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/owner of Musical Folk of the New Haven, North Haven, Branford, Cheshire locations offering the Music Together program, ukulele and guitar classes. Liz is a native of County Meath, Ireland and now making her home in Hamden, CT.  Liz plays a variety of instruments, including guitar, Ukulele, Bodhran (Irish drum) and the banjo and has recorded 3 CDs.  She is energetic and bubbly and you and your child will love her classes! 

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 has two boys, Darragh and Gavin and is thrilled to combine her love of music, children & The "Music Together Program" and is living the Amercian Dream, making music every day and running her own business.   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.

     
  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.

     
photo Alexis Rodda

Alexis is a passionate music educator and active operatic soprano in the New York City area. She is currently earning her doctorate in music at CUNY Graduate Center and has a Masters in Music from Mannes College. She earned her B.A. from Princeton University with a minor in Music Performance. In addition to teaching private voice and piano, she teaches in the music department at Brooklyn College. Alexis loves the joy that music brings to people of all ages, and the incredible way that Music Together brings children together to grow and learn in a shared love of music.  Alexis teaches Music Together in New York City and CT.  

     
photo Elise Miller

Elise Miller will be teaching Rhythm kids and ukulele this fall.  For as long as she can remember, Elise has been passionate about music. Music has always been a part of her life; her mother sang and played guitar and her father always loved to dance. Her parents’ old records were an endless source of joy for Elise, who spent hours immersed in the lyrics, rhythms, and harmonies of everything from broadway musicals and the big band era to the Beatles and Moody Blues. A natural performer and multi-instrumentalist, Elise began playing the flute 35 years ago and has since enjoyed studying and teaching music at all levels. Elise holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance from Central Connecticut State University and has worked for twelve years as an early childhood music educator with Music Together and seven years as a Hebrew School Music Educator.

Elise is committed to ongoing professional development in order to gain a better understanding of children's musical development, Music Together program philosophy, and ongoing research in the field. Elise regularly attends Music Together Songs and Skills workshops and was awarded her Certification Level 1 in teaching mastery from the Music Together CMYC (the Center for Music and Young Children) in Princeton, NJ for demonstrating achievement in musicianship, movement, parent education, and teaching the Music Together program. Elise is thrilled to share her passion for music with children of all ages and their families. She also attends Music Together Rhythm Kids classes with her husband Jordan and their three children. She loves the way that making music as a family strengthens their family bond and how making music together with the families in her classes strengthens community bonds.

     
photo Jacky Curran

Jacky has a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Eastern Connecticut State University and has spent extensive time living in Spain. She also has over 15 years of experience working with children, including tutoring math, science, and reading to special needs children, nannying, and coaching multiple sports for children in grades K-3.  Jacky has an energetic, creative, and bubbly personality that your child will love!  When she graduated from ECSU, her dream job was to teach Spanish to young children. She is excited to finally realize that dream and share the Spanish language with young and developing minds at Small World Languages.  Jacky has combined her love of spanish, music and children and is excited to be teaching the "Canta y Baila Conmigo®" for the Music Together program in Cheshire, CT