“I just think it makes my students happier overall, which helps them learn and get along better with each other.”

4th Grade,Parkmont School, Fremont


mfm2 student















Our Board of Directors: Volunteers Nurturing a Love of Music

A nine-member volunteer board of directors meets monthly, sets policy and oversees and supports the Music for Minors II enrichment program with the assistance of part-time staff under the direction of an Executive Director:  Docent Training Coordinator, Program Manager, Event Coordinator, Recruitment Coordinator and Administrative Assistant.  Each school that has the MFMII program selects a liaison as their contact person who promotes communication between MFMII and the schools and the expansion of the program at their sites.

Music for Minors II Executive Director & Training Teacher: Carol Zilli

Carol ZilliCarol Zilli is the founder and Executive Director of Music for Minors II (MFMII) since she established it as a nonprofit in l988 having been trained as a Music for Minors docent in 1986 in Los Altos. She was an active docent at Niles School in Fremont for many years where she started MFMII as well as a parent volunteer piano accompanist/co-director of the Niles School Chorus.

Carol is a graduate of Santa Clara University and holds a Standard Life Teaching Credential in French and English and taught at Hayward High School for 8 years where she established a CORE Reading Program for at-risk youth before marrying and having three children. She has taught private piano lessons and substituted in Fremont and Newark Unified School Districts.

Since 1990, Carol has taught the MFMII Docent Training classes at Ohlone College and the Fremont and Castro Valley Adult Schools training hundreds of community volunteers in teaching music to children. She also offered a mini-training for classroom teachers to empower them with music integration into their curriculum. She also taught classroom music and directed the after school choir at Schilling Elementary School in Newark for 16 years directing and producing over 30 musicals with children in grades 3-6. Carol currently directs her church adult and children choirs and cantors at liturgical services weekly. She is also a presenter at teacher conferences and workshops and service groups in the community.

Carol is a strong advocate for children and has served on the Fremont Unified School District Health and Sex Education Advisory Committee for 15 years striving for high standards and parental involvement in the schools for healthy childhood development. Her heart and soul is with Music for Minors II as she firmly believes that music is the answer to children’s academic success and social and emotional well-being as well as that of others as it is a powerful learning tool and a great healer for our world. Carol continues to envision MFMII’s program expansion given the powerful impact it has had on children, teachers, parents, and the community thanks to the dedication and love of its countless volunteers. From one docent in 1986 serving one school to almost 90 docents serving nearly 5,000 children with weekly music, MFMII has established its credibility as a nonprofit helping children in need.

Music for Minors II Board of Directors

Elise Bagley President:

Elise Balgley

Elise Balgley is a graduate of UCLA and Hastings College of the Law. She has practiced law for 30 years for the most part in the Tri-Cities of Fremont, Newark and Union City focusing on all types of civil matters. In addition to her involvement with Music for Minors II, Elise is an active member of the Fremont Chamber of Commerce, the Kiwanis Club of Fremont and Soroptimist International.


Ken SmithHistorian:

Ken Smith




Treasurer: Michele Morhous

JemBoard Member:

Jamunarani B Ramaraj

Jem graduated with a MSc in Electronics in India. She has been the MFMII Liaison at Niles School since 2013, as well as holding other PTA positions (Reflections Chair and Treasurer). Jem has earned several awards including the PTA Honorary Service Award (2016) and her service as a docent in 2012-13 earned her MFMII's In Harmony Service Award (2013). In her spare time, Jem loves drawing and watercolor paintings. Her hobby has earned her awards including the Gold Prize Winner for Sri Krishna Era animals watercolor painting (2015). Since 2014 she has been teaching drawing and painting to children at the Fremont Art Association.


Katya Juliet Lerner

Katya graduated from UC Davis, California with a BA in Communication. In addition to owning BuzzWord Consulting, an online Communication Consulting & Digital Marketing business, she works as the Director of Operations for an online music start-up company in the Bay Area, 4fame.com. Additionally, Katya has over 12 years experience in sales and team leadership, working for a fortune-500 company. Katya has always had a passion for music and music education, learning to sing, play the piano and violin starting at age 4. She and her husband have 2 children, Kingston and Kora, and are dedicated to helping our communities continue to offer music education to children for years to come.


LoriBoard Member:

Lori Moitié

I am an expert in children’s entertainment. I have a BA in Broadcast Communication Arts from San Francisco State and an AA in Music from Foothill College. I own a Bay Area music company called Cotton Candy Express Music, which is currently 31 years old. My husband and I perform under the name of Lori & RJ Music. I am an accomplished and award winning songwriter, vocalist, guitarist, keyboard player, former network cartoon host, playwright and I play multiple percussion instruments. I teach performance arts to homeschoolers and write original musicals. For the last 15 years we also work through a Grant that takes us to bay area children’s hospitals going bedside and providing healing musical vibrations for the children and the families several times every month. Our duo performs over 100 shows per year at choice family venues. We play music for all ages. It’s an honor to be on the Board of MFMII.



