Actor & Teacher Amanda Munice
Amanda Munice, director of Manda’s Music Together in New Jersey and a Certified Level I Music Together teacher, is a professional actor and certified elementary school teacher who ran her own children’s theater camp for eight years. She began her journey directing Music Together when she had her own daughter in 2012.
How did you learn about Music Together?
I was eight months pregnant when I first learned about Music Together from a college friend who was opening her own center in Pennsylvania. It was kind of serendipitous! Here I was about to have my own infant and about to meet a whole bunch of moms. After I had my daughter, I took the teacher training and fell in love with Music Together even more. I left the training every day crying tears of happiness because I found what I was supposed to be doing.
What is your background?
I was bitten by the musical theater bug as a pre-teen after being cast in The Sound of Music. I went to a performing arts high school and then earned a degree in Musical Theatre from Wagner College. I always loved working with children, so I went back for a Master’s degree in education and taught kindergarten and third grade for twelve years.
Did you have any previous business experience?
When I was an elementary school teacher, I opened a children’s musical theatre camp as a side business. I created the program from scratch and ran it for eight successful summers. I established an LLC (limited liability corporation) and eventually had two people on staff.
What did you expect to be the hardest part of being a center director?
Having owned my own business before, I knew how hard it could be, so my biggest fear was about running the business. I give a lot of credit to Music Together for making this easier! Knowing how hard it was when I opened the theater camp, I was nervous that it would be hard again. When you start something from scratch, there is no support. You are out there on your own. There is nobody to answer questions and you just have to wing it. With Music Together, my fears were immediately silenced; the things I was most afraid of were addressed by Music Together. I have an amazing mentor, Patricia, who I called a ton in the very beginning (and who I still call pretty regularly), and there are people to answer any question—whether it is about teaching, classroom management, or business. The concerns I had in the beginning do not exist anymore, and it has been such a wonderful process.
How has directing a Music Together changed your life?
You don’t start a business just to make money, you start it to make a difference. I’ve always been an optimistic person, but now I really do feel that I am making a difference. I wake up every day excited because I know that something that I do during that day will make a positive difference in someone’s life. I never even felt this as much an elementary school teacher! I was never as in love with teaching as I am with Music Together.