Mr. LaMonica, Music
Hi everybody! My name is Vinny LaMonica, or as some of our students call me, Mr. G Clef. Before I started teaching here in Union, my primary work consisted of playing bassoon and contrabassoon in orchestras, bands, and chamber groups throughout New England and the Midwest. I spent a few years in Boston and Chicago during grad school, but I’m back home in Ashford, and I am so excited to be teaching here in Union!
In addition to Mondays & Thursdays here at school, I also teach college students in the music education program at the University of Hartford’s Hartt School, private lessons and beginning band programs at the Community Music School of Springfield (MA), and I conduct a couple community bands - the East Woodstock Cornet Band and Ashford’s Babcock Cornet Band. I am the bassoonist and Executive Director of the Chicago-based Doclé Reed Quintet, a board member with the Women Composers Festival of Hartford, and a senior staff member with Laurel Music Camp.
I graduated from the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University (go cats!) with my Master’s Degree in 2019, and before that I attended Boston University, UConn, and the University of New Hampshire. My teachers have been performers in the Symphony Orchestras of Chicago, Pittsburgh, Portland, Boston, and beyond.
Outside of music, you can find me hiking, kayaking, and swimming when it’s nice out, and boxing has become a favorite hobby of mine in the past few years. I also have a 22-year-old cat named Star, who we rescued when I was beginning middle school!
Welcome to Mr. LaMonica's Page!
Here at Union School, all of our students are musicians. Nobody is viewed as “more musical” or “more talented” than other musicians. We all learn, sing, and read, and we all have the chance to find ways to express ourselves through our music. My expectations for our budding musicians are very high, but entirely achievable, and I am dedicated to providing strategies and systems to help all of our students flourish in their musical journeys.
At the forefront of my classroom expectations is the development of literacy. All classes begin with an emphasis on note-reading, the first step towards music literacy. Whether it's our PreK/K classroom honing in on the G Line and our musical alphabet (we don’t say H in music!) or our middle school classes identifying words notated on the G Clef staff, we all work to incrementally improve our reading skills. The English alphabet has 26 letters - music only has seven!
In the middle school, our working process is “Read, Think, Write, Ask.” We listen to each other, work cooperatively, and try our best to solve the problems in front of us, knowing that it’s okay to have been wrong if we followed the process and read, thought, wrote, and then asked.
This year, our middle school musicians have the opportunity to participate in two music electives - an ukulele-chorus club and band! Musicians can choose to participate in neither, one, or both of these electives. In band, we will focus on trumpet and clarinet only for now, and students will have the opportunity to play drums (in addition to, not instead of, trumpet and clarinet) during the year.
I am immensely grateful to the USA for purchasing the Prodigies Music Curriculum, which is shaping our elementary music curriculum. This program is excellent for developing our musicians’ ears, motor skills, and voices! Our musicians love working with Mr. Rob and Ms. Sam, and we will continue to dig into all that Prodigies has to offer.
You can read more about our music program on the Music at Union School google site.