Musical Beginnings

Academy faculty

Maggie Polk Olivo is a music director, composer, and collaborator. Olivo holds degrees from IU Jacobs in music composition and music education. She has training in Kodály, Orff/Keetman, Feierabend, and Musikgarten methodologies. She directs IU Musical Beginnings, teaches at Fairview Elementary and Rocky Ridge Music Center, and directs Bridges MAYO.

woman in a white sweater standing outdoors

Danielle Kjar Priest began as a flutist, completing a B.M. in flute performance at the University of North Texas and a M.M. in flute performance at Brigham Young University. During her second flute degree she developed a love for working with younger children, which led to her pursuing all of her Kodály levels and working part time teaching elementary general music in Provo, UT. After moving to Bloomington with her husband, she completed an M.S. in Music Education at Indiana University and has worked with Musical Beginnings since 2015. Danielle has two sons and when not chasing them or teaching music, can be found behind a sewing machine with a costume project.

Woman smiling wearing a white turtleneck and glasses

Tracey Shi is a Ph.D. student in music education at IU. She teaches BloomingSongs classes at IU Musical Beginnings and is a teaching assistant for the IU Children’s Choir. Tracey completed her Kodály Level II training at IU in 2021. Her previous teaching experiences with children include leading San Diego Children’s Choir summer program, teaching early childhood music classes at Bloomington Developmental Learning Center, and teaching elementary general music classes in China.

Sai Guo is a Ph.D. student studying music education at the Jacobs School of Music. She holds a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in the UK and a master’s degree in Music Education with a focus on Autism Spectrum Disorder from Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. Sai worked as a music instructor at both the Berklee Institute for Arts Education and Special Needs (BIAESN) and Boston Public School (BPS), where she provided piano and group music lessons to students from K0-K8 with ASD. Sai currently also assists and teaches at the IU Children’s Choir and MusColAbility program.

For more information, contact Maggie Olivo at; or call 812-361-9332.


Fall semester
September 26BloomingSongs: Classes begin
September 25Cycle of Seasons: Classes begin
October 9-13Fall Break, no classes
December 5BloomingSongs: Classes conclude
December 4Cycle of Seasons: Classes conclude

Class Offerings

Instructors: Sai Guo and Tracey Shi

Fall Semester: September 26 - December 5, 2023

Meeting Time: Tuesdays, 5-5:30PM or 5:45-6:15PM

Location: First Presbyterian Church

Additional Notes: 1) Access to audio and activities is included in the rate of tuition. 

Instructor: Danielle Priest

Fall Semester: September 25 - December 4, 2023

Meeting Time: Mondays, 5:30-6:00PM

Location: First Presbyterian Church

Additional Notes: 1) Access to audio and activities is included in the rate of tuition. 

Tuition and deadlines


  • BloomingSongs - $140
  • Cycle of Seasons (w/out Materials) - $140
  • Cycle of Seasons (w/Materials) - $175


  • Financial aid - August 2023
  • Registration and payment due - September 22, 2023

How to apply

  1. Application process: To apply, please complete the online registration form .
  2. Enrollment limit: Registration for BloomingSongs and Cycle of Seasons will close at 10 participants per course.
  3. Payment: Accepting payment via credit card or check. Please do not send checks or any other forms of payment to the Office of Jacobs Academy.

Register for Fall 2023

Once you have completed the previous steps, please submit the Participant Agreement Form