Tuesday, December 16, 2008

About me. . .

 Lisa (Vander Pluym) Casciola is from Saint Louis, Missouri.  She grew up in Sunset Hills.  In kindergarten her teacher, Sandy Christophel,  suggested she try out for a local community theatre production of The Sound of Music.  Lisa got the part of Gretel.

From then on Lisa was addicted. She tried out for every production at Whitecliff Community Theatre. Whitecliff then turned into Crestwood/Kirkwood Community Theatre.  Her "claim to fame" was as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, under the direction of Al Book.
She did over 25 shows with this theatre group.

Lisa went to Cor Jesu Academy where she was Daisey Mae in Lil' Abner.  Lisa also was a part of CBC High School's shows under the direction of Tom Murray. Her favorite role was Catherine in Pippin.
During High School Lisa was lucky enough to be a Swing in Miss Kitty's Saloon Show at Six Flags Over Mid-America.  Lisa took voice lessons from Gary Sims at Webster University and piano lessons for over 15 years. Lisa also took dance lessons at Charmette and Miss Cindy's until her junior year of high school.  The summer before leaving for college Lisa was in The Will Rogers Follies on the Goldenrod Showboat in Saint Charles.  Getting paid to perform sure felt great!

As high school was coming to a end it was time to decide on a College. Lisa decided on the University of Dayton as a Music Education Major.  Halfway through her Freshman year Lisa decided to change her major to Music Therapy. Music and helping others have always been a passion for Lisa.  Music Therapy was a perfect fit.  (A music therapist uses music to achieve non-musical goals in the areas of communication, social skills, gross motor, fine motor, leisure time skills and many more areas. Lisa is currently a board certified member of the American Music Therapy Association and The Certification Board for Music Therapists)

During college, in addition to being in University Choral, Ebony Heritage Singers, Celebration Vocal Transit and Opera Workshop Lisa also had the leading role of Sally Bowles in Cabaret.  Lisa was also a member of Chi Omega Sorority and Sigma Alpha Iota (SAI) International Music Fraternity.  Lisa is also a "Wedding Singer" and has sung over 100 weddings throughout the years.
At The University of Dayton,  Lisa earned her Bachelors of Music, with a emphasis in voice,  and a degree in Music Therapy.  But, in order to complete your degree in music therapy you must complete an internship for 1060 hours.  Lisa was lucky enough to snag a internship at The Judevine Center for Autism under the direction of Maria Carron, MT-BC.  During her internship Lisa was also in Nunsense: Sister Amnesia's County Western Jamboree as Sister Robert Ann on the Goldenrod Showboat.  Upon completion of her internship (Lisa got lucky) and her internship supervisor Maria Carron was starting her own company called Midwest Music Therapy Services.

Lisa has contracted with Midwest Music Therapy Services under the direction of her mentor and friend Maria Carron, MT-BC since 1999, where she is the Director of Group Programs.  Midwest Music Therapy Services contracted Lisa's services to the Special School District of Saint Louis County and The Department of Mental Health. Lisa also had a private voice studio that she ran out of her parents home.  Lisa loved working in the schools and worked very hard to be the very best Music Therapist that she could be.
In 2002, Lisa married Allan Casciola and bought the house that her dad grew up in in the beautiful neighborhood of Saint Louis Hills.
In 2007, Lisa and Allan had a little girl, Maria.  Then in 2008 Lisa had a little boy, Patrick.  It was at this time that Lisa decided to stop working in the schools and focus on her private clients and her voice and piano studio.  Lisa stopped traveling to her clients homes and made her living room her studio.

Over the years Lisa's students have had some AMAZING success stories BUT Lisa's main goal is to see music make a difference in kids lives. Lisa believes that if you are a part of a show whether you are the leading lady or in the chorus you will learn something.   Some of the best parts of being in a show are making new friends (who do not go to your school), working with new directors, having new experiences and growing as a person.  Music can help kids to improve their self-esteem, step out of the box, learn discipline, be accountable for their own actions and simply provide a positive leisure time activity.  In Lisa's studio she works very hard at being fun, fresh, and motivating but also hold students accountable for their own practice and improvement.

Currently, Lisa enjoys teaching over 60 voice, piano and music therapy students in her living room.  Lisa LOVES new and exciting technology.  Her favorite things are her Garage Band, Blue Snowball Microphone, iPhone, iTunes,  Bandcamp, iPod, Blogger, e-bay, and her Mac Book.


Lisa works hard with her students to have successful auditions and to "make it" into anything they try out for.  She tried to make a personal connection with each student and trys to make the experience of voice/piano lessons enjoyable and rewarding.  Lisa is strict in her requirements for practice and it pays off for those who "follow the rules."

Music has the ability to change lives and make life better for so many. Lisa has enjoyed creating this website and using it to share ideas, open up the lines of communication, showcase students talents and to share any information about upcoming auditions.

Thanks for stopping by!