About Us

WHAT WE DO:
At Thibodeaux School of Music, we offer a top-quality musical education experience. We have something for everyone, of any age! For our youngest music aficionados (ages 0-6) we have the award-winning Kindermusik program. For ages 6 and up (adults welcome too!), we offer private lessons on ALL instruments. We know you will love learning music with us, so come check it out! We offer a free trial lesson or class to all new students.

 

WHO WE ARE:

 

MADELINE THIBODEAUX (kindermusik, brass)
A native of New Mexico, Madeline came to New Orleans to go to Loyola University where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education. Trombone and bass trombone are her primary instruments. Upon graduating from Loyola, she received certification in Orff Schulwerk from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. She taught band and choir for two years at St. Bernard Middle School in St. Bernard, Louisiana. She found her educational calling, though, when she discovered Kindermusik, and has been teaching Kindermusik classes ever since. She loves teaching Kindermusik because of the joy she sees it bringing to the families and the knowledge that she is touching the minds and hearts of the little ones in her classes. When she is not teaching Kindermusik, she teaches private lessons on trumpet, trombone, and tuba. She and Paul welcomed their first son in March 2013, and she enjoys taking him to Kindermusik class and using the songs and activities from class to make parenting easier.
PAUL THIBODEAUX (drums)  
Paul has had a passion for music since he was child. Formal studies began for him in the Jazz program at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA). He received a Bachelors Degree in Jazz Studies from the Unviversity of New Orleans. While studying at UNO, he was immersed in a rich musical culture that can only be found in New Orleans. Paul feels fortunate to have established himself into a variety of musical communities playing Traditional Jazz, Modern Jazz, Avant Garde/Free Jazz, Brass Band, Cuban, Carribbean, Brazillian, Funk, Indie-Rock, Folk/Singer-Songwriter, as well as accompanying many theatrical shows at Gallier Hall and Le Petite Theatre. Paul made his debut in the recording studio with UNO professor and jazz giant Ed Petersen. Teaching experience began while still in college as a private drum teacher at NOCCA. Since then he has taught jazz drumset at KIPP Believe College Prep, marching drumline at St. Bernard Middle School, general music classes at the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC), and private drum/piano lessons at Andy Hymel’s School of Music. In September of 2011, Paul had the honor of teaching drum students in Sendai who had been affected by the 2011 tsunami while on a Japanese tour with Satoru Ohashi. He holds the chair as percussion judge for middle school district honor band in St. Tammany Parish. Paul is excited to support the future of New Orleans culture with music!


SAM CRAFT (strings)
Sam Craft began studying violin as an elementary school student and continued instruction at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts.  Sam graduated from Loyola University, where he received a degree in Violin Performance in 2009.  In addition to being an avid performer in classical contexts, Sam stays busy performing with rock bands, backing artists in the recording studio, and playing traditional jazz with numerous ensembles.  Sam is one half of the internationally-touring indie-pop duo Alexis & the Samurai as well as the Louisiana French 7-piece Sweet Crude.  Some other artists Sam has collaborated with include Irma Thomas, Cowboy Mouth, The Cowsills, GIVERS, Marianne Faithfull, Edwin McCain, and more.






TREY BOUDREAUX (bass)
Trey Boudreaux is a native of Lafayette, Louisiana.  He grew up heavily involved with band programs, local orchestras, and gigging bands with friends.  In addition to double bass and electric bass, Trey has performed/received training on the flute, oboe, and drums.
Boudreaux moved to Baton Rouge in 2006 to attend Louisiana State University.  There, he studied with double bass virtuoso Yung-chiao Wei and Jazz Faculty member Brian Shaw.  During his 4 years at LSU, he played gigs around the Southeast in a variety of musical persuasions, including: Jazz, classical, rock, funk, acoustic / folk, hip hop;  he also taught various private students on double bass and electric bass.
After graduating in Literature from LSU, Boudreaux moved to New Orleans to pursue performance.  An active member of the New Orleans music scene since May 2010, he has also performed across the continental United States in music clubs, radio and television studios, concert halls, and private homes.
Trey is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Jazz Studies at the University of New Orleans, and is thrilled to join the Thibodeaux School of Music Team!


