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The quotes below are short references or 'testimonies'
to my teaching abilities, relationships, and professionalism.
Formal letters of recommendation are available upon request.
Anchor 2

"Mrs. Alison Mayes is one of the most well-rounded and passionate young educators I have had the pleasure of working with in my 13 years of teaching. As a colleague in the Cherry Creek School District she has proven herself an innovator, helping to develop several new programs to serve the young string players in this community including spearheading district wide honor orchestras for both middle and high school. In her professional relationships, she consistently commits extra time and resources to ensure the success of the entire group, considering the needs of students above all. I have had the privilege of observing this talented educator in her interactions with students on several occasions, and am always left with as strong sense of admiration of the impactful and unique relationships she develops with so many different young musicians. Mrs. Mayes’s students deeply respect her work ethic, talent, and pedagogical knowledge, and are willing to work diligently to meet her high expectations. Students in her orchestra program demonstrate a clear understanding of the core values involved with being a member of a team, leadership skills, and community support, and the time Alison has spent developing these values is illustrated in their performances."

Chelsea Peele, Director of Orchestras and Guitar, Campus Middle School

"Dedicated, Passionate, Determined.  I have the utmost respect for Alison Mayes and the work that she does for the community of Grandview High School.  Alison maintains a very positive and productive climate in her classroom.  I have observed Alison working with many students of different abilities and desires with equal care and attentiveness.  Alison has a great eye for details and her groups are always well prepared and work diligently.  Alison also takes time to work with the other string teachers in Colorado to ensure the success of all string players.  Alison puts in countless hours for these state committees. I have had the privilege to work with Alison on the All State Orchestra committee and I have witness her dedication and determination to get the job done right and to make sure that each student, regardless of talent or ability, gets treated fairly.  There are many great teachers, but few who approach teaching as whole-heartedly, passionately, and who dedicated as much time to this craft as Alison Mayes.  Alison is a wonderful teacher and string supporter and I am proud to have been associated with her."

Nancy Marble, Director of Orchestras, Horizon High School and Rocky Top Middle School, 2011 Colorado Teacher of the Year

"Alison has been an incredible resource and help to the Colorado High School Activities Association.  She is a great leader and is committed to serving her students and all students across the state, regardless of their age, ability and background.  Every time I have needed help or advice, Alison has been positive, full of energy, and she truly is a team player.  Working with All State Orchestra, I have grown to respect Alison's commitment to building a strong community, and her dedication to transparency and fairness for students and colleagues is exemplary.  She has been fantastic to work with, and I look forward to continuing our professional relationship."

Bethany Brookens, Assistant Commissioner, Colorado High School Activities Association

"I have known Alison for over a decade.  I first met her at the ASTA Middle School String Camp in Colorado as a counselor in charge of 15 campers.  As her experience grew she became the head counselor and in charge of all activities for the camp.  She worked well with small groups of 15 and the entire camp of 120 students plus 12 staff counselors. The past few years she advanced to teaching as one of the violin coaches and now is the head camp administrator along with her assistant administrator Kelly Benson.I know Alison has been active in the State ASTA and was the Colorado All State Orchestra Chair from 2013 to 2015 and is now the Past Chair.I haven’t taught high school students for a long time, however when I did in the mid-1970’s, the procedures and policies were a mess and I believe she was in on some important changes to make things more professional. I have also had the opportunity to visit with Alison at the summer ASTA and CMEA conferences.  Our conversations cover everything from string programs, left and right hand technique, middle and high school literature, tuning procedures, troubled students, their behavior and ways to get them help and much more.  I find that we have similar views on these topics and can help each other grow in our teaching.I would recommend getting to know Alison, work with her or observe her classroom, teaching, people skills, and find a way to pick her brain on various music education subjects."

Michael Schaefer, Retired Orchestra and Band Director, Poudre School District

"Alison is one of the most passionate and open-minded people I have worked with. From my work with her on the Colorado All State Orchestra Board, I can tell that she is capable of taking on many responsibilities at the same time and making it look easy. While she was chair of the board, she was always open to new ideas from colleagues and incorporated a variety of feedback effectively. She stays calm under the pressure of stressful workloads and remembers to put students first."

