Monica Robelotto is a classically trained pianist who has been composing, improvising and performing her whole life. She started taking lessons at age six in Albany, NY., where she spent her childhood. When she was 13 she was encouraged to audition at "The Arts Center," a music school in Albany. She attended the school from 7-12th grades taking lessons, music classes, workshops, competing and performing. It was there she was first introduced to jazz music and theory with jazz pianist Dave McKenna. She then went on to the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford and received a Bachelor of Music Degree in Piano Performance. She also received her Suzuki certification at Hartt. While classical music was her major she also studied jazz from legendary musicians, pianist Jacki Byard and saxophonist Jackie McLean. Moving to Western Massachusetts she received her certification in General/Choral Music from the University of Massachusetts and took workshops with the great jazz ambassador, pianist Billy Taylor. Her Orff certification is from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston and Masters Degree in Education from Lesley College in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Pursuing her love of improvisation she took workshops with the organization "Music For People," directed by cellist and Grammy winning recording artist, David Darling. During those classes she learned how to facilitate group improvisation and began offering workshops. She gave workshops for the University of Massachusetts music program in Amherst, Wisdom House Conference Center in Connecticut, Omega Institute in New York and in her piano studio.
Monica taught General/Choral music in public and private schools in Vermont and Massachusetts for 14 years and has been teaching piano for over 30 years. She was on the piano faculty at the Performing Arts Division at the University of Massachusetts and the Springfield Community Music School. She is currently on the faculty, teaching piano at the Northampton Community Music Center and she teaches in her studio in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Her goals in teaching are to nurture a lifelong love of music and guide students to their highest potential as musicians. She teaches both Suzuki and Traditional piano methods and tailors piano lessons to fit the needs and interests of her students. Lessons include technique, note reading, theory, ear training, improvisation and performance opportunities. A wide range of materials are used from different styles and periods. All ages are welcome, children through adults, beginner through intermediate level. She is currently a member of the Suzaki Association of the Americas.
Monica has performed throughout the Northeast for many events but her focus has always been on teaching and composing. Her compositional style is an instrumental blend of classical, jazz and folk music. She has worked on several recording projects and her favorite compositions and arraignments for piano with cellist David Darling are on her CD "Tranzdanze." The CD is is available through Amazon. Her music has been featured on NPR, Music From the Hearts of Space, Echoes and other national and international radio programs.