All posts by Gavin Jennings

Sarah McSweeney

Sarah McSweeney
AFTH Guitar Teacher
Member of Amanda Mora Trio
Singer and Songwriter, Sarah Marie Music
Music Teacher, Wimberley Montessori
Bachelor of Music & Music Education, Simpson College


I was thrilled when Arts From The Heart asked me to teach guitar classes for their after school program. I love and admire these women who have dedicated their time and efforts, to make music and the arts an essential part of children’s everyday lives. They have collectively put a lot of thoughtfulness and heart into this worthwhile cause for the fantastic benefit of the kids in the Wimberley community, and I’m proud to be a part of it.

Practicing wasn’t something I always wanted to do. There were a lot of tears and arguments about my friends getting to play outside while I had to sit at the piano and practice. But my mom didn’t give in. She was old school, and practicing came first, no exceptions! At the time I didn’t believe it when she said that I would thank her one day. But alas, mom was right. All those years of practicing, and putting in my time every day at the piano paid off. I wouldn’t trade it for anything, and today I thank her for it.

Mary Grace Barbee

My name is Mary Grace Barbee and I am very excited about being your child’s art teacher at Jacobs Well Elementary.  I am a certified teacher with a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Education from Texas A&M University.  I have seven years of teaching experience, with two of those being in a K-5 art classroom.  I have spent many years teaching private art lessons as well as painting professionally.


Why did you choose to be an Arts from the Heart Educator?

More than anything, I love working with children and fostering creativity.  My goal as a teacher is to pass along all the knowledge and perspective that was given to me as a child.  When I was young, I was fortunate enough to have several art teachers and family members that impacted my life.  They provided me with opportunities to create and experiment with art, encouraged me to believe in myself, and taught me a few life lessons as well.  One of my favorites that I pass down to student today came from my great-grandmother.  She always told me “If you make a mistake, there is always way to make something pretty out of it”.  Learning to not give up, and to think out of the box, has helped me in so many areas of my life.  I hope that my students will be able to apply it to their lives as well.

What do you think is one of the most valuable aspects of art education?

The value of art education is priceless to me.  It encourages students to be original, challenge themselves, think creatively, gain confidence, appreciate perspective, experiment, express themselves, and learn history. All this while making a big mess and having fun!