Paul Trapkus, Former Director of Orchestras, Silver Creek High School

"Alison is a dedicated teacher whose energy and enthusiasm are contagious to those around her. In the classroom, Alison is comfortable working with students of all ages, abilities, and with diverse backgrounds.  Alison fosters a strong sense of community through her positivity and energy with students and colleagues alike. She demonstrates empathy and open-mindedness, and is solution-oriented when collaborating with teammates."


Heather Andony, Director of Choirs, Peak to Peak Charter School

"Alison is one of the most dedicated and engaging teachers that I have worked with. Not only is she an outstanding musician and cultivator of student ability at all levels, she has proven to be an asset as a leader in the greater state-wide music education community. Her patience and ability to consider all perspectives in complex situations has earned her a reputation of a seasoned, level-headed, "get things done" kind of leader. When I hear that Alison is involved in a project, I simply can't wait to get involved!"

Dr. Erik Johnson, Ph.D, Colorado State University

"Alison is one of the most talented and innovative directors I have had the pleasure of working with. Alison has the inmate ability to "feel" the music she chooses and to invoke that feeling and her vision in her students. She consistently leads and coaches by example- always ready to pick up her own instrument to demonstrate the dynamics, rhythms, or sensations she envisions for the performance. Alison is energetic and excited about her craft and that is reflected in her students. They consistently work hard and strive to attain the perfection she is seeking. They regularly come back year after year after graduating to attend her concerts and productions because they love and appreciate her so much. Alison would be a incredible asset to any youth program."


Minda McGurk Anderson, Previous Academic Activities Coordinator, Denver Public Schools

"I have known Alison since 2008, and I consider her to be an asset to any music program. Alison has consistently shown the ability to work hard and persist toward her goal of being a successful music teacher. She has a very good rapport with the students and she treats them with respect. Alison is also sincere in her efforts to help her students become better musicians though sharing different musical techniques be it verbal, modeling on  instruments, or bringing in outside musicians to share their experiences and talents. Alison is a very organized person and has really grown in both long and short term planning. I have no doubt that Alison will continue to be a successful teacher.  She will attract students to any program with her interpersonal skills and dedication. 

Adam Spicer, Director of Bands, Peak to Peak Charter School

The quotes below are short references or 'testimonies'
to my teaching abilities, relationships, and professionalism.
Formal letters of recommendation are available upon request.
Anchor 3

"Mrs. Alison Mayes has an amazing ability to teach kids and teens. From my early years as a middle schooler, she was able to teach and help me reach a higher level of achievement then i thought possible of myself. My last two years of high school were where she taught me to reach and surpass my own expectations of myself. Before, during, and even after every class she would have extremely positive energy towards her students. Not only helping them with assignments in her own class but helping them with issues in their own lives. She is very open minded to what she students like as well as inspiring them to try new things and like new situations. She is very committed making a safe, strong, and friendly community.  Our retreats and various school events have helped bring us all together as one unified Orchestra. I strongly recommend her as one of if not the best teachers i have ever had and will miss seeing her every day and having her guidance."


Jake, Orchestra Student, Class of 2015

"The first class I had with Mrs. Mayes was AP music theory in the school year of 2010-2011. This was her first year teaching the class at Grandview. From the first day in that class, I knew I was not only going to learn a lot, but I was also going to enjoy the class very much. Mrs. Mayes made every class interesting. She connected with all the students, and got to personally know each and every one of us in the class. As AP tests came closer, Mrs. Mayes found ways to help us prepare for the tests, while avoiding the addition of more stress to our lives because some students had 5 or 6 AP tests. The next year, I sat in on the AP music theory class because I didn't have class that period, and I noticed that the students were having just as great of an experience as I did. Mrs. Mayes also changed many parts of the class that she found did not work as well the previous year. Mrs. Mayes connects with students on a level that most teachers do not. She is not the typical music teacher who connects only with students who play instruments, or sing. She connects with students who are passionate about music in any way. Her passion for music clearly encourages students to become the best musicians they can be, whether they are just learning to play a new instrument, or they have been playing their instrument most of their lives."

