Meet the skilled and talented members of our community offering classes and resources to MUYA:
Melody Spring Flittner
Early Childhood Educator & Artist
It is my life mission to empower and prepare our children to confidently meet the world and all it brings to them by promoting the development of a solid foundation they create out of their own selves. My aim is to see all the aspects of the child as a spiritual being, to educate, as in it's root meaning: to draw out, the child's innate gifts and hold space for that child to unravel any hindrances keeping the child from blossoming. I see our future humanity has a path through this education to evolve into free beings of love, freedom and brilliant contributions to the world. I feel very fortunate to have found a path to accomplish such through my years of studies of the art of Eurythmy and Anthroposophy.
Realizing and following dreams and creative aspirations starting at the age 5 years old, my life has been dedicated to the arts and healing arts. I started as a young artist out of high school co-creating and teaching with Liquid Lead Art Studio and graphic designer. I studied the classical arts in a study abroad program with Beaux-Arts Academy in Paris and Rome and have spent almost 2 decades as a professional artist. My love for children is lifelong and I've had strong knowing and desire that I would have and raise my own child which led to my training as an educator. I taught a mixed age group 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 5th in 2020. I completed my 3 year training with The Mulberry Institute of Curative Education in OR.
A short list of further creative interests include playing with my son, gardening, music, learning the harp and piano, dance, yoga (certified teacher), Qigong, Jin-Shin Jyustu and all practices bringing harmony to life and the body.
Drawing, painting, and fiber arts
Kathrine graduated with her degree in Art and Sociology from UC Riverside. She is a credentialed California state teacher who taught middle school and high school math for nine years. For seven years she has been teaching GED and job preparation classes in the Orange County jails through Santiago Canyon College. And she taught handwork in multiple grade levels at the Waldorf-inspired charter school in Huntington Beach, Sycamore Creek Community Charter School.
These days she fills many roles as a mom, teacher, family documentarian, chef, travel planner, undercover website designer and friend. Her passions include traveling, being outdoors, reading, eco living & sustainability, photography, criminal justice reform, homeschooling and healthy cooking!
Kathrine's love of art is finding an outlet through the growth of Modern Folk Art Studios, where she often dreams of the amazing art we will all create together.
Cultural History and Games
I am mother to two girls—Elle (12) and Billie (9)—who have homeschooled in various nature and Waldorf-based programs for most of their childhood. In 2019 I completed my PhD in Comparative Literature at UC Irvine, writing my dissertation on methods indigenous novelists use to decolonize their readers’ visions of the good life on a subconscious level, employing chanting prose, mood-scapes, and humor. I taught classes at UCI on psychoanalytic theory, French, Spanish, "Native American” literature, drama, and feminist literature, which was fascinating and provided opportunities to teach abroad in Paris and Santiago de Chile. Yet I was ultimately drawn to train as a Waldorf teacher during that time because 1) Waldorf education is so much fun, and 2) I could be closer to my daughters. For the past two years I have held a combined grades class (3/4 and 4/5) at the Waldorf-inspired charter school, Sycamore Creek Community Charter School, in Huntington Beach, where I obtained my preliminary CA teaching credential.
I am passionate about clean, ethical food systems and wholistic learning/healing/creation. I have had the honor to work alongside the crew at The Water Brewery in Costa Mesa the past two years and build their vision of creating Mother Tree Sanctuary. While at UCI I obtained a grant from the UCI Sustainability Initiative to launch a grow-your-own-food campaign in graduate housing to empower students to have more control of their local food systems. At the same time, I was teaching Romance languages, music, and handwork in the nature school co-op, Camino de Santiago, led by Dawn Robinette in Orange, and later, at the Waldorf homeschool program, Linden Tree, in Costa Mesa. I coordinated volunteers in these communities to hand-weed Santiago Oaks Regional Park to prevent the use of glyphosate, and joined formal meetings with Moms Across America and OC County Parks to promote alternatives to herbicide use.
I love the way Waldorf education honors children as delightful, new beings and aspires to bring magic to our interactions with one another. I trained as a Waldorf teacher at the Waldorf Institute of Southern California on the San Diego and Northridge campuses, as well as at the Waldorf School of Orange County where my girls attended for a brief time. I love story-telling, painting, yoga, herbalism, hiking, gardening, and learning from those around me.
Theater and Dance
Gemma Hebson has been a theatre and dance educator for all ages for over 25 years. She has taught, directed and choreographed at Santa Ana High School, Laguna Playhouse, Saddleback College, South Coast Conservatory, Pacific Symphony’s Arts-X-press, and the Orange County School of the Arts Elective and Musical Theatre Conservatory, where she received the JRAY award for Best Choreography and organized the Acting and Singing classes for nationally recognized community outreach program, Camp OCSA. She has also held master classes at The Wooden Floor through the Dragon Kim Foundation and served on the Board of Directors for Dance Discovery Foundation. She is a Founding Ambassador of Oola, a global movement to live differently and the Legacy Award recipient at the 2023 Art-E Awards, recognizing her lifelong service to performing arts education. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts from California State University, Fullerton, and continues to use her auditioning, casting, rehearsal, production and performance skills to create a beautiful life of acceptance.