of Madrid. In 2010 he was awarded with the Berklee/Sgae scholarship to study at the Berklee College of Music. He has recently graduated from Berklee with a degree in Contemporary Writing and Production, and Film Scoring. His career as a piano teacher started more than fifteen years ago, and since then he has taught students of all ages, imparting lessons in piano, ear training, harmony, composition and music history.

photo Madeleine

MUSIC TOGETHER - Madeleine Hall was raised in a musical family and her earliest memories include singing along at age three with her father’s jazz band in the living room. By age seven, her favorite pastime was writing songs and constructing her own “album covers” out of paper plates. Madeleine studied privately for years with some of Boston’s premier vocal coaches, and in her twenties formed her own band “The Rhythm Hounds.” Shortly thereafter, she was nominated for a Boston Music Award. She went on to perform her bluesy brand of R&B in nightclubs and private functions for years, but shifted her focus to children’s performing with the birth of her daughter in 2001. Since then, Madeleine has been featured in the Boston Arts Festival, at the Boston Children’s Museum, and at various branches of the Boston Public Library where she performs regularly in the Reading Readiness Program. Madeleine has a degree in Early Childhood Education and has worked for two decades as a professional nanny and certified preschool teacher. She brings her creative energy and love of music into her work with children and families. She is thrilled to be part of the Music Together team!

photo Taylor

MUSIC TOGETHER  - Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Taylor Holland’s backgrounds in education and folk music meet in her work at CMC and as the music teacher for HomeBASE Afterschool Enrichment. Taylor’s education in the Waldorf school system and her ongoing love of folk music influence her belief that making music is an essential component of the human experience. She writes and performs in New England solo and as part of the duo Hawthorn, singing and playing guitar and violin. Taylor holds a BA in International Affairs and History from Northeastern University.  She started at CMCJP as a Music Together® intern with Christy, and completed her Music Together training in March, 2017.


Teacher t.b.a.

  Christy & Taylor

This class will be taught by both Christy & Taylor.

  Christy & Sophie

This class will be co-taught by Christy and Sophie. 

  Christy & Madeleine

This class will be co-taught by teachers Christy and Madeleine. 

  Christy & Anna

This class is alternated between teachers Christy and Anna.