Founder of Different Dynamics, Jessica has proudly served the music education community for over ten years. Currently Director of Education for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Jessica began at the symphony as the Youth Orchestra Manager and Secondary Programs Coordinator. Prior to the symphony, Jessica taught music in the St. Charles City Schools in St. Charles, MO. She holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from Miami University in Oxford, OH, a master’s degree in music education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and has completed her Orff Schulwerk Level 1 and 2 certifications. Jessica serves on the board of the Hesse Memorial Fund. In 2017, she was awarded the St. Louis Suburban Music Educators Association’s Merit Award for her contributions to music education. When not teaching music, Jessica enjoys playing clarinet in the St. Louis Wind Symphony and volunteering as a women’s advocate for Trek Bicycle.
Paula is a recently retired special education music teacher. Paula taught students with disabilities for 31 years, 28 of those years with the Special School District of St. Louis County. For the last 20 years, Paula taught music to students at Litzsinger School. Paula has been a big proponent of sensory-friendly opportunities for the special needs community. She’s worked closely with Opera Theatre St. Louis and Stages St. Louis and provides the sensory awareness training to the musical artists and staff prior to sensory-friendly performances. Paula has been recognized for work in her field. She was chosen as Special School District’s Teacher of the Year in 2004. In 2005 she was one of six finalists for Missouri Teacher of the Year and in that same year received the Emerson Excellence in Education Award. In 2007 Paula was a Founders Award recipient from Fontbonne University and in 2014, she was chosen as the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s Educator of the Year.
Jennifer Nelson, MMT, MT-BC
Jen is a board-certified music therapist, with a master’s degree in music therapy from Maryville University-St. Louis. Her experience includes working with children and adults throughout the medical hospital setting as well as with adults who suffer from pervasive mental illness in an inpatient psychiatric hospital setting. Jen loves seeing music’s effect on people and how music can help achieve (what seems) the most impossible of goals!