Our Teachers

Meet the Teachers of Music Together® at HalfSteps

Our teachers come from different professional backgrounds, but they’re united by a common passion: Sharing the joy of music with children and families! Both Tanya and Lori have successfully completed the live Music Together Teacher Training, which is built on research in early childhood and music development. We keep our skills fresh through workshops every semester and advanced trainings offered by Music Together Worldwide.

Tanya Li Roth

Tanya had her first taste of music lessons at age 4, when she asked to study violin just like her oldest sister. Her experience with the Suzuki Violin Method sparked a passion for music that has lasted to this day. She was a longtime member of the Florida West Coast Youth Orchestra (now known as the Sarasota Youth Orchestra), served as Vice President and President of the Manatee High School Orchestra, was the 1994 Golden Herald Award winner in the category of Music Leadership, and a member of the 1997 Disney-Grammy All-American College Orchestra. Tanya earned her B.A. in Communication, with a Minor in Music, graduating Summa Cum Laude from the University of Central Florida. Tanya is a branding expert, having revitalized family brands for Clients such as Nestle Purina, Merck, and Feld Entertainment. Most recently, she had the joy of overseeing the relaunch of Sesame Street Live! and the bittersweet honor of marketing the final farewell tour of The Greatest Show On Earth, which played to sold out audiences across the nation.

Tanya has two children, Jacob and Emma. She fell in love with the Music Together program when she enrolled her son Jacob. After Emma was born, Tanya decided to pursue her passion projects, including bringing the Music Together program closer to home. 

Lori Gruwell

Lori was born to be a teacher. The first sign was when, as a precocious 11-year-old, she taught four-year-old Tanya how to read the summer before she entered kindergarten (of course those Suzuki lessons probably helped prime her too)! She earned her B.A. in Early Childhood Education (Birth - 3rd grade) from Florida State University and has been teaching in Manatee County for more than 25 years. Lori was a member of the Marching 'Canes while attending Manatee High School and was also a member of the Florida West Coast Youth Symphony. She consistently receives Highly Effective scores for teaching, and despite being a highly-accomplished teacher, Lori believes you never stop learning. She has three children with her husband, Craig. Christian plays hockey, piano, and oboe, Kylir plays piano, oboe, and trumpet, and Kaili is double majoring in Music and Engineering at the University of Central Florida. And if you needed any proof that music brings people together, Lori met Craig when they were freshmen trumpet players in the Marching Band.

Pamela Garcia-Urrutia

Pamela is originally from Peru and is a former Pre-K teacher. She is a certified teacher of both Canta y Baila Conmigo® and Music Together. She lives in Sarasota with her husband and 2-year-old daughter, Miranda, and is excited to be a part of the HalfSteps family.