Our Teachers

All of our teachers are passionate about music and the development of children.

They create a fun, informal, social setting that spurs engagement and supports each child's musical development & are all Music Together® registered teachers.

photo Liz McNicholl

Liz is the Director of Music Together of the New Haven, Hamden, Branford, Cheshire locations. She is a native of County Meath, Ireland and came to the United States in 1985. Liz is a registered Music Together teacher.

Liz has been involved with music her whole life, starting at a young age while living in Ireland, and continuing her love of music on stages here in the US. She is a well known folk/celtic singer and has sang throughout the US with the Acclaimed Irish Traditional all female group “Cherish the Ladies”, and now has her own folk band here in the CT area called "The Crickstones". Liz plays the guitar, ukulele, and bodhran (Irish drum) and has recorded 3 CDs.  She has two boys, Darragh and Gavin and is thrilled to combine her love of music and children as she pursues her journey with Music Together.  For more information on Liz's band visit www.lizmc.com

     
photo Christina Montanari

Christina is thrilled to join the Music Together family after participating in the program for two years with her son, Cooper.His enthusiastic response to the Music Together songs, and the positive impact on his emerging vocabulary and musicality, has brought such joy to their family music making.

Prior to her current adventure as a mom of a child with special needs, Christina spent nine years in arts administration and fundraising at Long Wharf Theatre.Music has always been a part of her life--singing in choirs from elementary school through college, church choirs since childhood, a dozen years of voice lessons, and nine years of performance with the New Haven Chorale, Christina can’t imagine not singing & is so excited to teach the Music Together program.  Christina's email is christina.montanari@hotmail.com

     
photo Val McKee

Val was first introduced to Music Together as a parent. Having been involved in music and dance for as long as she can remember, and after seeing the amazing effect the program had on her son, Val decided to become a teacher. Growing up in Tennessee, she was the lead singer of sorts in her family's "band" -some of her fondest memories involve singing along with her brothers' guitars in her family living room.  Val plays the ukulele and the guitar.

Val is also a classically trained ballet and modern dancer who graduated from Walnut Hill School for the Arts and later trained at SUNY, Purchase. She previously taught Dance, and Dance History in the New Haven public school system and continues to dance as often as she can. Val now teaches English at Southern Connecticut State University, but spends her days at home with her sons, Carson, Raleigh & Simon. Val is thrilled to be part of the Music Together family!  Val's email is: valeriemckee@yahoo.com

     
photo Jennifer Sciglibaglio

Jennifer moved to the New Haven, CT area in 2011, having grown up on Long Island where she started teaching Music Together. She has been playing piano since she was little and has added violin, marimba/vibraphone and guitar to her instrument mix.  She headed to Western and then Central New York (SUNY Fredonia and Syracuse University) for her BFA in Musical Theatre and Masters in Music in Vocal Performance respectively.  Jennifer is a registered Music Together teacher since 2009 & has taught MT in Long Island for the past two years.

Jennifer's performance credits are varied, ranging from children's theatre (on Long Island and CNY) to opera (in the US and abroad).  She started teaching, coaching and directing while still in high school and worked her way up through student teaching, consulting and adjunct faculty positions while completing her coursework and as a post-graduate.  Jennifer also works as a voice teacher, accompanist and early childhood music educator with the Neighborhood Music School in New Haven and maintains her own private studio as well.  She most loves the music making ensembles and experiences of Music Together because of the spontaneity and genuine joy that comes from families being caught up in the freedom of musical activities.  She has taken classes with her daughters and truly loves participating as a mom as well.  While you're having fun being a silly music-maker, your child gets to fully experience how enjoyable music can be.  And when your child is having fun, how can you not help but smile? Jen's email address is: jens.musictogether@gmail.com

     
photo Michele Urban

Michele has been directing Music Together at "My Music Room" in Wallingford for over 9 years and is delighted to be now teaching Music Together in Cheshire.  She is a gifted singer and performer.  For the past 20 years she has directed and performed with various singing and dramatic groups.  Michele’s enthusiasm for teaching music to young children comes from a love of music, which was nurtured, by her family when she was a child.  She enjoys making music with her husband, Michael, and their three talented children.  She has achieved Certification Level I from the Center for Music & Young Children and is very honored to be teaching this exceptional music program to the community.

     
photo Jenny Shieh
Jenny grew up playing the piano, but her love has always been singing. She sang and danced in choirs and musicals and then moved to New York City for college where she took voice lessons and performed in an a cappella group. After college, she earned a master’s degree in elementary education and became a fifth grade teacher in Philadelphia.
 

