Samantha Murtha, a Newtown mom of one, recently opened a music studio focusing on voice & piano in her home. I chatted with Sam about being a new mom, her love for music, and her new studio, The Music Coop.
Where are you originally from and how long have you lived in Newtown?
I grew up in New York, where I began my career in music as a young child. I lived there until high school, when my family moved to New Fairfield, Connecticut. I have officially lived in Newtown for two years with my husband, but it really feels like 15 years. I actually married my high school sweetheart, who was born and raised in Newtown, as was my best friend. Between the two of them, I truly felt like Newtown was my Connecticut hometown and where I spent most of my time over the last fifteen years. Newtown was the obvious choice for us when deciding where to start our family. We have one daughter, Aubrey, who is just two months old. We’re loving every minute with her!
Child(ren) and Age(s)?
We have one daughter, Aubrey, who is just two months old. We’re loving every minute with her!
Congratulations! How are you enjoying (and adjusting) to being a mom? What has been your biggest surprise these past two months with having a newborn? (Mine was how frequently they eat – you can’t prepare yourself for that!)
Thank you! I dare say, I feel like it’s going really well so far! I feel blessed to have such an incredible network of family and friends. Everyone has been so supportive, helpful and generous. That goes a long way when you’re just getting your footing during this life-changing transition.
I think the most surprising thing for me has to be the daily “schedule”. In a lot of ways, time just seems to fly. I don’t know how we got to two months already, but we did! You’re right about the eating! It feels like my daily schedule revolves around feeding her, and what I can squeeze in between. Everyone says “enjoy every minute because it goes way too fast”. You believe them, but you really don’t see just how fast they mean until you’re living it. It’s really quite amazing!
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
People always seem to be surprised to find out that I’m innately shy and introverted. I actually was TERRIFIED to sing in front of people for a long time. During my first voice lesson at the age of nine, I stood facing the corner and sang Edelweiss,I inches from the wall. I’ve come a long way since then, of course. However, most people are surprised to hear that, as I spend most of my time performing in front of others or teaching in front of large groups of students.
Favorite things to do with your daughter?
Can I say cuddling?! I can’t get enough! 🙂 In all seriousness, anything outside! We try to go for a walk everyday, weather pending. We’ve also really enjoyed going to fall festivals, orchards and pumpkin patches on the weekends. I’m looking forward to more outdoor activities when she’s older, like skiing, hiking and going to the beach.
Favorite spot in our area?
It has to be Fairfield Hills or Main Street. I love going for walks or runs, and those are my go-to spots to take in the surrounding charm and beauty along the way.
What has been your proudest mommy moment so far?
You have a really amazing background in music, both from a teaching standpoint and a performance standpoint. [Samantha has performed with artists like Vanessa Williams, James Earl Jones, and Richard Gere] What has been the best project you’ve been involved in?
Thank you! Hmm, It’s hard to pick just one, but honestly, I just LOVE to learn. I’d say anything that presents me with a challenge. I feel most exhilarated when I’m the least talented person in the room. I’ve been involved with a few cool projects this past year or so that have allowed me to explore things out of my comfort zone, like elements of song-writing, or performing in genres that I haven’t really performed before. Whether I got to be in the room, observing and soaking up anything I could possibly learn, or actually getting to throw my own ideas into the mix, that’s been such an exciting learning experience for me. I’ve been featured on original music, recorded an album, and now can be heard on all major streaming platforms. That was a cool bucket list moment, for sure! It’s encouraged me to continue learning and practicing studio recording, song writing, video production and working on building my own recording studio in my home.
Besides performing, you also have a ton of experience teaching in the classroom. Can you tell us about your background in teaching and how you’re bringing that in to your studio?
I’ve spent the majority of my last 10 years in the middle school or high school classrooms, teaching choir, musical theater, and general music. I also have been the musical director for multiple award-winning high school productions. While I loved those experiences, I really found that I enjoyed the rewarding experience of working with students on a more individual level, achieving their personal goals, the most. So while I now focus my teaching in the private lesson setting, many of my students continue to incorporate my background in musical theater. My experience in teaching musical theater courses, as well as musical directing, has allowed me to give varied insight to my students, aside from just basic vocal technique. For example, in lessons, we may cover audition etiquette and preparation, college audition preparation, theater coaching, and character voicing and placement, to name a few.
What types of classes will you be offering at your studio? Are they all individual lessons and what’s the best way for a parent to contact you?
Right now in my studio, I only teach private voice, piano and beginner guitar lessons, but I do have plans in the works to offer musical theater classes within the community. (Stay tuned!) As my studio expands, I would love to incorporate those classes at The Music Coop, as well as potentially develop an affiliation with theaters in the area, one day. I would say email, call or text is the best way to get in touch with me. I’m pretty quick to reply!