Singing with Santa Cruz County, California kids for over 30 years

 


Born and raised in beautiful upstate New York, Freesia’s early musical  influences were show tunes and the beautiful harmonies of the 50’s and 60’s.  As a child she played the accordion and theater organ and relished Girl Scout songs around the campfire. She received her first guitar on her 18th birthday, which she taught herself to play in order to explore the love & peace songs of her generation.

Freesia graduated with honors from the State University of New York at Brockport with a degree in psychology.  For a few years she continued to work in the restaurant industry which had helped finance her college studies. Then, after writing one too many sad songs, she left her home state in snowy January and drove to California with two other adventure seeking grads, eventually putting down roots in the Santa Cruz Mountains, where she thrived in a climate of sunshine, squawking jays and towering redwoods.

Surrounded by nature, her career focus began to shift from bartending and restaurant management to the magical world of young children. Freesia wrote her first songs for kids during lazy summers and rainy winters in Boulder Creek for her new community of friends, many of whom were half her height.

A singer and writer since childhood, Freesia began sharing her creativity with others only after a cancer diagnosis in the early 1980s woke her up to the fragility of life, and stirred her courage.  Her healing journey during that period included extensive self-inquiry and medical as well as holistic support modalities, all of which influenced her music and her work in the world.

             Freesia studied Early Childhood Education at Cabrillo College and taught in various elementary and preschool classrooms.  In 1987 she founded the “Kreative Kids” program, a year round preschool co-op with an arts based curriculum, inspired by all she had learned and grown to understand about young children.  Kreative Kids has been operated by the Santa Cruz County Parks Department for over 20 years serving San Lorenzo Valley kids and their families.

Freesia has produced several CDs of original and collected songs for families as well as an album of spiritual chants and songs.  She is grateful for the many opportunities to stretch and grow her musical journey has provided, including the “gig of a lifetime” when in 2001 she led 40 children who sang for His Holiness the Dalai Lama in conclusion of four days of his teachings.  The beloved world leader and minister of peace grinned appreciatively and joined right in!

After early years of volunteering her music in libraries and classrooms, Freesia currently serves as a music teacher for several preschools, private schools and daycare programs in the Santa Cruz area.  Her popular music class KidSong is offered periodically in school communities and neighborhoods.  She is a long time member of Children’s Music Network, a national organization of music educators and performers exchanging resources and support.

Today, in addition to classroom teaching, Freesia can often be found singing in celebration of a child’s birthday, or in remembrance of a loved one who has passed.   She also serves on the  board and as music coordinator for a local non-profit organization in which she enjoys leading omni-faith spiritual songs at classes and retreats.