Our Staff

Abbey MacKenzie


Melodies are owned and established by Abbey Mackenzie. Abbey is a Primary Trained educator.  She has taught Junior School-aged children at the beginning of her career specialising in music and teaching children with special needs.  While overseas she enjoyed nannying children and babies from the age of three months and also teaching music and dance for Darit Playgroups in Hong Kong.  During this time her passion for child development through music grew.

She has completed the Orff Schulwerk Level One course and has taught music and singing to children of all ages.

As a primary teacher you have children come into your classroom of varying abilities.  A lot of these abilities have come from the development they have had before they arrive at school.  Music is a natural platform in which children can grow, explore and develop.  My passion is to provide fun and meaningful experiences for children to ensure they develop to their full potential to get the best start in life.”   
- Abbey Mackenzie (Owner/Primary Educator)


Serena Costello

Head Teacher

Kia ora, my name is Serena.  I was born in Timaru, but grew up in Christchurch and have lived in Christchurch for the majority of my life.  I graduated from the Canterbury University in 2005 with a primary teaching degree.  I have worked in Ashburton and have relieved at different schools in Christchurch.  In 2008 I went to the UK where I spent two and a half years there.  I was very lucky to travel extensively through Europe.  While I was overseas I started working in the nurseries that were attached to the schools and decided when I returned to New Zealand to go to University for a year to complete my Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood teaching.

Right from a young child, I have always wanted to be a teacher.  I love seeing how much children grow and develop their attributes, knowledge and skills.  One of my favourite teaching quotes is "We can't always build a future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future".

In my spare time, I go to the gym and enjoy catching up with friends for BBQ's, games nights and dancing.

I have never been to America and would love to visit there one day.  I'm also a bit of a go getter and enjoy trying new things.  I have been paragliding and somewhere on my list, I would like to skydive one day! 


Liz Odea


Hi, my name is Liz and I have been educating children for over 20 years.  I began my early childhood career by venturing overseas to England for 3 years where I was involved as being a support teacher at a Primary School and also a Nanny for a 4 year old boy.  During these 3 years, I had the opportunity to explore many countries and learn many important life skills.  I returned to New Zealand and graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood and have found my passion educating preschool children and watching them grow and learn more each day.

I have two children of my own and they both attend Primary School and one will soon be venturing off to High School.  I enjoy the outdoors and my hobbies are gardening, multi-sports and dancing.  As a family, we love to go camping and exploring the beautiful scenery around New Zealand by doing lots of hikes and bike tracks.

I have been at Melodies for 5 years and love the time I spend with your children. Every day at Melodies is a fun day, full of laughter and adventure.  I feel privileged to be able to spend my days with your children and teach them new important dispositions and skills for their future. Children are the future of tomorrow!


Laura White


Hi, my name is Laura White (Gunby).  I am the youngest of four children, I was born in Nelson but grew up in Blenheim and Christchurch.  I am married to my husband Kieran White and we have a three year old boy named Mason.  We have an Agricultural Contracting business, which makes the summer a very busy season.

I have nannied for families on their overseas holidays, and this is where my passion for working with children has evolved from.  I have a degree in Early Childhood Education and have over fourteen years experience with working with infants, toddlers and young children.

I have a nurturing side, yet a fun enthusiastic and energetic approach to my teaching.  I love being a 'big kid' myself.  I like to engage in spontaneous experiences which are created from the children's interests and I love nothing more than seeing children engaged in play and watching them be curious, explorative, develop and grow in front of my eyes.

I like to get to know a family and their children well, so children feel safe and can approach me at any time.  I am currently working half a day on a Tuesday and a full day on a Wednesday, while balancing being a Mum and a tractor driver also.

I look forward to introducing myself and meeting you and your children.


Ade Baty


Danielle Martini