Elisa Girlando Studios

The Right Teacher


Finding the right teacher is one of the most crucial decisions in a student's musical journey.

Just like in an academic setting, a teacher has the potential to help a student grow. This is why it is so important for the student to click with their teacher and build a relationship. At Elisa Girlando Studios, the teachers are dedicated to connecting with their student and inspiring a passion for learning and creating music.




Elisa Girlando (Teacher & Owner)

Growing up with a father that was in the music business, Elisa was introduced to the studio at a very young age. At age seven, she began taking vocal lessons to refine her sound and learn the proper techniques. 

Elisa started her career by the age of twelve when she signed a deal to record multiple children and holiday albums. In college, she had her own band and quickly got picked up with a distribution deal with SONY RED (Sony Music).  So far she released two albums under SONY RED. 

Elisa’s voice has been featured on numerous national TV commercials, which included the Claritin commercial singing the classic song, "I Can See Clearly Now."

Elisa has passion for not only singing but for teaching. Her teaching style is unique as she incorporates the recording studio as a learning tool which has proven to be immensely effective for a student’s growth. She also knows the importance of performing and encourages perfecting a student’s stage presence. Elisa has been teaching for over 15 years. 


The Teachers

Paige Lucas

Studio Manager, Musical Theatre & Dance

Paige has had a desire for musical theater ever since she was a young girl.  Since grade school, Paige has been involved with multiple musical theater and performance programs.  She has had featured roles in performances such as, Mae Peterson in Bye Bye Birdie, Miss. Hannigan in Annie, and Logan Schwartzandgrubenierre in Putnam County Spelling Bee.  

Paige is the Assistant Director and Choreographer for The Sparta High School Musical Program. Her achievements in this role include ’Shrek the Musical,’ ‘Putnam County Spelling Bee,’ ‘Mary Poppins’ and ‘Beauty & The Beast’.

In 2018, She fully Directed and Choreographed the Sparta Middle School Musical, ‘High School Musical Jr.,’ ‘Legally Blonde Jr.’ and Frozen Jr.’ with Elisa Girlando.

Paige has developed her own Musical Theatre Program for Elisa Girlando Studios!

Eric Waldman

Vocal, Piano, Guitar & Song Writing

Eric Waldman

Vocal, Piano, Guitar & Song Writing

Eric has been a professional musician for over 25 years. Since childhood, he always had a passion for music. His instruments include violin, piano, guitar and vocal.

Eric toured nationally with his band called Natural Breakdown alongside with Famous Bands, Rusted Root, Parliament Funkadelic, Michael Franti & Spearhead, and Railroad Earth. He also toured internationally in France, Switzerland, Italy, and Israel.

In recent years, He developed the character, “Bobby Beetcut” a children’s music artist. So far, he has written and recorded two albums under Bobby Beetcut. Both albums were picked up by HitPlay Records and distributed nationally and internationally by Sony Music.

Eric has been teaching music for years and knows how to make learning music fun. He has a way of connecting to a student to make sure they know the material and have the confidence to let it out.

Melissa Di Santi

Vocal, Classical Voice, Piano, Ukulele & Guitar

Melissa Di Santi's passion for music started at a very young age. In high school, she began to flourish as she ranked as the number one Alto I in the Sussex County Choir and was one of the top ranking Altos in the New Jersey All-State Mixed Chorus. She also landed the lead role of Gabriella Montez in Sparta High School’s production of High School Musical. 

She soon decided that changing people's lives through music was her absolute passion and she wanted to do it for the rest of her life.

Melissa graduated from Montclair State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Music Therapy with a concentration in Voice. At school, she was classically trained. She utilizes her voice, piano, guitar, and ukulele to connect with students. Melissa is a former student of Elisa Girlando. Melissa is truly about real, personal experiences, and is excited to share her knowledge and love of music with her students.

Heather Raquet

Piano & Voice, Musical Theatre

Music has played an essential part of Heather’s life. Inspired by her father’s musical talent, she began taking piano and singing lessons at the age of six. She took every opportunity to be involved in the music program offered in school. From musicals to choirs, she did it all. Her passion for music led her to perform at venues such as Carnegie Hall, and work with music producers at Disney Studios in Florida.  Heather’s passion for teaching, musicianship and her innate ability to work with kids make her the perfect addition to Elisa Girlando Studios!

Tricia Johnsen

Dance, Acting, Film

Tricia brings over 16 years of teaching experience to Elisa Girlando Studios, after serving as an instructor for numerous dance companies, studios and gyms throughout the NY/NJ area.

At the age of 18, the start of her professional career took off with featured roles in music videos such as Chris Brown’s  "Run It", David Archuleta’s  "Crush" and Samantha Jade’s "Step Up" for the blockbuster movie “Step Up”.

Her love for the arts and entertainment always played a major role in her career. In 2009, Tricia graduated cum laude from Emerson College with a bachelor's degree in TV & Video. 

After graduating, she worked in both music and television with employment at RED Music (Sony music) and MTV (Series Production). 

Her professionalism, experience and love for teaching will be a great addition to the Elisa Girlando Studios. Students will find her energy infectious and fun, as they learn to create, move and perform

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