Keller, AP Music Theory Student, Class of 2012

"Mrs. Mayes is one of the best teachers I’ve ever had. No one has ever made me feel more confident in my playing and helped me gain as much musical experience as she has. I’ve been exposed to a wide range of artists and genres from being in her orchestra and now have a very diverse set of songs under my belt that I can say I have played before. She has great Ideas for songs each year and is also always open for suggestions of music to play. She truly is the backbone of the orchestra. I find it amazing how she is able to pull students together with many different interests and talents using the love for music that we all share. The orchestra loves her sense of humor. I personally appreciate how much she takes our thoughts and concerns into consideration and the bonds she makes with us. I feel that it is because of the kind of aura that she carries that the orchestra feels a lot like a family as opposed to just a class and we are all so close. Because of Mrs. Mayes, the orchestra has become better players, better examples, and able to focus to accomplish what we need to. I’ve loved having her as a teacher and I would recommend her to anyone else."

Roy, Orchestra Student, Class of 2017

"I've had the pleasure of knowing Mrs. Alison Mayes for the past four years, and I can say with absolute confidence that I have never known someone more dedicated to encouraging personal and communal growth in music and life. Mrs. Mayes' greatest strengths lies in her personality and empathy; they are massive, grandiose things that fill whatever spaces she's in - be it classroom or auditorium - with love, compassion, music, and laughter. She has an uncanny ability to connect with each and every one of her students on a personal level, which in turn makes it easy for her to push them in their own distinct way to be better versions of themselves. I have no doubt that her multitude of students - both past and present - would call her passion for music an inspiration, and her person a pillar of support."

Adrian, Orchestra and AP Music Theory Student, Class of 2015

"When it comes time to think of who my favorite teachers were, Mrs. Mayes is absolutely at the top of the list. Not only is she such a fun, positive, and engaging teacher, but she truly cares about her students. I know from personal experience just how empathetic and open-minded she is. Her classes are not only fun but have taught me things that I find so valuable and interesting; I am ever grateful to have had her as a teacher." 


Katie, Rock and Roll History and Piano Lab Student, Class of 2015

"Mrs. Mayes is an exceptional teacher who focuses on creating and sustaining an open, friendly, and energetic environment to students of many ages, backgrounds, and ability. She dedicates herself to her students and ensures that each and every one of them has the opportunity to improve their musical abilities. Furthermore, she strives to maintain a positive attitude and promotes companionship among her students." 


Alex, Orchestra Student, Class of 2017

"She is an amazing teacher who teaches everyone equally, no matter what their background, ability, or age is. She teaches all levels of students in a very fun and interactive way. She makes connections with her students so that they want to keep learning and improving. She in extremely open minded and positive and engages all students in class and in private lessons. She makes a class that makes everyone feel like a family and it brings everyone together as both people and musicians. It is very easy to talk to her about any issues and concerns and she makes sure that every student is comfortable and having a good time while learning." 

Kami, Orchestra Student, Class of 2017

"I was a student of Alison's for two years and I really enjoyed Symphonic Orchestra because of her positive, energetic, and enthusiastic way of teaching. We had a huge increase in the number of students who signed up for orchestra because she was so engaging, fun, and team-oriented. Not only did she teach me a lot about orchestra, classical music, and techniques for playing violin, but also she fostered an enjoyable experience for all of her students. I was in Symphonic Orchestra with a different conductor for two years before Alison, and I did not know many of the orchestra students personally. It was Alison who brought us all together as a team and allowed us to bond and get to know each other. Because of her open-mindedness, empathy, and commitment to building a strong community, I grew to love orchestra and looked forward to it every day. Every year, we always did a joint concert with the middle schools around us and I remember one year, Alison picked the song “Clocks” by Coldplay for us to perform. She gave us all glow-sticks to line our bows with, and for the concert, she dimmed all the lights so the only things the audience could see were the neon-colored bows. This is a great example of the unique ideas that Alison had to make orchestra fun for all of her students. The Orchestra, Music Theory, and History of Rock and Roll classes at Grandview High School had students of various ages, abilities, and divserse backgrounds. Alison worked extremely well with all these students, and given their varying abilities, she was able to give everyone at least one take-away at the end of each class. Always an upbeat and enthusiastic teacher, she made every class fun. She’s also a very personable teacher and if anyone had any problems or issues in or out of school, she was definitely always open to talking. I know I was always comfortable talking to her about anything, and I know I would not have enjoyed orchestra so much without her."

