Tonal Art Music Center: Jersey City and Hoboken music school

recital 3

 

If you are interested in signing your children up to learn how to play an instrument, I highly recommend the Tonal Art Music Center, located at 47B Harrison Street in Hoboken. Our daughter Lola started taking guitar lessons when she was 6 years old, just 6 months ago and performed in her first recital this past weekend.

The joy we felt watching Lola perform at the recital was unlike anything we have experienced yet as parents. We have been a part of her music journey, as we take her to her lesson every week, we push her to practice every single day, we hear her mistakes and then her triumphs when she finally nails a song! It has been a wonderful, fulfilling experience for the entire family. If you follow me on Instagram you can see a video of Lola performing Ode to Joy.

Her guitar teacher, Mr. Matt, is a lifelong musician and has worked with kids for many years. I sat down with him to learn more about the history of Tonal Art Music Center and its instructors.

How long as TAMC been in existence?

Matt: Tonal Art Music started in 2010, and has been at the current Hoboken location since 2012.

How did it come to be?

Matt: From very early on, teaching in some capacity has always been a part of my professional musical life. While spending a lot of time studying and playing music, I was also teaching at different private music schools throughout New Jersey and New York. Through observation, I learned a lot about what seemed to work well for the students and the teachers, as well as what could be done in a better way. Armed with this knowledge, I decided that I could run my own studio as well or better than any that I had previously been associated with, so Tonal Art Music was born. A music-focused center for learning from professional musicians with tons of educational experience.

How many instructors are there?

Matt: We currently have 5 different instructors each with their own instrument specialties.

What type or lessons are offered?

Matt: We offer private music lessons for guitar, piano, saxophone, violin, flute and clarinet.

What age groups are encouraged to join?

Matt: Students as young as 4.5 can begin piano lessons with us, for guitar it’s better to wait until about six years old. But we get a lot of different ages, elementary, middle school and high school, as well as a growing number of adults who are coming back to music after a long break or even picking up something new for the first time.

Were you always located in Hoboken?

Matt: Originally there were only the two of us (Matt and Hyeseon) and we taught lessons once a week at a community space in Jersey City. As word of mouth spread, we continued to grow, finally moving into our own space in Hoboken in 2012.

What is your back ground in Music? The other instructors also?

Matt: All the teachers at our school hold degrees from some of the best music schools in the world.  I received my Bachelor of Music in jazz guitar performance from Manhattan School of Music. I received my Masters in Music from William Paterson University with a focus on jazz performance. All the teachers at our school are also busy performers and you can always ask them where they will be performing next.

Is there a new student offer?

Matt: We are currently running a new student special, if you sign up for a month of lessons you will receive one free lesson! You can find us at www.tonalartmusic.org

A few shots from the music recital held on Friday, December 15

Mompreneur Spotlight: Nicole Jurick’s Peasful Kitchen

Nicole

If you are like me, scrolling through your timeline can sometimes cause serious anxiety. It’s as if all the ‘best’ moms in the world have decided to post all the great things they are doing with their kids the moment I open Instagram.

Moms put so much pressure on themselves. I am my own worst critic when it comes to parenting especially when it comes to my daughter’s diet since I don’t have much experience in the kitchen. Luckily there is a local resource teaching moms how to make healthy, good food from scratch for your baby and family!

Fellow Jersey girl and former Redbook Editor, Nicole Jurick, from Peasful Kitchen, is going to save our day and spare us the anxiety!!

Peasful Kitchen was created 4 years ago by Nicole and her former business partner, Suzanne Gallagher.

Just like your favorite chick flick or female comedy film, two very sleepy moms meet in the aisle of their local organic supermarket and soon find a friendship. They had babies around the same age and found a friendship comparing stories of attempting to do something while taking care of a new baby.

Coincidentally, both found themselves making their babies homemade organic purees and thought it would be a fun idea to offer a cooking class to moms just like them. What originally started as a ploy to have a mom’s night out, they started their cooking classes in 2013 in Hoboken, running their classes out of the Cugini Kitchen which has since closed.

Today, Nicole and her team hosts a variety of classes/series, at Pilsener Haus & Biergarten in Hoboken. There you can learn how to make food not only for your baby, but for your entire family. Their events are for parents only though.

In addition to Summit and Princeton New Jersey, additional locations include Houston, Texas and Boston, Massachusetts.

You can also host any of their series classes in home. Baby showers are hugely popular. Guests prepare food for the mom-to-be so she won’t have to worry about preparing food for herself once the baby arrives. As we all know, once you bring the baby home, the last thing you want to worry about is making dinner. Who has the time or energy for that?! This is a perfect gift idea. It’s unique and a great alternative from the usual baby shower rhetoric. All you need is a kitchen!

You can check out their in home and on location series here.

xoxo

Hudson Kitchen: Jersey City’s Only Kitchen Incubator

the-hudson-kitchen             photo credit: Tamara Fleming Photography

I was introduced to ‘mompreneur’ Djenaba Johnson-Jones of Hudson Kitchen this past November during the first Midnight Market (http://tinyurl.com/jponulp) and I was immediately impressed. Her perseverance and determination is inspiring. She’s the perfect example of looking around and identifying what is missing in the local community and doing something to fix it.

