Keys to Imagination was started
in 2004 by a private piano teacher, Michelle Sisler. She was teaching 50 students a week and her studio was always full. Why? Because she was creative in her lessons and made materials students enjoyed using. They often couldn’t wait to come into lessons to try out a new game or program. They were motivated to learn and practice.
Michelle wanted to share these ideas that made her successful in her studio and that is where Keys to Imagination LLC was born. She quickly became recognized for her work and presentations nationwide and now, has an awesome team of authors who share the same passion for developing creative and effective teaching materials created by teachers, for teachers. Together, they have created music theory games for the private studio and classroom, Double Click Lab Curriculum, Are We There Yet? A Musical Journey Around the Globe and practice motivation games such as Sebastian Sharp and the Case of the Missing Manuscript.
Along with making quality products based on solid instructional design theories, customer service is a high priority. When you call, the phone is answered without any automated systems and calls and email messages are returned in a timely manner. Let Keys to Imagination LLC do the work of creating your next exciting teaching resource while you teach. Unlock the musical success of your students with our keys!
Michelle Sisler, Chief Manager / Instructional Designer
When Michelle was little she used to sit down at her toy piano and play songs, by ear, along with the jukebox. This was how her parents discovered her talent and love for music and enrolled her in piano lessons at the age of seven. Michelle enjoys being creative in her teaching, making lessons interesting and fun for all students; her use of technology and creative teaching materials have gained her national recognition. Michelle has presented sessions at The National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, Music Teachers National Association conference, and various state conferences and local groups, and has taught piano on Crystal Cruises. She has written technology articles for Keyboard Companion, a series of technology articles in Clavier, and reviews in American Music Teacher. Michelle has co-authored Studio Makeover, Technology “Addition”®, Double Click Curriculum® , Are We There Yet? A Musical Journey Around the Globe®, Sebastian Sharp and the Case of the Missing Manuscript, Road Trip: America the Beautiful and more.
“Michelle Sisler is a retailer with a ‘music teacher’s heart’. She not only has the resources and materials that make a studio into a vibrant and interesting experience, but she also kindly instructs music teachers like you and me who feel confused or need help. She is easy to approach at workshops and her contact information is readily available on the net. I have never found her to be too busy to assist me with even the smallest, most insignificant matters.” Nancy L, Indiana.
Michelle currently lives in Owatonna, MN with her husband, Kevin and their twins, Brandon and Brianna. In her spare time, she enjoys scrapbooking and traveling.
Michelle Galindo, Author of Double Click Curriculum
Michelle holds a Masters degree in Music Technology from the University of Newcastle (Australia). She is known as both as a teacher and performer and has performed in venues worldwide, including New York, London, Paris, St. Petersburg, Amsterdam, Prague, and the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. She has composed music for several theatre productions, and when not working as musical director can often be found playing in the orchestra. Michelle teaches piano, organ and double bass, coaches musicians for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and is a sectional coach for Youth Music Monterey. She is the principal keyboard player for all Monterey Peninsula Choral Society choirs and the assistant conductor for Aria-Monterey. Michelle currently serves on the board of directors and is past president of the Music Teachers Association of California – Monterey County branch.
Sally Ritchie, Author of Whirligig Games
Sally has been instructing young children, teenagers, and adults for over 45 years. She presently has a studio in the public school system with over 80 private students per week. She plays a number of musical instruments and has opportunity to work with adults and children as organist, choir director, and music coordinator of her church. After searching for years for tools to help her students learn necessary skills and still enjoy the process, she started developing her own games. She holds a patent on a music education system including music games and accessories.
Dr. Deborah Brener, Author of Are We There Yet? A Musical Journey Around the Globe
Dr. Deborah Brener has taught piano for the past 30 years in Southern California. She holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in piano performance and a Doctorate in music history (musicology). Her doctoral work concentrated on multicultural studies in teaching music and the blending of western and non-western teaching styles. Her introduction into cultures came during the time when large numbers of immigrants moved to southern California from Southeast Asia. This influenced her decision to concentrate on how music is taught in various cultures. She has published articles in music journals, including American Music Teacher, Piano and Keyboard, Keyboard Companion, Montessori – Today’s Child and Piano Guild Notes.
Dr. Brener has presented lectures at the following conferences: Music Teacher’s Association of California, California Association of Professional Music Teachers, The California Association of Community Colleges Music Conference and Music Teacher’s National Association.
Dr. Brener has taught at Irvine Valley, Rancho Santiago, Coast Community, Golden West, Fullerton and Whittier Colleges. All of her work is dedicated to her husband Marc and her children, Sophia and Isabella, who are her greatest accomplishments.
Karen Koch, Author of My Own Music History
Karen Koch is a private piano teacher in Trenton, Illinois, She is the founder and coordinator of the Music Educators’ Marketplace, founded in 1998 to cooperatively market self-published music teaching aids. In 2017 the Marketplace merged with Keys to Imagination, LLC.
A nationally certified MTNA teacher, Karen holds dual membership in Missouri and Illinois, and has held every office in the Illinois Gateway Arch East Chapter. She is also active as a judge and holds membership in St. Louis Piano Teachers’ Roundtable.
Karen has had articles published in various educational and professional journals and wrote a chapter for the pedagogy textbook, Creative Piano Teaching, Fourth Edition, edited by James Lyke, Geoffrey Haydon, & Catherine Rollin.
Karen is a graduate of Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois, where she majored in modern languages (and extracurricular activities, especially musical ones!) Having thought of herself for years as a jack-of-all-trades, she became master of one in 1986 when she received an MA in Piano Performance and Pedagogy at Webster University, St. Louis. Her thesis study sought an approach to introducing and structuring music history for students. The resulting MY OWN MUSIC HISTORY became a product and ultimately led to the formation of Music Educators’ Marketplace.
In personal life, she has been actively involved in many local civic activities, such as Woman’s Club, library trustee, and room mother. Her husband, Edward, is a former teacher who owned and is now retired from a family wholesale food/sundries distribution business. They have three adult children and four grandchildren, all of whom have had some piano lessons from their grandmother. Currently, Karen is using Skype for weekly lessons with her granddaughter who lives 2000 miles away in Mill Valley, California.
Levi Taylor, Composer/Arranger for Are we There Yet? A Musical Journey Around the Globe
A private piano instructor, Levi enjoys teaching over 50 students a week in the Ann Arbor/Saline area of Michigan. He also continues to pursue his passion and areas of expertise: music composition, song writing, film scoring, and arranging. Prior to his work with Are We There Yet? A Musical Journey Around the Globe, Levi lived and worked in Japan teaching English while also working as a freelance musician/composer. He holds a bachelors degree from Millikin University in Commercial Music with special concentrations in piano performance, music composition, and film scoring.