Elissa Menendez
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Elissa Menendez

Elissa M.

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This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
I graduated high school with scholarship, at the prestigious boarding school for the arts, called Interlochen Arts Academy. After that I graduated with my Associate's Degree in Music, from Miami Dade College under the direction of Rodester Brandon. Immediately after transferring from Miami Dade College, I auditioned and got accepted into the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University Bloomington, with a very generous scholarship. I studied jazz performance under the direction of David Baker and Thomas Walsh. Right after I graduated with my Bachelor's Degree, I was ready to work. I started working as a musician for Royal Caribbean Cruises, where I got most of my performing experience outside of school.
I teach my students what they actually need to learn in order to "make it" as a musician in today's competitive music industry. With a strong music foundation and twenty-three years of experience, I can teach students how to survive as a performing musician.

About Elissa M.

My name is Elissa, and I am a multi-instrumentalist!

Born and raised in Miami, Florida, I had the privilege of learning how to play music since age eleven. After graduating from the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy in Music, I went on to finish my Associate's Degree from Miami-Dade College, and then transferred to Indiana University afterwards. I then completed my Bachelor's Degree in Music at Indiana University, finishing my jazz studies on the saxophone. I was very lucky to say that I immediately I began work after college graduation, as a professional musician onboard the Royal Caribbean cruise ships. After the pandemic hit, I moved to Peru with my fiance, where I am now currently tutoring online. I play all sorts of instruments such as: baritone, tenor, alto and soprano saxes; contrabass, bass, alto, and regular concert clarinets; bass, alto, concert flute, and piccolo flutes. That's about twelve instruments!

Jazz is my calling, and so is Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, Caribbean, and Funk music. My style of improvising and playing music is strongly influenced by the these genres, which in my opinion are very closely related. This is because of the strong African influence that these types of music have, so they are like branches originating from the same tree, if one can think about it that way.


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Substitute Teacher
May 2016 - Feb 2020

Miami-Dade County Public Schools

I was a substitute teacher in the public school system in Miami, Florida. My job was to assist in the instruction and education of school aged children from 5 to 18 years of age. I taught all subjects to any student of any ability or level, including special needs education. Subjects included were: English, ESOL, Science, Math, Reading, Writing, Band and Jazz Band, Choir, Theatre, Dance, and more.

Aug 2012 - Feb 2020

Royal Caribbean Cruises

My duties were live music performance on the saxophone(s), flute(s) and clarinet(s). I performed a variety of styles including jazz, broadway music, classical, pop, country, funk, Latin jazz and Salsa. I spoke English and Spanish with guests and passengers aboard Royal Caribbean cruise ships. I also worked with fellow crew members on safety duties involving lifeboat drills and emergency evacuation plans. I had to be educated on our Save the Waves environmental program at sea, in addition to passing firefighting classes and training courses.

Summer Camp Leader
May 2016 - Aug 2016

Florida Parks and Recreation- Westwind Lakes Park, Miami

I was one of the camp leaders for a summer program that was primarily for special needs individuals. In this summer camp we held events such as going to the zoo, public pool outings, picnics, art, music, and dance classes, academic tutoring, computer game events, parties, PE programs, yoga, meditation, and more. I was the leader of some of the music events- I often took out my saxophone and flute and performed for my students.


Music- Jazz Saxophone
Aug 2009 - Aug 2012

Indiana University Bloomington- Jacobs School of Music

Associate's Degree- Music
Aug 2007 - Aug 2009

Miami-Dade Community College

High School Diploma- With a Focus on Music- Saxophone
Aug 2003 - Jun 2005

Interlochen Center for the Arts


Professional Proficiency

Fluent / Native Proficiency


Substitute Teacher
May 2016

Miami-Dade Community College

I had to pass a substitute teaching certification course and class in order to be eligible to teach in Miami-Dade County as a substitute teacher.


The Dean's List
Aug 2009

Miami-Dade Community College


Best Buddies International
Jan 1998
Best Buddies International is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development, and inclusive living for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

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