"My focus in teaching is to build fundamental skills of piano playing such as phrasing, articulation, rhythm, legato and tone production, through the study of classical music from baroque to modern."
"Music was a dominant part of my family life. Both my sister and brother are professional pianists and teachers. In fact, my sister was my first piano teacher. The piano was being played around the clock," says Monica Verona of why she chose to begin learning piano at age 6. Monica grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and later moved to New York to attend graduate school.
"My focus in teaching is to build fundamental skills of piano playing such as phrasing, articulation, rhythm, legato and tone production, through the study of classical music from baroque to modern," says Monica. She aims to acquaint her students with piano literature that is enjoyable and accessible, while also encouraging them to acquire a finer command of the keyboard. "I have found that this approach has enabled my students to gain a personal sense of accomplishment and greater enjoyment in their music."
Monica enjoys working with younger children. "All children want to be able to play a tune just as they heard it. My students and I do a lot of singing together during the lesson—singing the melody while counting rhythm at the same time or singing letter names of the notes while playing. This develops their knowledge of the staff and good sight-reading skills. As a result, they feel more personally involved in their work." Monica also works with adult students, focusing on the style and character of the pieces they study, while also developing their playing skills.
As a performing musician, Monica enjoys playing Bach, Brahms, Mozart, Schubert, Chopin, and Copland. "I generally lean toward baroque and classical styles. I can't explain why—maybe something about the fundamental source of piano music." She counts her parents and siblings as her musical influences along with her teachers, Karl Ulrich Schnabel, Naomi Zaslav and the Fine Arts Quartet. Monica has also taken inspiration from concert artists such as Arthur Rubinstein, Alfred Cortot, Rosalyn Tureck, David Oistrach, Maria Callas, and Mario Lanza.
A teacher at Bloomingdale for over 10 years, Monica feels that "Bloomingdale is a comfortable place to teach. I think the students feel at ease and there is a general pleasantness about the atmosphere. Doing the concentrated work of study in a room with old fireplaces provides a type of calmness during lessons. My students always seem to feel free to be themselves."
Monica Verona presents a program illustrating the influence and treatment of the fugue within a broader compositional spectrum by three masterful composers spanning 200 years.