Our Education Support Team

Kristin Pugliese

Founder, Note Knacks | www.noteknacks.com

Kristin M. Pugliese has been an educator for more than 15 years, first in early childhood education and then in the music classroom, working almost exclusively in Title 1 Schools in Rhode Island, Georgia and Massachusetts, and helped create music standards for Cambridge Public Schools. As a music teacher, Kristin saw how manipulatives, which are so commonly used in math, could benefit her students and created Note Knacks and the Note Knacks method. This method teaches music composition to children as young as three using color, touch and pattern in a straightforward, three-phase process. Children learn to listen to, appreciate, create and perform music through hands-on practice – true music literacy.

Kristin provides support for educators through lesson plans, an active blog, workshops and as a national clinician. She has presented in-service sessions at the Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, Ohio, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Florida music educators conferences. She also regularly consults with school systems to help them apply the principles of Note Knacks in their music curriculum.


Mary Knysh

Founder, Rhythmic Connections | www.rhythmicconnections.com

Mary is a professional musician and educator whose performances have been highly acclaimed for their effectiveness in reaching many types of audiences from corporations to the aged in nursing homes, from teacher in-service trainings to students of all ages. Independently and as a rostered artist with the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts, Young Audiences of New Jersey and the New York BOCES, Mary has touched the lives of thousands of children, parents and teachers through her many school programs which touch upon history, nature, language and culture.

Mary travels throughout the many locations in the world including the United States, Caribbean and Europe performing and conducting workshops and artist residencies. She is a master teacher with Music for People, a group that promotes self-expression through music improvisation and she currently coordinates the group's Swiss program. As an Orff Schulwerk clinician, Mary has presented at conferences throughout the United States, Europe, and Australia.

The focus of Mary's work is in sharing her knowledge of diverse musical styles, and encouraging others to find their own musical spirit and expression. These goals are expressed vividly in her programs and performances.


Patrick Lollis

Founder, ElMusEd | www.elmused.com

Patrick R. Lollis is the choir director and piano instructor at the Fine Arts Academy at Alma Martinez Intermediate in Mansfield, TX. His interests include all things musical, pedagogical, technological, and joyful. Mr. Lollis is an active clinician for school districts and TMEA, and is certified by the Feierabend Association of Music Educators (Levels I & II). He holds the BME and MM in Choral Conducting from Oklahoma State University, where he studied with Dirk Garner and Jerry McCoy. His heroes are Fred Rogers and John Feierabend. “My mission is to love and serve young musicians by paving the path we share with humor, beauty, and excellence."


Analisa Salinas Byrd

Music Educator

Analisa has been an elementary music teacher, kindergarten through fifth grades, for 9 years. She now teaches for the North East Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas at Steubing Ranch Elementary School.

Her degrees are Bachelor of Arts, Psychology (2001), Bachelor of Arts, Music Education (2006), and Master of Arts, Educational Leadership and Administration (2012), from the University of Texas in San Antonio. She holds Orff Levels I, II and III, completed in 2009 at Trinity University in San Antonio, Tx. She has learned more from the children she teaches than in all her formal education and continues to grow as a teacher everyday.

As a music teacher, Analisa knows the importance of acknowledging all learning styles in effective instruction. She developed Magnetix to address all learning styles specific to recorder instruction. Analisa is a professional flute player and instructor and greatly values the use of visuals to aid in instruction of note names and fingerings. Magnetix engages all the learning styles through its use of color, ease of reading, ease of manipulation and its ability to adapt to any methodology of instruction.


Jorge Ochoa

Occupational Therapist

Jorge Ochoa, OTR is an occupational therapist and group drumming facilitator in San Antonio, TX. He is the founder of TamboRhythms, a company dedicated to promoting FUNctional living through rhythmic expression regardless of age or previous musical experience. He has facilitated at schools/learning centers, worked with seniors and those with special needs, and has provided adult and community education programs. Clients have included EVA's Heroes and the Texas Dept. Of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (Division for Blind Services). He has also served his community by leading free family-friendly community drum circles . Jorge has appeared in the San Antonio Express News, Our Kids San Antonio, Natural Awakenings, and The Autism Notebook publications.