Jenny brought her son to Music Together classes when he was just a few months old and they quickly fell in love with the program. Two years later, after her daughter was born, Jenny brought both children and appreciated the positive impacts it had on all of them.  Music Together has enriched their lives through more than just music and movement; it has become a part of their lifestyle and it has introduced them to a wonderful community of friends.

Jenny is excited to combine her teaching background with her passion for music. She enjoys playing the guitar and singing with her children and her husband, Paul.  Jenny’s email is jshieh_1@yahoo.com.

     
photo Kimberley Fais

UKULELE TEACHER

Kimberley Fais joined the Musical Folk staff as a Ukulele instructor in 2017. Kimberley studied music at Sarah Lawrence College to work in creative arts therapy, but soon discerned a call to outreach and educational ministries. She completed her MDiv at Drew Theological School in 2014 and made her home in New Haven. She now directs youth and children's ministries at First Presbyterian Church, where she sometimes incorporates ukulele, boomwhackers, and music theory into her time with people of all ages.

Growing up, Kimberley played clarinet and dabbled with other instruments along the way, but the sound and feel of the ukulele most captured her heart. Her professional goals as a music teacher are not only to nurture discipline and facilitate skill-building, but first and foremost to foster a child's joy in music regardless of their talent or ability. A late '80s baby with a passion for immersive learning, Kimberley answers both to her first name and to "Ms. Frizzle" and can occasionally be found wearing music-themed clothing.

     
photo Julie Collins

Julie was first introduced to Music Together as a parent, but has enjoyed a lifelong love of music, and singing in particular. Growing up in a musical home, there was always some form of music, be it singing, experimenting with instruments (and pots and pans!), listening to recordings, attending concerts or taking Suzuki piano lessons. Julie excelled in band and choir from elementary school through college; she sang in every theatre production, opera, and choral ensemble, and practiced her way to first chair flute in the top band, sang in the top choir, and minored in music.

After college, Julie discovered her second passion: psychology. She has since earned her Masters in Counseling Psychology and is a Marriage and Family Therapist with experience spanning from counseling children in victim services, to counseling at an acute psychiatric facility, to conducting therapy in private practice. Now the mother of two young children, Gabriel and Elena, Julie is thrilled to have discovered what she calls "the magic of Music Together". Julie notes, "This curriculum marries the joy and expression of music with building and strengthening the parent-child bond, all of which have an incredibly powerful and positive impact not only in childhood but on one's entire life. This program is such a gift, and I'm deeply grateful to share it with my family and yours!" Julie believes music to be a nourishing experience as well as a healthy outlet for adults and children alike. "Whether you have a background in music or you have never sung a note, we will have an amazing time making music together!"  Julie's email is Joolee313@aol.com

     
  Erin Roche

Erin has been teaching Music Together for 6 years in Wallingford before joining Musical Folk in 2013.  She has performed in many musicals and Community Theater.  She has a degree in Psychology with a minor in Early Childhood Education. Her experience teaching Pre-school for 18 years, gives her a unique understanding of the effect music can have on children's little minds, bodies and souls. 

She and her husband, Tom have made family music making a priority with their child, Emily, who is now a gifted singer.  Erin has achieved Certification Level I from the Center for Music & Young Children. She is also the Co-Director of "Music 2 Go", a music and movement program for pre-schools.  Her enthusiasm for music, creativity and playfulness are evident in her teaching style and she is very excited to bring her love of music to other families.