This week’s Meet-a-Mom is Ruth Mirabella of Melody and Motion. Read our interview with this amazing Mom and her journey to finding her passion for teaching. Check out her wonderful classes and sign up for a spring session www.MelodyandMotionMT.com
How many children do you have and what are their age(s)?
3- Laura is 20, JP is 18 and Cassandra is 13.
Laura is currently attending Marywood University as an Art Therapy/Art History major.
JP is currently attending Delaware Valley University as an Environmental Science Major
Cassandra is an 8th grader who dreams of being a writer one day.
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in Morris County?
I grew up in Montville, NJ, but have lived in Morris Plains, Mt. Tabor, Lincoln Park and I now reside in Butler. I have lived in Morris County most of my life, except for the few years I was studying theater at the American Musical and Dramatics Academy in NYC.
Favorite things to do with your kids?
We love to go hiking as a family. Pyramid Mountain and Silas Condict Park are favorites. My older daughter Laura and I are coffee and tea fiends and love to visit coffee shops. Some of our favorites are Sunrise Coffee House in Bloomingdale and Boonton Coffee on Main Street. We used to stop at the Daily Joe often as well, but sadly they are no longer there. When we are in the Denville area, Smart Coffee is always a treat!
What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I have a degree in Environmental Geography from Montclair State University. I always wanted to work as a GIS analyst, but that never came to be.
Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?
Parenthood is hard. My husband was always there to help out, but so were my amazing neighbors all of whom had children of the same age. We used to do weekly playdates at each other’s homes that included everything from making mud pies to movies on a rainy afternoon. Having other sleep deprived moms who are struggling with the same worries and celebrating the same milestones was a gift.
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!
I am a Center Director and run Melody and Motion Music Together early childhood music education classes. Over the past 15 years, I have taught in Denville, Boonton and Kinnelon, but predominantly in Kinnelon. Due to the pandemic, I had to leave my old location and started looking for a large room where families could safely come and make music in-person and feel comfortable. I found everything I needed at the Rockaway Valley Methodist Church. The room is large with beautiful windows to let in sun and fresh air. At Melody and Motion, we teach the Music Together curriculum which has been designed for children ages 0-5 with a caregiver. We sing, dance, laugh, learn and play together in a fun, family friendly environment.
I am also a Sipologist with Sipology by Steeped Tea. During the early months of the Pandemic when I could not teach music, I was invited to a Facebook Tea Party and fell in love with the company and their loose leaf tea products. Between music classes and tea, I also run an after school drama program.
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
I love my Music Together families. Watching children and families grow in music is a gift. Sharing my love of music with them is a joy. Many of my little music makers have grown up and developed their own love of music. Just last night, a mom who attended music classes with me over a decade ago announced on FB that her daughter was named Drum Major for her school’s Marching Band next year. I could not be more proud.
When I shut down in March of 2020, unsure when I could begin teaching again I felt lost. In May of 2021 I was able to start classes, and even with masks and holding outdoor classes, singing with my families brought back a piece of my soul. I know this program brings joy to families. I know that it helps build social, emotional and motor skills for young children. As we say, music learning supports all learning. But I also know that teaching these children and their caregivers brings me great joy and great satisfaction. I cannot thank the families enough who came back; who trusted me to do everything possible to keep them safe, for allowing me to continue sharing my love and passion for music with their precious little music makers. There is no better job in the world!