St. Paul’s is pleased to provide first-class instruction to all ages in a broad range of Fine Arts arenas. Classes are available in Dance, Music, and Art. Private lessons are available in Piano. 

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Class Descriptions & Faculty

Art for Students with Special Needs 

(for children ages 2 and up)  These individual art lessons are for students of any age (including adults) that would benefit from making art as a way to improve sensory, social, and emotional functioning while facilitating  self confidence, self expression, communication, enjoyment, stress relief, and growth in a supportive environment.

Helen Spaw, MPS has wide experience as a therapist, teacher, and art teacher for all ages and abilities. She holds a Masters in Art Therapy and Creativity from New York’s Pratt Institute, and her Bachelors in Psychology with an Art minor and focus in Art Therapy from the College of Santa Fe.  She is inspired by witnessing growth and creativity through the process of art making. Helen is also the Special Needs Coordinator at St. Paul’s, and facilitates Healing Art Circles.

Art

(for children ages 3.5 and up)  Children naturally use art as a way to organize and comprehend their world. In these art classes we focus on the process of enjoying and experiencing art materials as a way to encourage your child's creativity, imagination and self-expression. We will be learning about famous artists for inspiration. Your child will explore drawing, painting, sculpting and mixed media projects.

Cassie Pitman Gonzales has over 20 years experience teaching at St. Paul's School. She has a B.A. from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Tx. Cassie has two grown children: a visual artist in Virginia and an artist working for the anime movie company Crunchyroll. She enjoys teaching children the techniques of a wide variety of artists, including illustrators of children's books.

Ibraim Santos studied fine arts at the Federal University of Bahia in Brazil and is primarily trained in acrylic painting and mixed media art. He has more than 20 years of experience as an artist and more than 10 years of experience teaching art to young children in Brazil and the United States. In his classes, Ibraim focuses on the experience of making art as it is happening.

Dance 

(for children 3—5 years) — Creative dance & ballet classes explore both the creative and physical dimensions of each child as they gain awareness of music, rhythm, and movement. Activities are designed to develop strength, coordination, creative thinking, and expression. Through classroom activities, children refine motor skills and develop the creative process through the use of props & imagery, and most of all have fun with dance!

Kendra Skipworth began studying classical ballet at the age of 5 and since then it has been an important part of her life. She started teaching in college and, while she never planned to become a ballet teacher, the love of working with the students and teaching them became the favorite part of her days. After graduating from the University of Houston, she worked as the registrar at Houston Ballet Academy but soon realized that she missed working with the students every day and is now teaching on a full-time basis. Kendra finds great joy in working with her students, and it is her passion to share her love for movement and dance with others.

Musikgarten  

(for newborns through 2nd graders) — This acclaimed program of music and creative movement is an ideal start to a lifelong love of music and learning. The specially designed curriculum follows the natural learning curve of children, acknowledging their growth in different areas and utilizing many different learning styles. As a result, all children, across the complete range of abilities can participate and enjoy their Musikgarten experience. For younger children, parents participate in the classes, and all children receive take home activities and materials.

Dr. Ellen Edwards is a certified Musikgarten instructor and has led classes for infants through younger elementary at St. Paul’s since 2007. Under her leadership, the Musikgarten program at St. Paul’s consistently achieves the Exemplary rating. Ellen also serves as the director of children’s ministry for St. Paul’s Church. Her lifelong enjoyment of music includes piano, flute and singing, and her whole family participates in a variety of musical endeavors.With a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, years of experience with children’s development and spiritual growth, and a lifelong passion for music, Musikgarten combines her interests and experience in a rewarding vocation. 

Ginger Anderson has taught piano lessons for over 40 years to students ages 4 to 74 years old. She has been a church musician most of her adult life, playing service, special events music, accompanying choirs and soloists, directing children’s choirs, and running summer arts programs. She served as music volunteer coordinator for Klein ISD and accompanied choirs and soloists in concerts, contests, and TMEA conventions. She was pianist and/or music director for high school, community theater, and professional theater productions. She has also had Musikgarten training.

Private Piano Lessons

(for ages 6 years and older)

Ginger Anderson has taught piano lessons for over 40 years to students ages 4 to 74 years old. She has been a church musician most of her adult life, playing service, special events music, accompanying choirs and soloists, directing children’s choirs, and running summer arts programs. She served as music volunteer coordinator for Klein ISD and accompanied choirs and soloists in concerts, contests, and TMEA conventions. She was pianist and/or music director for high school, community theater, and professional theater productions. She has also had Musikgarten training.

Dr. Kingchi Au holds degrees in piano performance from the University of Houston Moores School of Music. She has established herself as a performer as well as an educator. Kingchi is an experienced music instructor. Her teaching background includes work at private institutes, community colleges and two universities. She has worked with students of all ages at different levels, and from diverse backgrounds. Kingchi is also active as a performer - both as recital soloist and collaborative pianist. Kingchi feels equally dedicated to the art of teaching and to the art of performance and she consistently strives to become better in both areas.

Sammy Cowan holds degrees from Baylor University and Rice University, and she currently serves as a part-time instructional specialist at Lamar High School. After retiring as a public school music teacher, she began teaching piano while caring for her grandchildren. She welcomes students of all ages and lessons include theory and music appreciation. Older beginners are especially encouraged to pursue their dream of playing piano in a supportive and nurturing environment.

Songs on Stage

(for children ages 3.5- 5) — Children will learn songs, create stage props, and sing on stage for a final show.

Cassie Pitman Gonzales has over 20 years experience teaching at St. Paul's School. She has a B.A. from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Tx. Cassie has two grown children: a visual artist in Virginia and an artist working for the anime movie company Crunchyroll. She enjoys teaching children the techniques of a wide variety of artists, including illustrators of children's books.


For more information or to join our mailing list for updates, please contact Helen Spaw.

Fine Arts Academy
St. Paul's United Methodist Church
5501 Main Street
Houston, TX  77004