Upon being laid off from her corporate gig in marketing and business development, she decided to take the opportunity to go after a dream — becoming a personal trainer and starting her own fitness and food concierge service. After becoming certified and acquiring a few clients, Djenaba had hoped on finding a location to begin her meal preparation delivery service but unfortunately she was not able to do so.

Rather than letting that take her down, she came up with a new goal she knew would be beneficial to the growing food business in Jersey City. After struggling to find the resources and information to start her own health and fitness company, Djenaba launched Hudson Kitchen in July of 2015, which is a kitchen incubator, devoted to the development of early-stage catering, retail and wholesale food businesses.

In March 2016, she hosted the first ever ‘Table Talk Live’ networking event, which was open to food entrepreneurs and the press. With 75 food entrepreneurs on hand and industry professionals in attendance, guests benefited from panels such as, “Finding Your Mix: Following Your Dreams as a Food Entrepreneur,” which included local food entrepreneurs: Dawn Pascale, founder of OM Sweet Home, a specialty bakery focusing on plant-based and gluten-free desserts and cakes; Alysis Vasquez, executive chef and owner of Chilltown Kitchen, a Jersey City Chef Collective & Pop-Up Supper Club; Eddie Cotto, Jr., executive chef and owner of ME Casa Restaurant and Catering; Lloyd Ortuoste, co-founder of Baonanas, an artisanal banana pudding company.

Using her background in marketing, Djenaba’s first networking even was a hit, which of course prompted a second Table Talk Live event back in June, titled “How to Market on a Budget”. This past Septembers Table Talk Live event was a speed networking event, where 25 food entrepreneurs got 6 minutes with each of the 17 food experts in attendance.

This was a great collaboration, with some of the food experts being local grocery store owners and buyers for Whole Foods. These events are now part of a quarterly series. The latest Table Talk Live event was held on December 8th.

In addition to their very successful networking events, Hudson Kitchen also hosts workshops for food entrepreneurs. Past workshops included, “The First 10 Steps to Starting a Food Business” and “Pricing Food Product for Profit”.

The upcoming workshop, which is going to be a 7-class series, begins January 24, 2017. Titled, “From Concept to Farmer’s Market in Four Months,” the idea is to help future food entrepreneurs get into the 2017 farmers markets, which begins in May. You have the option of taking all 7 classes or as many as you’d like. All information can be found here.

She’s determined to help future entrepreneurs avoid the same setbacks she did and hasn’t stopped pursuing her initial dream — in 2017, Djenaba will be opening a communal kitchen location, that will be shared by local food businesses in need of food preparation space. For more information, visit http://www.thehudsonkitchen.com/.

xoxo

Women in Motion

Who doesn’t want to feel and look better?! Most women want to get fit, but are intimated entering a gym. Some women are lucky enough to have support from family members or lifelong friends, but some of us don’t. Between working, taking care of yourself, perhaps a family, and the tons of other things us women juggle from day-to-day, who even has the time to get to a gym? I recently caught up with Danielle De Angelo, co-owner of Jane Do, a fitness studio created by women, for women struggling with fitness.

Founders Danielle De Angelo and Jacey Lambros, former Radio City Rockettes, banded together to develop Jane Do. They wanted to create an environment where women empower women, a judgement free zone. With an emphasize on dance, and not necessarily “working out,” the point of the program is to have fun and build a sisterhood with your fellow members. Between the two of them, they have over 17 years of Rockette dance experience. “It’s a fusion of traditional athleticism and classical dance,” says Dani, who researched and developed with Jacey for over a year. “Women can have the strength of an athlete with the body of a dancer.”

They created a methodology of dance and fitness, specifically crafted for individuals looking for an exercise alternative. There are two studios in New Jersey – one in downtown Jersey City, and the other in Edgewater, with a third studio soon to be opened in Hoboken. The studios are sanctuaries for tons of moms, both pregnant and post-partum. They band together for the monthly challenges and the special Friday night dance sessions. Dani told me, “Moms can come and let their hair down. They can take a minute for themselves.”

I was invited to take their ‘Tramp Stamp’ class with Jeanne, who was 5 months pregnant by the way. She had the most energy in the class and put us all to shame when it came time to jump on the trampoline and hold our planks! I was heavily impressed. I didn’t have the confidence I’d be able to get through the class, but before I knew it, the class was over and I felt great about myself!

At the moment, the studios have a total of 15 instructors that are all former or current NBA and Broadway dancers. More importantly, they are all certified in the Jane Do methodology, which is provided in-house. At the end of our talk, Dani said something to me that really inspired me to become a part of the community. “Our goal is to allow women to find strength in the studio, which they can take outside and do amazing things with – the main purpose is to encourage women to be confident.” Amen, sistah!

If you decide to take a class at the studio, let me know — I would love to find my strength alongside you!

xoxo