A flowing river

River Within: Music and Literacy

Welcome!

"River Within" is Ellen DeCarlo's music and literacy business. A musician, writer, and teacher, Ellen is retired from full time elementary classroom teaching. She was an adjunct professor of music and early childhood education classes at Los Medanos Community College, Contra Costa College, and the College of Alameda in the San Francisco Bay Area. She taught West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) intern teachers through California State University, East Bay .

For many years Ellen provided support for public school teachers as they earned their teaching credentials through the West Contra Costa Unified School District Induction Program. In 2019 she returned to the classroom, this time teaching music at a local elementary school. When the CoVid 19 pandemic shelter closed schools in March 2020, Ellen taught singing activities to her K-3 students for the rest of the year by creating YouTube movie classes. She continues teaching private flute, piano, and writing lessons and likes to share what she's learned about playing the flute in her blog, Flutist Evolution.

Since 2008 Ellen has been organizing quarterly community concerts sponsored by Hope Lutheran Church in El Sobrante, California. She enjoys playing flute with others and sharing her music through live and recorded performances.


Her education and credentials include:

  • Bachelor's degree in Music (with an emphasis in music performance on flute)

  • Master's of Science in Education (with emphasis in curriculum development and early childhood education)

  • California Multiple Subjects teaching credential for preschool through adult with special authorization to teach music

  • Cross-cultural, Language, and Academic (CLAD) certificate

  • California Community Colleges limited service credential (music)

  • National Board certification (2009-2019) in Literacy: Reading-Language Arts, Early and Middle Childhood

She continues in both fields of literacy education and music.