Taking a class taught by Justin John Moniz is an experience you won’t soon forget. “I work to create a classroom environment that in many ways parallels that of a theater. I rehearse my lectures, tech my visual aids and spend considerable time working through my pacing and transitions,” he says. “I venture to create interactive, thoughtful and immersive pedagogical experiences, which enable students to take an ‘intermission’ from the outside world in order to discover their truest potential.”
The vocal pedagogy program at New York University (NYU) — The Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development is unique because it explores the “intersection of psychological health, the arts and communication,” Moniz says. “Our work enables us to build bridges and connect people around the globe by way of vocal music and individual expression.”
Moniz started the NYU Steinhardt Vocal Pedagogy Outreach Program to provide a platform for his graduate students to put their theoretical work into practice by working and engaging with disadvantaged communities across the state.
“The mission of the program parallels that of NYU Steinhardt: To advance the education, health and well-being of people and communities around the world. We achieve this by fostering knowledge, creativity and innovation at the crossroads of culture, education and human development,” he explains. “The graduate students in the vocal pedagogy program devised five unique workshops surrounding the themes of vocal efficiency and sustainability, technique versus style and vocal health. Each of the workshops engaged students in various virtual modalities.”
Moniz plans to continue to develop the vocal pedagogy program, and “I hope to broaden our reach by facilitating workshops with a growing number of geographically, culturally and economically disadvantaged communities across New York State,” he says.
Observing the impact of his teaching and mentorship when his students find success in their own teaching, research or performance pursuits “inspires me to be a bigger, bolder and braver lifelong learner myself,” Moniz says.