About Us

Pathways Through Music is an organization dedicated to providing Music Education for everyone. Our organization works with schools within Williamson County, TX to create programs for the elementary, middle, and high school level. PTM also looks to create programs within the community, like music ensembles, concerts, and events.

Executive Director – doug@pathwaysthroughmusic.org

Program Director – jesse@pathwaysthroughmusic.org

Douglas Stefaniak

Executive Director

I was born and raised in Upstate New York, and attended an inner-city school district that didn’t have the budget for music and the arts. When I was in middle school, I fell into a bad crowd and started slipping in my classes and losing touch with my family. I was fortunate enough, however, to have a music teacher that cared about me and the other students he worked with. He ran a guitar club after school, unpaid of course, where we would learn songs together or just hang out and talk. My high school music teacher was a similar type of person, and he mentored me in many different ways. If it weren’t for these two, I know my life would be very different today, and am so grateful for all that they have done for me.

Pathways Through Music means so much to me because I know the effect music can have on someone’s life. I found a way to express myself, to be passionate, and to connect with my peers. Through my teachers guidance, I was able to graduate from The Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam and The University of Texas at Austin. I have been given the opportunity to play for guitarists such as Leo Brouwer, Marcin Dylla, and Martha Masters. Through this organization I hope to teach, to mentor, and to give the gift of music.

Jesse Crites

Program Director

I grew up in an educational system that was difficult for me to understand. Basic concepts in reading and writing were hard for me to grasp and I had an impossible time transferring these concepts into a real life application. Music gave me a voice, not because it came easy, but because I could understand how to communicate with it. Through music I sharpened my skills and discovered my potential. The pathway music created for me took me through an undergraduate degree in music performance from Shenandoah University and a masters degree in music performance from Roosevelt University. I was fortunate enough to study with some of our generation’s best guitarists and pedagogist such as Denis Azabagic, Berta Rojas, and Glenn Caluda.

I am excited to work for an organization like Pathways Through Music because I know the difference a quality music education can make. We are giving kids a voice, we are creating opportunities, we are sharpening skills and helping kids discover their potential.

“Real art is one of the most powerful forces in the rise of mankind, and he who renders it accessible to as many people as possible is a benefactor of humanity.”

Zoltan Kodaly

Board of Directors

Shane Anderson, President

Lianna Slabodnik, Treasurer

Mayte Paredes, Secretary

Hermes Camacho, Vice-President