Christine, Orchestra Student, Class of 2011

"Mrs. Mayes is without a doubt one of my favorite teachers at Grandview. She works hard to make everyone in her classes feel like part of a family. I was a freshman last year and coming into the Symphonic Orchestra which consisted of 50-something people was a little intimidating since I only knew a few people’s names. By the end of the year, however, I knew everyone’s name and I felt like everyone in the orchestra was my friend. It didn’t matter that I was one of only a few freshmen in the class. Everyone was friendly and accepting, especially Mrs. Mayes. She includes everyone no matter how well they play or where they come from. It doesn’t matter if people are in Concert Orchestra or Symphonic. They are just part of the orchestra family. She always makes class fun with her sense of humor and engagement with her students. It always makes the class laugh when we come in and Mrs. Mayes is shouting “WE HAVE A CONCERT TOMORROW!” when it isn’t for another month. Everyone knows she is always there to help if we need her for anything. Her office is always open if we need anything from help with musical stuff or just need to talk with someone about something. I feel like I can really trust her to talk about anything with her, and I think a lot of other people feel that way too. In a nutshell, Mrs. Mayes has created a wonderful community for all the people she teaches at Grandview. She’s the best!"


Scott, Orchestra Student, Class of 2018

"Mrs. Mayes (or, Reif as I call her) has been a phenomenal orchestra teacher and mentor to me, ever since I was first able to work with her in middle school. She has a never ending energy that fills up the room, which immediately attracts the attention of every student. This energy that she brings to orchestra channels into building it as much as possible, both in numbers and in musical technique. Just this past year, our school orchestra has played multiple pieces that some high school orchestras could only imagine performing, such as Beethoven's 5th and Night On Bald Mountain. As a high school teacher, she understands the piles of work each student has, and appreciates their time that they set aside for orchestra; however, with this understanding comes a strong foundation of commitment that she instills in all of her students. Reif makes an effort through our various orchestras at school to bring music into the community through fundraisers and opportunities to play outside of school at festivals. Not only does this bring a realization to the students that their music has an impact on the community, but it shows the community how wonderful orchestra is."


Emma, Orchestra and AP Music Theory Student, Class of 2016

The quotes below are short references or 'testimonies'
to my teaching abilities, relationships, and professionalism.
Formal letters of recommendation are available upon request.
Anchor 4

"Alison is dedicated to the orchestra students above given expectations.  She has a great relationship with students, is kind and caring.

She is available to the students and parents with any concerns, and rectifies situations quickly.  She is energetic and truly seems to love her job, and the students."

Kim, Orchestra Parent

"Our daughter has worked with Alison for three years.  We find her to be patient, very positive, and full of energy while teaching.  Our daughter appreciates Alison’s compassion for learning and how she connects with each student.  As a parent, we appreciate her communication and commitment to her craft and program."

Angela, Orchestra Parent

"Mrs. Mayes has had such a positive and profound impact on my son’s love of music! He has been in her classes for three years and is looking forward to the fourth. Her ability to engage and excite her students with all genres of music is commendable. She can bring compositions from 300 years ago and 3 months ago together into a palpable and vibrant learning experience for students. She brings high energy and excitement to the classroom, striving to build a great team within the orchestras and throughout the Music Department."

Marta, Orchestra Parent

"I first met Alison (Reifschneider) Mayes in September 2009 at Peak to Peak K-12 Charter School in Lafayette, CO. She was the Director of this school’s four orchestral groups, where she had students ranging from Elementary School, through Middle School and High School. At this time, my son was an aspiring cellist in her orchestra class, and he is now attending Cleveland Institute of Music as a cello performance major. His love of music was nurtured by Alison, who was alway organized, encouraging, and offered additional performance opportunities for the students. He said that her kind, entertaining, and vibrant manner put the students at ease. She was very approachable, and my son (or myself) always felt comfortable going to her with any concerns, or even to have a regular conversation. Her inclusiveness of everyone, student or parent, made a strong community where each person felt they had an important part to play. The school concerts were always fun and entertaining, and each of the 4 orchestral groups performed at them. The variety of music that she chose was interesting, enjoyable, and delightful. When my son was in high school, I was so pleased that Alison Mayes became the Chair of the Colorado All State Orchestra! It was so good to see a friendly face. Her caring manner was comforting - she would always check in and put me at ease. I know that whatever opportunity Alison endeavors will be a huge success, and her presence would be a great asset for all."

