Lauren Elyce Viljamaa, originally from a Northwest suburb of Chicago, attended the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music in Appleton, Wisconsin where she earned a duel degree in Music Education (K-12) and Choral Music Education (K-12). Being blessed by two Chicago-land working artist siblings and many friends in the Appleton Fine and Performing Arts communities, Lauren was convinced by her fellow art teacher posse to go back to school to earn their Master’s Degrees together. After teaching K-12 Choral/General Music for 10 years in the Appleton Area School District she attended Lesley University of Boston, Massachusetts to earn her Master of Arts Education degree in Integrating the Arts Into the Curriculum.
Although Lauren thoroughly enjoyed her music students she felt that public music education was not serving the needs of exceptional student populations to the fullest. So when Mikko, her Finnish husband, was given a job relocation opportunity that required the Viljamaas to move to Georgia, Lauren was thrilled to explore new possibilities within the field of music therapy at the University of Georgia. While attending UGA to earn her Music Therapy Equivalency degree she also took advantage of the International Neurological Music Therapy training held at The George Center in 2017. Lauren completed her internship with the exceptional population of the Fulton County School District where she worked with students of all ages and populations.
Lauren enjoys having the opportunity to work with many different varieties of client populations from newborn to ‘vintage’. Even before she went back to school for music therapy she taught Mom&Tot musical swim lessons at the YMCA, became a certified Silver Sneakers instructor, led music direction for ‘The Empty Nesters’ musicals and cabarets, as well as created and directed an intergenerational Praise Band at Peace United Methodist Church of Kaukauna.
Lauren has also held and continues to hold a plethora of unique part-time jobs to support her shoe/handbag habit; She has directed and choreographed over 50 musicals and corporate flash mobs, teaches part-time at local gyms (her classes include: Ball Pilates, Barre, Body Combat, Body Flow, Body Jam, Body Pump, RPM(cycle), Water Aerobics and Zumba), teaches private lessons (voice, piano, guitar, and ukulele), choreographed and performed with Airee Edwards of Agora Vintage (check it out on instagram if you love all things pre-loved and fabulous) to a Dancing With the Athens Stars 2017 People’s Choice Award, and worked at The Limited during her 16 year teaching career to help cover the cost of her high school director suit collection. In her free time she likes to serenade her husband on her steel drums with Bob Marley, Star Wars, or the theme song from The Office.