Our Teachers

All of our teachers are passionate about music and the development of children. Our instructors are Registered Music Together®® teachers, having completed a 3 1/2-day Teacher Training given by the Center for Music and Young Children (CMYC), Princeton, NJ. We are committed to excellence, regularly attend additional trainings offered in our area and in Princeton, and work closely together to benefit from each other’s expertise. They create a fun, informal, social setting that spurs engagement and supports each child's musical development.

Click here to see some fun pictures of our teachers, then and now.  Each of our teachers grew up with a love of music.


photo Linda Criscitello

Linda Criscitello (Center Director) earned a bachelor’s degree in Theatre from the University of California at Irvine and a master’s degree in Deaf Education from Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. She has tap danced since the age of three and has kept on dancing to enjoy a musical theatre career touring in such shows as 42nd Street, West Side Story, A Chorus Line, and Singin’ in the Rain. In 1996, Linda's first child was born and her husband's job moved them back to NYC for four years. She attended a Music Together class with her son and loved the program. She taught for two years there and and then opened her own center in Vienna, VA in January 2002. Music Together of Vienna (now Music Together Sing and Groove) began with 24 families and has now grown to serve over 200 families. Linda says, "Even more valuable, at times, than my theatre background, is the on-going training I receive as a mom of three". Linda also teaches tap at Vienna’s Cuppett Performing Arts Center to kids 7-15 as well as to a lovely group of women called the Diamond Tappers (ages 85-88). She feels truly fortunate to spend time every week singing and dancing with people ages newborn - 88!

     
photo Jennifer Nickl

Jennifer Nickl holds a B.F.A. in Acting from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. As a child, she sang and danced around the living room while her father played guitar. Since then, she has worked as a performer, stage manager, theatre director, and has even worked on Broadway as the Production Assistant ofThe Secret Garden. After becoming a mother of two, Jennifer was excited to find the Music Together program. Upon realizing that much of her time was still spent singing and dancing around the living room, she gladly embraced the idea of becoming a Music Together teacher. Jennifer loves sharing her musical skills and dramatic experience with families and making Music Together!

     
photo Anne Whitten

Music has always been central in Anne's life. She began piano lessons at 7, and bassoon lessons at age 12. She performed in piano recitals, church choir, school band, county orchestras, and church musicals. Anne received a BS in Computer Science with a minor in math. She worked in the business world for over 20 years, all the while continuing to play the bassoon and singing in the church choir. After her children were born, she began leading the children's music program and the Vacation Bible School music program at her church, then transitioned to teaching preschool music and movement classes. Anne taught preschool music for five years and during this time completed the Music Together teacher training, incorporating the training into her preschool music classroom. Anne enjoys teaching music with Music Together Sing and Groove!

     
photo Maria Lopez Contreras

A native Spanish speaker, Maria was born in Venezuela into a talented musical family, and music and singing has been her greatest passion.  She has taken the stage several times in different countries along with her mother, Maria Teresa Chacin, Venezuela's famous folk singer, winner of a Latin Grammy.  Maria was also part of a group that specialized in singing to kids in major events in her country.  All of her time in elementary up to high school was dedicated to music, where she was part of the choir.  She majored in International Studies from Central University in Venezuela, working in embassies earlier in her career and later in financial institutions developing her relationship skills.  She has recorded several songs, including one in "Cantacuentos" that won the Latin Grammy in the category of 'Best Children's Music Album'.  She plays the Venezuelan Cuatro, a four-stringed instrument, similar to the ukulele.  She enjoys working with kids, as she was also a camp counselor in the US and in her native country.  Maria loves photography, and is a full-time PTA mom of two kids, who have taken on the stage with her as well.
 

     
photo Ana Ughetti

Ana was born in Colombia where she grew up surrounded by the beautiful mountains of the coffee region.  As a child, she participated in a traditional music group where she played the xylophone and also participated in singing competitions.  Ana graduated from college in Colombia with a degree in interior design and shortly afterwards, she relocated to the United States to join the rest of her family in 2010.  Having her daughter in 2012 inspired her to sing and play the ukelele as a way to build her daughter's bilingual skills.  Ana was also a Music Together mom for four years before becoming certified to teach CYBC in 2018.  She lives in Portland, Connecticut with her husband Chad, her daughter Winter, their two dogs Atty and Monty, Grabby the cat, and Chincho the chinchilla.