JOSH STARKMAN (guitar)
    Josh Starkman, a Miami native, moved to New Orleans in the summer of 2010 to begin his masters degree in Jazz Studies at the University of New Orleans. During his time at UNO he studied under Steve Masakowski, Brian Seeger and Hank Mackie. Also during his time at UNO he had the chance to conduct master classes in the cities of Medellin and Manizales, Colombia. He finished his degree in May of 2012 and currently plays frequently around New Orleans. Other teaching experiences include summer camps at Florida State University and Broward Arts Camp as well as various private students.








JENNA MCSWAIN (piano, voice)

Pianist, vocalist, and composer Jenna McSwain began forging her own path as a musician from her childhood when she led her sisters, four of them in all, to perfor spirituals throughout the low country of South Carolina. By the time she was attending high school at Charleston County School of the Arts, she was playing piano and singing professionally in esteemed Charleston music venues. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Northern Colorado, making jazz piano her focus while also studying classical piano, voice and Portuguese, the language of her Azorean anscestors and of the Brazilian music she loved. McSwain has opened concerts for Patti Austin, Ramsey Lewis and the New York Voices, and has performed with Houston Person, Marian McPartland, Paul McKee, and Wendell Brunious, to name a few. She shares her zeal for music as an educator, and has served as adjunct faculty at the University of South Carolina and Northwest College. McSwain celebrated the debut of her first album, Wax and Wane: Songs Without Seasons in October of 2013. Her group, the Celestial Bodies, performs actively in the New Orleans music scene.


MORGAN STEWART (woodwinds)
 Morgan Stewart is an active musician and educator living in the New Orleans area. Originally from New York City, she moved to Philadelphia after graduating from LaGuardia High School for Music and Performing Arts, to pursue a degree in music education at Temple University. Immediately upon receiving her Bachelor of Music, she accepted a position to serve as a Woodwind Specialist itinerant teacher for the School District of Philadelphia, where she was responsible for teaching instrumental music to young beginner players and working with advanced woodwind students at the Girard Academic Music Program (GAMP).
In addition to her teaching career, Morgan has performed with the Philadelphia Wind Symphony, the Lower Merion Concert Band, the Plazma Quintet, and other groups. She also collaborated outside of the classical genre with Grammy nominated producer and composer Khari Mateen on his album Wait for Sunrise.
Morgan has participated in clarinet masterclasses with Anthony McGil, Mariam Adam, and Paul Demers. Her principal teachers have included Renee Rosen, Victor Goines, Dr. Stephanie Thompson, John Reeks, and Lawrence Wagner. Currently she is pursuing a Master of Music degree in Clarinet Performance from Loyola University New Orleans.


KRISTEN TAFFARO (kindermusik, music therapy)
Kristen Taffaro is a graduate of Loyola University New Orleans and Temple University with degrees in Music Therapy.  As a certified Music Therapist (MT-BC), she has 5 years of clinical experience working with many different populations.  Two years ago, she began to teach beginning piano lessons, and therefore truly realized her love of working with children.  From there she continued to teach voice and piano lessons, and also became licensed as a Kindermusik Educator.
Her love of early music education has flourished at the Thibodeaux School of Music, ultimately leading her to teach general music for Kindergarten and First Grade at the International School of Louisiana.






BRITTANY PRICE (administration)
Brittany Price first moved to New Orleans in 2003 to attend Tulane University. After graduating  she decided put down roots in the city with her husband, Luke, and their now two children. Brittany first met Madeline Thibodeaux when Madeline taught Kindermusik at Loyola and her two girls have both continued Kindermusik at Thibodeaux School of Music. Brittany works in the office and is delighted to have such a family friendly and enriching workplace.