Board Member:

Renard "RJ" Johnson

I am the co-owner of Cotton Candy Express/Lori & RJ Music. I studied Jazz at Southern University. I have toured the world as a jazz and R&B bass player. I am an award winning songwriter, multi- instrumentalist, sound engineer, youth bandleader, producer, former network cartoon host, playwright, published author, and musical director for Lori & RJ Music. My main instrument is the bass but I also play the mandolin, ukulele, harmonica, drums, and more. After decades of being a family entertainer I see the need for music to be woven back into the fabric of the classrooms and children’s lives. I am honored to be on the Board of MFMII.


EmilyBoard Member:

Emily Phillips

Emily has been with Republic Services for 5 years, working in both Oregon and California, and is currently their Municipal Manager. She enjoys building relationships with community partners and helping promote Republic Services as the impactful corporate partner they truly are in the community. She considers herself fortunate to have always had music as part of her educational curriculum and is still friends with her elementary school music teacher to this day! Music is an everyday part of life for Emily and she is thrlled to help MFMII continue their mission of nurturing a love for music in the lives of our children.

Phillips is married and enjoys listening to music, dancing, Oregon State University athletics events, and spending time outdoors.

New Board Members welcome.

Contact MFMII at info@musicforminors2.org.





Music for Minors II Staff

Sharon FilippiAdministrative Assistant & Liaison Coordinator:

Sharon Filippi

Ms. Filippi started her association with MFMII in 1988 when she took the docent training in Los Altos. MFMII was in its infancy with only a handful of docents.  Over the years she has been a docent (in her own 2 children's classes but many others also), a liaison and the board treasurer.  For the last five years she has been the administrative assistant.  MFMII has grown, prospered and brought music to thousands of children during the years that she has been involved.  She has been involved in choirs and choruses since grade school and knows the importance of the arts in our lives.  Even though her major in college was history, her minors were in the humanities and music. It's a true mission to keep the arts alive and well in children's hearts.

SusanDocent Manager / Docent Training Coordinator:

Sue Schwartz

Music is my passion. I hold a bachelor of Music Education and have spent the past 43 years teaching music in many different forms - Yamaha Music Teacher, MFMII docent, music teacher. I was trained as a MFMII Docent in the Fall of 1992 and became a docent at Ardenwood Elementary School until 1998. During that span of time, I served on the MFM II Board as Secretary. Shortly after that, I became Docent Training Coordinator, and then Docent Director. I continued in those roles until 2002 when I decided to take classes for a California Teaching Credential. I earned a Multi-Subject Credential, and taught third grade at Milani Elementary in Newark Unified for one year. I then transferred to New Haven Unified School District where I taught Music to grades K-5 until 2015.

Veera Kazak Program Manager:

Veera Rohinton Kazak

I have been involved with MFMII since 2007. I am a docent and liaison at Parkmont Elementary School in Fremont, and joined the MFMII staff in 2014 as Event Coordinator and then as Program Manager in 2015. I am married with three boys and was actively involved with Boy Scout Troop 176 , and enjoyed volunteering with Parkmont PTA for many years. I grew up in London, England, where music was important and sang in the school choir at high school. I had various jobs including a dental assistant, bilingual secretary and finally a software support specialist for Digital Equipment (now HP) for 10 years. I am also a puppy sitter for Guide Dogs for the Blind. I believe that all children have the right to a well-rounded education, including music.

MaggieEvent Coordinator:

Maggielynn Babauta

Maggielynn is the Director of Operations for Plus One Health Management empowered by Cisco. She brings with her an immense amount of experience in a variety of areas in relation to Operations. Maggielynn has received accolades such as Manager of the Month and Manager of the Year on a number of different occasions. She played an important role in the opening of Cisco’s LifeConnections Fitness Center by developing and implementing the daily operational processes with emphasis on safety, cleanliness, and productivity of staffing demands and needs for the new facility. Along with a demanding job, she spends her spare time watching her son play baseball, and has started her own small business in the event planning world.

AnuRecruitment Coordinator (Fremont & Newark):

Anu Belde

Music has been my passion from childhood, I learned singing by listening to my mom’s singing and the radio. I learned the Indian instrument, Veena, for 4 years where I learned the basics of classical music. I joined MFMII as a docent in 2015 and assisted at Gomes Elementary School, and joined as the Recruitment Coordinator in 2017. I was part of Gomes PTA for 2 years and actively helped with FAME, safety patrol and other volunteer work. I hold a BSc in Computer Science and worked as a Software Engineer for many years.

Music for Minors II Support

Webmaster / Yahoo Moderator:

Rohinton Kazak (Roy)

Resource Centre Assistants wanted for
Niles - Glenmoor - Leitch

Kennedy, Newark - Ines Canales

Proctor, Castro Valley - Eri Graffam

Recruitment Team:

Anu Belde (Leader), Carol Zilli, Elisabeth Huffmaster, Nidhi Joshi

Training Team:

Carol Zilli (Leader), Susan Schwartz, Veera Kazak, Jaya Murthy, Sister Dorothy