Monica is a collaborative pianist based in Bolton and is the Music Director at Pilgrim Congregational Church in Southborough. Monica joined Joy of Music in 2023 as the Program Manager and as a piano teacher. She has been teaching piano for over ten years in both private and group lessons. She is experienced in teaching beginners of all ages, informs and includes parents in the learning process, and knows how to tailor her teaching for each student’s individual needs. She and her students work together to choose music that inspires, excites, and challenges them to grow.
Monica joined Opera Columbus and Capital University's Resident Artist Program for the 2020-2021 season as a vocal coach and pianist for their productions of A Tale of Two Cities, La Bohème, and The Marriage of Figaro. In the spring of 2020, she earned a Graduate Performance Diploma in Vocal Accompanying at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, where she was the rehearsal and performance pianist for Leonard Bernstein's MASS conducted by Marin Alsop, Puccini's La Rondine and Il Trittico, and the world premiere of Kirke Mechem's opera Pride and Prejudice. At Peabody, she was also awarded the InterPlay Teaching Artist Grant in collaboration with the University of Maryland Baltimore County, the Clara Ascherfeld Award in Piano Accompanying, and was a finalist with mezzo-soprano Cierra Byrd in the 2019 London Song Festival’s British Art Song Master Class and Competition led by Roderick Williams. She holds a Masters in Collaborative Piano from the Longy School of Music of Bard College and a Bachelors in Piano Performance from West Chester University of Pennsylvania.
Teaching Philosophy: "My ultimate goal is to help every student become confident in their artistry, no matter where they are in their musical education. They know that I am on their team, that we work together to figure out the challenges in front of us, and that there are no stupid questions! I strive for every lesson to be filled with laughter and creativity, while always maintaining a well-balanced approach that includes music theory, technique, sight-reading, and games."
"Monica has opened Sam’s eyes and heart to the piano. She is so sweet and has formed a great bond with him. We never expected his skills to flourish amidst a pandemic using FaceTime, but she has gone above and beyond. We are so pleased with his progress and how much he enjoys playing. He has learned theory, developed his ear, and enjoys learning new songs on the piano. More than that he looks forward to his lessons every week! We can’t recommend her more! Monica is amazing."
-Keith of Hudson
"I wanted to share something pretty amazing that has been happening the past few weeks. Clara has been self-motivated to practice piano – I have not had to remind her! This has never really happened before. Monica, the schedule and reward system that you created for Clara was really meaningful. I really believe she is motivated to practice because she feels connected to you and wants to do well in the lesson. It has been really great to watch this relationship form so quickly."
-Alanna of Stow