Hi, I’m Monica!

I am a graduate of Montclair State University where I studied Health Communication and received a minor in Musical Theater. I developed my love for making music after being given the mic on a karaoke machine to sing ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” as a child at a family party. I grew up in a musical environment; my father sang and played guitar and my brother accompanied him on piano. Music has always been my avenue for self-expression and I feel like meaningful relationships are developed through sharing and exploring an artist’s work together. Music has helped me navigate through life’s accomplishments and challenges and thus inspired me to pursue my master’s in Music Therapy. I hope to help others utilize the music experience as a means to overcome obstacles and promote wellness.

My approach to a Typical Lesson

Having fun and encouraging play! Play offers an opportunity to try out different sounds, see what works, and ultimately discover what might need more attention. It’s also important to consider the student’s goals, needs, and music they enjoy listening to. I feel that progress is supported when a student has a beneficial experience that accommodates their needs and involves preferred music.

My advice for students

Listen to music that you love, allow yourself to be moved by it, and be patient. I find that listening to how your most influential artists write music can help develop a sense of what you really like and what you want to work towards. Learning how to sing or play an instrument takes time and there might be mistakes along the way, but it’s important to keep trying!

My favorite local places

Movie theaters like the Clairidge in Montclair. When I’m not making music, I enjoy watching a good thriller or horror movie. I also love walking around Palmer Square in downtown Princeton during Christmas time. It reminds me of performing Handel’s Messiah in Richardson Auditorium with Montclair State University Singers and New Jersey Symphony Orchestra!