Meet our dedicated team of female arts educators.
Correne (known as Spero to most) has been writing songs for over two decades, beginning at Oberlin College where she earned a B.A. in Women's Studies.
Originally from New York, Spero studied audio engineering and production at the Institute for Audio Research. As part of Northern State, (with Robyn Goodmark and Julie Potash Slavin), she toured across the US, Europe, and Canada headlining and supporting acts including The Roots, Tegan and Sara, and Cake. Northern State released three albums featuring collaborations with lifelong heroes like Adrock of the Beastie Boys, and Rolling Stone has called the group "everything you want underground hip-hop to be" and "hip-hop for the modern fabulous woman." Spero also plays guitar and drums in 6-girl rock group Lucky Bitch, which also formed in New York.
Spero has a lifelong interest in supporting women, children, and immigrant communities. She participated in after-school tutoring programs for children of low-income and immigrant families and taught English as a second language to adult learners throughout New York city, earning a CELTA TESOL/TEFL certification from the University of Cambridge.
In 2010, Spero relocated to Little Rock, Arkansas where she heads up a Little Rock band of her original songwriting (called SPERO, for lack of a better name). In 2015, she formed DOT with Trust Tree co-facilitators Melanie Castellano and Jordan Wolf, in which she contributes songwriting/vocals and plays drums, guitar, and keyboard around Arkansas and beyond. She is also putting the finishing touches on an album of solo material recorded in Little Rock.
Proudly "New Yorkansas", Spero loves being a part of Little Rock's musical community. She founded Trust Tree in 2017 to inspire the next generation of Arkansan female musicians to discover for themselves how far their creativity can take them.
Melanie holds a Bachelors in Art Education, a Masters degree in Special Education, and certifications in Art Education and Special Education.
Melanie has taught Special Education at Parkview High School for 8 years and her 10 year musical career includes recordings, live performances, and tours with bands Tippy Canoe, Sister Brother, Color Club, and Casual Pleasures.
Melanie is a multi-instrumentalist and plays ukulele, piano (thanks to her Grandma), drums, and trumpet, with a foundation in music theory.
Melanie currently plays ukulele, keyboards and drums and writes songs in the Little Rock band DOT (with Trust Tree co-facilitators Correne Spero and Jordan Wolf).
Melanie has been a hands-on facilitator at Trust Tree since day one, helping girls learn the basics of multiple instruments, coaching bands on collaboration and teamwork, and helping bring out the best in our young songwriters.
Jordan received a B.A. in Studio Art from the University of Arkansas and a Masters degree in Education from the University of Arkansas, Little Rock and is currently an Art Educator at Horace Mann Arts and Science Magnet Middle School.
Jordan is a multi-instrumentalist/songwriter and has played banjo, drums, bass and sang in bands for over a decade including Tippy Canoe (2005-2007), Color Club (2007-2014), and DOT (2015- Present).
In 2015, Jordan was selected by the U.S. Department of State to join the Arkansas Declaration of Learning Initiative, where she collaborated with a team of teachers to develop an innovative curriculum designed to empower students through civic engagement.
Jordan continues her own art education by attending a variety of studio art classes and was the recipient of the John Neff Memorial and Windgate scholarships to attend the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina.
At Trust Tree, Jordan is developing visual arts programming that allows girls to build confidence and self-expression and find creative inspiration through a variety of visual art mediums.
Robyn “Sprout” Goodmark holds a degree in Environmental Education from Vassar College and has taught elementary education as well as music, arts, and environmental education in New York, Massachusetts, and California.
Robyn is the the author of “Girls Rock: How to Get Your Group Together and Make Some Noise” (Billboard Books), aimed at teaching girls the ins and outs of starting a band.
With her bands Northern State and Lucky Bitch, she released four albums and toured the world playing music for nearly a decade.
Robyn lives in Northampton, MA with her husband and son, Ellis, and we are so privileged to have her join us again this summer for part of our June session!
Hope Findlay is a Little Rock-based multi instrumentalist. Hailing from a family of musical women, Hope began playing drums at age 8 (including in her school band) and guitar at 15.
Hope has played guitar and drums and contributed songwriting in a half dozen bands and is currently working out new songs in a new (as of yet unnamed) project.
Hope has been a summer camp counselor and worked with church youth groups in addition to wrangling 6 nieces and nephews! We are so thrilled to have Hope assisting us with our July Songwriting Workshop this summer.