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.

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Mary Stees graduated from James Madison University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. She is currently the music specialist at Rogers Elementary School, marking her 6th year of teaching music in Indiana public schools. She is also an instructor for IU Children's Choir. Mary is passionate about including all learners and is pursuing a Master's in Special Education at Indiana University.

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


Spring semester
February 6BloomingSongs: Classes begin
February 7Cycle of Seasons: Classes begin
March 12-19Spring Break, no classes
April 16BloomingSongs: Classes conclude
April 17Cycle of Seasons: Classes conclude

Class Offerings

Instructors: Mary Stees and Tracey Shi

Spring Semester: February 6 - April 16, 2023

Meeting Time: Mondays, 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. 2) No class to occur November 21, 2022.

Instructor: Danielle Priest

Spring Semester: February 7 - April 17, 2023

Meeting Time: Tuesdays, 5:15-5:45PM

Location: First Presbyterian Church

Additional Notes: 1) Access to audio and activities is included in the rate of tuition. 2) No class to occur November 22, 2022.

Tuition and deadlines


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


  • Financial aid - January 23, 2023
  • Registration and payment due - February 6, 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 spring

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