Melissa Sondergeld-Hood (she/her) is music/theater teacher and professional theatre artist in the Portland area. She taught at Mayer Christian School for 4 years and is active and working in local theater. You may have seen her behind the scenes at Portland Musical Theater Company, or Nutz and Boltz Theatre Company.
She graduated from Warner Pacific University in 2015 in Music and Theatre Education. She learned to play the clarinet at the age of 10, started in theater at the age of 15, and then sang from the age of 19. She was recently in two world premiere online musicals with Portland Musical Theater Company, “The Show Must Go Online” and “Super Happy Awesome News” and is a proud alumni of the Portland Musical Theater Company Emerging Artists program.
- What age were you when you first started taking music lessons?
I first started learning music in fifth grade. All the students were required to join band and learn an instrument. I wanted to learn flute, but could not get any sound of it so I ended up learning clarinet, which I have played ever since. (That is 18 years!)
- Tell us about an early music lessons experience that helped shape you as a musician or teacher:
My high school band teacher fostered an environment where everyone felt safe and welcome. That is something that I aspire to do in my own teaching spaces.
- What are your favorite bands or musicians?
I listen to a lot of different styles, so it is hard to choose! I would say that classically I love Tchaikovsky, alternative bands like Pomplamoose, oldies but goodies like Frank Sinatra, and musical theater like Sutton Foster.
- Do you have a highlight of your music career so far that you would like to share?
I have made quite a few good memories, and one that stands out for me was when I performed my last Cabaret with Portland Musical Theater Company. I had been working on 5 pieces for almost a full year and it was empowering to be able to finally perform them.
- Describe your ideal student.
A student who is willing to explore all their voice can do. Someone who is willing to try something perhaps a bit goofy or silly in order to learn something more about themself or music.
- Describe what your students should expect in their first few music lessons with you
When you first take a lesson with me I will want to get to know you and your musical tastes. So be ready to answer some questions, and perhaps ask me some as well. We will do a bit of singing or music making so we can dip our toes in the water.
- Why did you want to become a music teacher?
I became a music teacher because of my high school band and theater teachers. They helped foster and encourage their students’ passion. I aspire to this as well. My teaching philosophy is that all people have a voice, something to share with the world. If I can help someone along their journey to expressing themselves then I feel blessed.