Siri, Orchestra Parent

"Mrs. Mayes is loaded with personality and really connects with her students.  My son is interested in pursuing music in his future and has had a great experience learning from Mrs. Mayes.  She relates well to her orchestra and produces amazing music with them."

Barb, Orchestra Parent

The quotes below are short references or 'testimonies'
to my teaching abilities, relationships, and professionalism.
Formal letters of recommendation are available upon request.
Anchor 5

"Alison Reifschneider Mayes is a music educator who brings incredible compassion, creativity, and commitment to her work with high school orchestra students.  She challenges students to move beyond their comfort zones and achieve high musical standards, but also provides the instructional expertise and emotional support that students need to elevate their skills, understanding, and expressivity.  She mentors students in a way that promotes a lifelong appreciation for and involvement with music and the arts.  Alison has become a respected leader among professional music educators within Colorado by exhibiting a unique blend of innovative thinking and integrity -- honoring the best of our musical traditions while envisioning new approaches to musical repertoire, pedagogy and performance.

I could not be more proud of a College of Music alum.  Go Buffs, and go Alison!"


James R. Austin, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies

Professor of Music, University of Colorado Boulder
Richard Bern Trego Faculty Fellow

"I first became acquainted with Alison during her undergraduate music education coursework at the University of Colorado at Boulder where I worked with her as a professor and as her student teaching coordinator. At that time, I found her to be enthusiastic, positive, and open to constructive feedback. I have followed Alison’s career since graduation, and could not be more pleased with her continued contributions to the string community. Over the past two years I have worked with Alison during graduate coursework, and in particular during a course focused on reflective practice. I have had several opportunities to view videotapes of Alison’s teaching, and discuss her pedagogical approach during orchestra rehearsals. I now find her to be reflective, focused on student success, and highly motivated.On a broader professional level, I note that Alison has been very collaborative in her interactions with other graduate students, and someone who would be a strong colleague.

I commend her to you, and am confident that she will be an asset to your program."


Martina Miranda, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Music Education

Music Education Chair

University of Colorado at Boulder

"Alison Reifschneider Mayes is a very warm and caring person. I have known her for five years and found her to be an excellent and highly motivated music educator. She is very supportive of her students, always keeping their welfare in mind as she plans her courses. Her AP Music Theory teaching skills are well evidenced by her students' results on the exams. She is willing to share and discuss techniques she has found valuable. She possesses an excellent sense of humor and has been an absolute joy to work with."


Michael Levi, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Music

College of Saint Rose, Albany, New York

"Alison Mayes is bright, dynamic and personable and strongly dedicated to string music education.

She works hard to demonstrate the importance of music for all and has a lot to contribute."

Thomas Riis, Ph.D.,  Professor of Musicology

American Music Research Center Director

University of Colorado at Boulder

"I've worked with Alison over the past two years and can say without any reservation or hint of irony that she is the kind of music teacher and director I wish I had growing up. Her thoughtfulness and dedication are admirable, and her relentlessly positive energy lightens our classroom. She's quick to learn and quick to laugh—and always a pleasure to be around."

Hunter Ewen, DMA

Previous Music Technology Instructor

University of Colorado at Boulder

"Alison has studied with me in the past two academic years having taken two classes with me in musicology and world music ensemble (African Chorus). Based on my experience working with her, I can testify that Alison is a very diligent student and individual who shows passion as a music teacher. I am personally impressed by the critical perspectives that she brings to the cultural study and analyses of music and the pedagogical implications of such integrative approach in a K-12 learning environment. In addition to showing strong apprehension of the interdisciplinary and integrated approach to the analytical study of music, Alison is also clearly a good musician who has an apt for such approaches to guide her interpretation of music in performance."

Austin Okigbo, Ph. D.

Assistant Professor of Musicology

Affiliate Faculty in Ethinic Studies

University of Colorado at Boulder

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