Maria Menendez '23 DMA Music

Maria Menendez 


Hometown: La Habana, Cuba 


What was it that led you to pursue a life in the arts? 

In Cuba I studied piano and choral conducting. Before I left my country, I was already working as a music teacher. I went to the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida where I did my undergraduate studies in keyboard performance and received a master’s degree in collaborative piano there.  

Why did you choose UNCG’s College of Visual and Performing Arts? 

After completing my master’s degree, I settled in South Carolina and explored the possibility of completing a terminal degree in music. I found that the music program at UNCG School of Music had an excellent reputation and decided to apply. I also had a direct reference from a student in South Carolina who graduated from the Collaborative Piano program at CVPA. My intention was to earn a terminal degree in musicstudies in order to open possibilities for better job offers. 

 How was CVPA/UNCG a good fit for you? 

My experience at UNCG has been positive in terms of personal and professional growth. I have interacted with professors who have been a great influence. Professors at UNCG really focus on possibilities and not on limitations. They have known how to inspire and push me toward the best version of myself. 

What is your favorite thing about CVPA, UNCG, and/or Greensboro? 

One of my favorite things about UNCG is the inclusive environment and genuine interest in the student as an individual. As for Greensboro, I’m fascinated by the colors and climate of autumn. Fall is my favorite season of the year. 

What is something you gained at CVPA/UNCG that you will take with you on your next step in your journey? 

I am leaving the School of Music with a flexible mentality to adapt to all situations that I may encounter in the future. I have also learned that to be able to teach I must develop the best of myself. Then Ican give back to my students. 

What are your plans? 

I am fortunate to have a job lined up before graduating. In addition to accompanying, I’ll have access to teaching some music courses and this flexibility attracted me to this position. I consider this a first step. I’m open to possibilities that will come! My fundamental plan is to use my knowledge and talents to contribute to the lives of others. 

What is your advice for current or future Spartans? 

Each one of us has more power than we imagine to enhance our abilities and to help our fellow human beings. We can truly conquer everything on which we focus our energy and intentions in any field of study. 

Story by Terri W. Relos

Photo credit Camila Menendez