Lisala Beatty became the Director of Music and the Brain in 2017 after serving as the Program Manager for 14 years. She has supported the more than 300 schools and music educators who have implemented Music and the Brain with thousands of classroom visits, lesson demonstrations and teacher training in addition to curriculum development.
A professional vocalist and songwriter for more than 25 years, Lisala’s voice, arrangements and original compositions are featured on numerous Music and the Brain curriculum recordings. She has performed across the U.S., Europe, Russia, Canada and Japan, on commercial jingles and more than thirty-five recordings.
As a product of public elementary education devoid of music instruction, Music and the Brain’s mission to provide high quality curriculum and piano instruction to all students is crucial to Lisala. Prior to working with Music and the Brain, Lisala worked in advertising sales as a Senior Account Manager for Vivendi Universal Net USA, the Walt Disney Internet Group and Ziff-Davis. Ms. Beatty holds a B.S. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School where she majored in Marketing.
Chris Sweatt has many years of experience as a musician, educator, and administrator. A strong believer in the transformative power of music making and learning, he is very excited to utilize his skills to support the implementation and development of the Music and the Brain program for students and teachers across the United States. Chris has worked professionally as a music director, performer, and pianist and is a member of the American Federation of Musicians and Actors’ Equity Association. While pursuing his Master’s degree at NYU Steinhardt, Chris completed two internships with the NYC Department of Education and received departmental awards. Additionally, he spent a year in Scotland earning a Postgraduate Diploma in Music Directing from the Royal Conservatoire, and he also holds an undergraduate degree in Music from Birmingham-Southern College. He has taught private and group music lessons through several community music organizations including the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, and he also served as Project Coordinator for the 2017 Sing for Hope Pianos public arts project. He currently lives in Manhattan with his tuxedo cat Mistoffelees.
Emina Nusbaum has provided administrative and operational coordination for Music and the Brain for more than twelve years. In addition to data management of school partnerships, she supports program material design and production, research, vendor relationships and budgetary record keeping. Emina helps implement the mission of the program including prompt communication with partners to ensure quality control and the delivery of program materials and equipment.
Elana Stiel Obstfeld brings 13 years of expertise teaching the Music and the Brain program to her role as Mid-Atlantic Program Manager. She has experienced, in multiple schools, how Music and the Brain can positively impact individual students as well as entire school communities.
A passionate and innovative educator, Elana began her career in New York City where she taught K-8 music in Manhattan’s Inwood neighborhood and coordinated arts programming for her school. She and her family eventually relocated to the Philadelphia suburbs where she taught PreK-8 music, built and supervised her school’s enrichment program, introduced various arts programs and performance opportunities for students, and served as a mentor to new teachers.
Elana holds a BA from Barnard College, Columbia University where she majored in music and completed the Barnard Education Program, and holds an MA in Music Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.