Amy Hogg began creating Byzantine Beginnings when she was teaching young children piano and western music theory (via the Suzuki piano method and Music Mind Games) in 2011. Prior to teaching music she taught ESL kindergarten, reading support in Spanish to native Spanish speakers, and first grade. What truly inspired her work was her training with Michiko Yurko, the creator of Music Mind Games. She saw how quickly and easily Michiko's students learned western music theory and saw its potential to teach another type of music. Many ByzB materials are adaptations or re-creations of Music Mind Games materials. All games that have their roots in Music Mind Games are used with permission from Michiko. If you are interested in using her materials to teach western music she has a very informative website at Musicmindgames.com
Theotokos of Tenderness, Completed by Amy Hogg, 2013
Amy tried studying byzantine chant using online resources for two years and found it extremely difficult. In 2012 she and her family moved back to Pittsburgh. She began chanting with the Byzantine choir of St. George Cathedral under Stephen Esper's guidance and studied theory with NickGiannoukakis. Amy is in contact with protospaltis around the country and encourages their feedback regarding her work. One of the major goals of this website is to make her ideas available to other chanters and to further their testing in the field of chant education. Amy is preparing to take the exam for a Certificate in Byzantine Chant and hopes to be ready in the next year or two.
Amy is also an iconographer, although still a novice. She and her friend iconographer Randi Sider-Rose of Immanuel Icons have begun work on an Iconostasis for Holy Cross Antiochian Church in Dorr, Mi. Randi has been working on materials to teach iconography to children and recently wrote an article about it that will appear in the Word magazine and is available online here.