Our Teaching Team
Musikgarten is in Trinidad & Tobago
Alabanza Music uses the internationally renowned Musikgarten curriculum, specially designed to provide age appropriate musical and developmental activities. We are the first Caribbean country to offer Musikgarten's unparallelled comprehensive and sequential plan of musical development for children from birth to primary school. This programme is fully endorsed by lecturers of the Music Education Department at The University of the West Indies.
Music EDUCATORS With a difference!
All of our educators are individually certified, have training in the field of early childhood music education and have been through comprehensive training focusing on musical pedagogy. Their knowledge and experience base will ensure that you and your child have the highest quality educational experience, while enjoying time together in a stress free, playful environment.
Moreover, Musikgarten educators worldwide engage in continuing professional development so we never stop learning!
Lisa Darmanie de Quiñones
Lisa Darmanie is the founder and director of Alabanza Music. She is the first certified Specialist in Early Childhood Music and Movement in Trinidad & Tobago; holds Honours Degrees in Musical Arts and Spanish from U.W.I., accredited Certification from the Early Childhood Music and Movement Association (ECMMA) USA, Dalcroze teacher training from the Lucy Moses School NYC, USA, Musikgarten teacher license and has over 20 years of experience as a multilingual music educator, from preschool - primary - secondary. She is also a founding member of the Committee for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion of the ECMMA.
In addition to being a formally trained keyboardist, she is an accomplished all-round musician, delighting in choral arranging, directing and conducting band and choir at First Church of the Open Bible, San Fernando, training school choruses & steelbands and has been involved in many musical-theatre productions as well as judging national music competitions in Parang, Calypso, Steelpan for several years.
Ms. Lisa is happy to share this journey with her Venezuelan-born husband José Quiñones and their bilingual musical boy and affirms her God-given passion is to draw families closer together through broad-based music activities, helping children grow to become confident and resilient human beings.
Jáel Crawford is a graduate of the University of the West Indies with a BA Degree in Musical Arts (Special). She also holds Piano and Music Theory Certification from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) and is currently in training on early childhood music education practices from Alabanza Music.
Jáel is a multifaceted musician. She played an integral role in the steel orchestra at Cowen Hamilton Secondary School and was also involved in Mrs. Suite Chorale, Cowen Hamilton Choir, St. Stephens Choir and the UWI Arts Chorale. She is a very active member at her church as a musician with experience playing the bass guitar, acoustic guitar, the keyboard and the drums. She has also performed in various categories at San Fernando Arts Festival and Music Festival of Trinidad & Tobago.
Having been introduced to music from a tender age, she has always been very enthusiastic about musical arts and is continuously striving to improve her proficiency in different genres of music. Jáel is most passionate about teaching young children and endeavours to see others enjoy the journey of learning music and witness the life changing impact that music can have on an individual.
Najja Sampong is currently in pursuit of a BA in Musical Arts (Special), having recently completed her Certificate in Music from the University of the West Indies. Najja showed early interest in music and began playing the steelpan at age 6 and has sat under the tutelage of both Sean Thomas; of the Jazz Alliance of Trinidad and Tobago, and Jamal Glynn; the first MA music therapist using steelpan in his medical practice. She has taught steelpan at music at primary and secondary level and is undergoing in training on early childhood music education practices from Alabanza Music.
Najja has always been involved in several musical ensembles; St. François Girls’ College Steel Orchestra, Shell Invaders Steel Orchestra and the UWI Arts Steel, Chorale, African Drumming Ensemble, and Percussion Ensemble at the St. Augustine Campus.
In addition to her musical abilities, Najja has always had a love for languages and is semi-fluent in Spanish. Her linguistic skills progressed beyond the foundation set at Secondary school when she had the opportunity to work in the Dominican Republic at The Community of Learning; a bilingual institution, as an English Language teaching assistant. She has also served locally as an English Language Arts teacher at primary.
Although admittedly a stickler for precision, Najja is devoted to creative expression in all forms, and strives to educate young learners, through the gift of their innate musical ability guiding them along a path to become articulate and expressive individuals.