Patti Onorato


Patti Onorato, Early Childhood Coordinator

Describe what you do in your current position: I coordinate all of the children’s group classes (except the formal Suzuki classes), meet with new families to show them our school and classrooms, and place their children in the best possible class for their music education.

How long have you worked for Turtle Bay? How long in your current position? I’ve been at TBMS since 1997 (trained in 1996) and in this position since 2001.

Describe other work experience or education: Presently – As well as teaching the Tuneful Sequence Programs at TBMS, I also teach Public School Outreach with TBMS and with the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. I attend music education workshops, seminars, and take instrument lessons on a regular basis.

What is your favorite thing about Turtle Bay Music School? I wish I had access to TBMS when I was growing up! The school is unique on so many levels; I find it hard to choose just one.

What is your favorite Turtle Bay memory and/or event? I love the Annual Perform-A-Thon!

Do you play any instruments? Describe any musical background you may want to share! I love to play mountain dulcimer upstate (in the mountains), djembe with my drumming pals, and guitar while my husband is watching sports on TV.

What is your favorite song and/or piece of music? If I had to choose, I would say “FANGA ALAFIA.” There is something about this song that children just LOVE! Thank you Baba Olatunji!

Who is your favorite composer/songwriter? I’ve always felt a strong connection to Mozart, but love contemporary composers. I also love listening to and playing with musicians from the West African musical traditions.

Where are you from? Yonkers, NY

Favorite color: T.A.R.D.I.S Blue. I like teal as well.

Favorite food: Comfort food

Pets? Zobee, our little gray Schnoodle. We adopted her after she was rescued 4 years ago. She loves car rides, long walks, and snoozing on her green blanket.

Any other fun facts you’d like to include! I LOVE BIRDS! I once taught my pet canary to sing (chirp) the tune to “This Old Man.” I caught a warbler in the TBMS office and let it out the window, and rescued a hummingbird from a spider web and an American Woodcock from 52nd Street.