At the New Covenant Arts Academy, the teachers have weekly one-on-one regular, consistent time with their students. What a responsibility and what an opportunity this is to be a force for good in a young person’s life! We don’t just teach music, we teach them about life as well. We like to think about each student’s potential and how we can make the most of that thirty or forty-five minutes. What can we say to help them feel encouraged, confident and loved? How can we bring musical joy into their fingers and voices? For as we all know, music gives us confidence, happiness and courage and develops inner character and strength!

Patti Kruse
Director of New Covenant Arts Academy

Known by many as Ms. Patti, she has worked at New Covenant Lutheran Church for 18 years in the Worship and Music Ministries and is currently the Director of the New Covenant Arts Academy. She is married to Pastor Steve and they have two married daughters, Meredith (married to Seth with a daughter, Wynne and a son, Sidney) and Katelyn, (married to Stephen with two daughters, Lila and Maeve) and one son, Peter.  Patti has taught piano for 35 years and loves teaching children and young adults how to play the piano and sing with great joy! Her love for God shines through her work in everything she does – from conducting choir musicals to building relationships with people. Her other interests include running, hiking, baking, reading and traveling to see family and friends. Seeking a healthy lifestyle of prayer, worship, exercise, rest and good nutrition describes Patti well – although she absolutely loves M & M’s!

Marsha Vanderwerff
Guitar/Ukulele, Voice and Piano Teacher

Ms. Marsha teaches piano, voice, guitar and ukulele at New Covenant Arts Academy.  Marsha also is the Music Director at New Covenant Lutheran Church.  She has her Master’s degree and is working to complete her doctorate in music education this year.  Marsha has taught public school music pre-K through 12th grade for more than 30 years and is excited about the possibility of teaching your children.  She is a fierce Green Bay Packer fan and enjoys dancing, movies and walking her dog ‘Maggie Moo’ in her spare time!

Anita Freeborn
Piano Teacher (Monday & Friday)

Anita is originally from Illinois. She went to Loyola University Chicago and received a degree in psychology. She attended graduate school at Illinois State University and received an MBA. Anita has always had a love of music, and she studied voice and piano for many years. She has had experience accompanying two school choirs and has been in two rock bands. Anita enjoys spending time with her husband and their three boys. All three boys study piano at the NCAA. In her free time, Anita enjoys playing the piano, singing, listening to live music, hiking, traveling and reading.

Molly Bass
Piano and Voice Teacher
(Tuesday and Wednesday)

Molly Bass holds degrees in Piano Performance and Pedagogy and Vocal Music Education from Bemidji State University and is currently licensed in K-12 Vocal and Classroom Music from Minnesota.  Molly has extensive experience working with students of all ages, having begun teaching music lessons while in high school and accompanying high school choirs. She has taught piano and voice lessons, played at several churches and accompanied numerous soloists and large groups over the past ten years. She has also been a volunteer camp counselor and teacher at Bemidji Musicamp in Bemidji, MN since 2014. Along with these, Molly has experience substitute teaching in public schools back in Minnesota. Molly has performed the roles of Pamina, “The Magic Flute”, and Peep-Bo, “The Mikado”, while at Bemidji State University and was a soloist in several Opera Night Galas. She loves teaching students of all ages and backgrounds and finds great joy when they experience success in whatever they do.  Something no one knows about Molly – she loves old books and can spend hours perusing in libraries or bookstores!