Melissa Ann Arnold, PhD, passed away unexpectedly on September 9, 2021, at the age of 39, in Brooklyn, NY.
Melissa is survived by her parents, George and Pamela Arnold; her sister Becky (Patrick) Antkowiak; brother Krain (Sandra) Arnold; brother Jon (Marla) Arnold; and beloved aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews.
Melissa was born in Virginia on October 27, 1981. She earned the following degrees, all related to music and education: BA, Washington Bible College (2003); MEd, Columbia International University (2007); MA in Conducting, Michigan State University (2013); Kodály Certification, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music (2018); PhD in Music Education, Indiana University Graduate School (2021). She taught in Virginia, South Carolina, Michigan, Connecticut, Indiana, the Dominican Republic, and China. In August of 2021, she moved to Brooklyn, New York, to teach music at The Packer Collegiate Institute.
Melissa encouraged those around her to question everything and to learn for themselves, rather than to simply accept answers. Adored by students and parents, she possessed an innate ability to recognize and cultivate talent in children others might overlook.
Melissa loved her nieces and nephews deeply and was a fabulous aunt. She was rarely seen without her dogs, Franz and Nadia, who are now snuggled in with family members. She had an incredible ear for music. She composed and conducted, sang, played many instruments, and was always willing to provide an impromptu lesson for interested learners. She had a fantastic eye for photography and loved capturing beauty in all its forms. She was an enthusiastic CrossFit community member.
Although a self-proclaimed introvert, she quickly made friends everywhere she went, often settling herself in a high-traffic area and drawing others into conversation. She radiated an almost physical sparkle, lighting the room with her bright smile and humor.
Family, friends, students, and all who knew her will miss our girl.
A Celebration of Life is scheduled 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 23, 2021, at Lake Fungs Barn, 9099 Golf Course Drive, Disputanta, Virginia 23842. Come as you are (bright colors preferred). The memorial will be recorded for those unable to attend.
Instead of sending flowers, please consider donating in Melissa’s honor to Riverside School’s music program. The web donation page is https://riversideschool.org/donate-now and the school’s address for mailed checks is Riverside School, 2110 McRae Rd., Bon Air, VA 23235. Please note “Melissa Arnold” in the memo line (checks) or in the comment box (online donations) to help route funds correctly.
Celebration of Life
Lake Fungs Barn
9099 Golf Course Drive, Disputanta, Virginia 23842
12:00pm - 2:00pm