Monika Szumski

Monika S.

Wharton, NJ

Lesson Details


Levels Taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
My mantra for every lesson is to teach a student how to 'be their own teacher'. A big bulk of the magic happens outside of the lesson so it is my goal and hope to provide various practice techniques and skills for a student to have in their tool belt when we aren't together.

At the end of the day we are all teachers, whether it be to ourselves or to others. When practicing solo, a student needs to be able to tap into critical thinking and ask themselves the right questions that will help them to solve a problem.

A private teacher is there to support that process, provide insight from their own experiences, and aid the student in developing that skill.
Because every student learns differently, I personalize lessons to the specific needs of each student and incorporate a wide range of influences from classical to modern/pop music.
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Monika teaches



Monika passed a background check that includes a SSN verification, national criminal record check, and sex offender registry search. Learn More
Monika delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 7+ and special needs

Teaching since:

Salutations people of TakeLessons! My name is Monika and I am a flutist, lead West African drummer, and a writer/poet.

Flute-wise, I have been playing for 12 years and teaching for a little over 7 of them. As well as teaching privately, I have organized and run rehearsals for flute choirs. I'm a big fan of auxiliary flutes!
Along with classical music, I am a huge lover of world music (more on that below) and like to incorporate Latin jazz, modern, contemporary, and pop/radio music into my teaching. It is so important to get well-rounded exposure in music and if you love other genres, it's an added bonus!

As a lead West African drummer, I have been studying the art form for 5 years. My focus has been on music from the country of Ghana, and specifically the Ewe people. This is not just a focus on drumming but on song and dance as well - it's a marvelous trifecta. I have taught workshops in all kinds of settings with as many as 80 students at once! From summer programs, teacher professional development days, to in- or after-school activities, there is always fun to be had! While this style of music is best suited for a group of people, there is nothing stopping us learning the drumming techniques and lead drum parts privately.

In addition to my musical life, I am also a writer and poet. As a child to two immigrant parents from Poland, I grew up learning how to teach English, and in turn fell in love with the creative writing process.
A lot of my inspiration comes from my constant reading, musical adventures, and particularly my time in nature as a hiker.

Never hesitate to reach out with any questions - I'd be happy to connect :).

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Music Performance and Community Education
Sep 2012 - May 2016
Montclair State University


Fluent / Native Proficiency

Photos & Videos

Playing lead drum in Gahu, a West African Drumming social piece from the Ewe Tribe in Ghana.

Performance for a yoga kirtan on the harmonium.

Performance at Carnegie Hall, 2015

Dancing fun in West African Drumming!

Lead Drum performance on Gahu from my Senior Music Degree Recital.
Performance of Piazza Vittorio (Choro Maxixe), by Celso Machado
(Monika S. on flute, John C. on guitar)
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