Irene Rowland

It is with great enthusiasm that I join the Sing School students and staff! My life as a choral conductor began in high school when I was chosen to lead rehearsals for short periods of time when the teacher had to step away for a few minutes.  Although it was not customary, I had a similar experience in college when I was asked to conduct a song for a Choir performance.  The seed was planted!  Seeing the look of confidence on the faces of students while they sing with all their hearts onstage just never gets old!

I am a professional Music educator with over 35 years of experience conducting choirs with singers of all ages, children to adults. We emphasize proper vocal technique and independent-part singing for even the youngest singers.  I use a Kodaly-inspired approach with 20 years’ experience in the General Music classroom, as well as 5 years teaching Elementary and Junior High Orchestra.  I have also taught private piano for 30+ years.  As a member of the Organization of Kodaly Educators (OAKE), I have served as President-Elect on the board of the AZ chapter, while my students have been selected for placement in OAKE National Conference Choirs.  My choirs have consistently received Superior ratings at adjudicated choral festivals sponsored by the American Choral Directors Association.   

My formal education includes a degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Music.  I am certified and Highly Qualified in the state of AZ in K-12 Music as well as K-8 Elementary Ed as I have taught in both the 5th and 6th grade classroom.  I received my Kodaly Levels I, II, III, and IV and my Orff Level I certifications from Arizona State University.  In 2018, I served as an assistant instructor for the Kodaly Level I course. 

The Kodaly music pedagogical approach focuses on musicianship skill development using the voice as the primary instrument.  Presented in an age-appropriate sequence, and using folk songs and a lot of singing games, children are able to learn and master fundamental music concepts in a fun, engaging and empowering way. My goal is to empower students with the knowledge, skills, experience and confidence to become the best musicians and students they can be! I am a native of Mesa.  My husband and I are parents of  2 and grandparents of 4.  We enjoy spending time with grandkids, traveling, visiting Diners, Drive-in and Dive featured eating spots on our travels, organizing, cooking and doing home projects.

Missy Gardiner received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Vocal Performance from ASU 28 years ago. She has been teaching piano and voice lessons for more than 30 years. She is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and the American Choral Directors Association. Missy successfully completed Kodaly Level 1 at ASU School of Music.  She has spent most of her life volunteering as a music director and choir director for her church and rehearsing and accompanying soloists, and small ensembles for worship services. Her favorite church responsibility has been sharing her talents with the young children teaching them to sing and helping them learn gospel songs. Missy has soloed with the Mesa Symphony both as a vocalist and pianist. She sang as a soloist with the Arizona Mormon Choir and with the Citrus Heights Stake Choir “Saints and Pioneers” program as well as their Annual Messiah Sing-Along. Missy performed with the BYU Young Ambassadors for two years traveling to India, Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand, and Tahiti as well as the western United States. She has sung with the Grand Chorus of the Millennial Choral Organization for 3 years and is currently a member of the Resonance Vocal Ensemble. In 2008 she was the national winner of the American Mothers Inc. Vocal Competition. She was born and raised in Mesa where she and her husband chose to raise their family of 9 children.