About: Patti Onorato
Instrument you teach: All instruments related to the Orff Schulwerk (Tuneful Sequence).
Do you play any other instrument in your spare time? 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.
Education: Manhattan School of Music
Where are you from? Yonkers, NY
Favorite age group to teach: 18 months – Elders
Favorite style of music to teach: World Music
Favorite piece of music: So so many favorites!
Favorite food: Comfort food
Favorite color: T.A.R.D.I.S Blue. I like teal as well.
Do you have a pet? (Describe them) 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.
What’s your favorite musical memory? My mother singing Mozart’s “Alleluia” in church. It was a very powerful experience for a little child, and inspired me to sing. I wanted to sound like her when I grew up. Also, cleaning up after dinner with my sisters, singing and acting out musicals. It took quite a long time to clean up!
What do you like best about teaching music? The joy it brings to children (and grownups)!
What is your favorite composer or musician? 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.
What is the first piece of music you ever learned? If you mean the first “serious” piece of music, I would say Fur Elise. I was around 5 years old. My brother and I would imitate my older brother who was taking lessons. The first classical voice piece I learned was Mozart’s “Alleluia” from listening to my mom. I was pretty young, but she helped me with it.
How many hours a day do you practice? Not as many as I should!
When did you start working at TBMS? 1996. Then I went away for a half year and returned in 1997.
Feel free to list any competitions, musical accomplishments, roles, performances of note, etc.
- NAIS Competition (Wisconsin) 1st Place
- Years of working with wonderful composers, realizing new music pieces, plays, and operas
- Composing music and songs for an all-woman cast of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” (Julie Caesar)
- Singing in an American band in Japan for a Russian circus
- Lynny Bird and Her Dreamworld here at TBMS!
Fun Facts: 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.