Lisa Spraragen

Lisa Spraragen
Dance/Movement, Instrumental Music
English, Spanish
Adult Day Care, After School Program, College/University, Community Center, K-12 Schools, Library, Rehabilitation Center
A graduate of Brown University with a Master’s in Music Performance from NYU, Lisa Spraragen is a classical-flamenco guitarist and dancer. She presented her innovative bilingual guitar workshop for adults “Voz de la guitarra” at NYPL’s Inwood Branch in 2013 under the auspices of Lifetime Arts. Her extensive experience in recreational therapy includes NYU’s Rusk Institute, The Jewish Home & Hospital and The Jewish Guild for the Blind. She is currently teaching dance/excercise classes for adults at the Queens Public Libraries. Original childrens’ programs include “Mi ritmo” at the Three Little Birds Music School, guitar/dance workshops at NYC Parks & Recreation, Jamaica, and classroom presentations through Carnegie Hall’s Linkup! program in NYC public schools. Performs as the Lisa y Josué guitar duo with Josué Pérez. Notable venues include the Theater at Madison Sq. Garden, Columbia University, Equitana USA, Cami Hall, El Museo del Barrio, First Saturdays at the Brooklyn Museum, the Rubin Museum, Newport Regatta, and SUNY Purchase. The duo has received awards from MCAF for their concerts Guitarrazón, New Music for Guitar by Old Friends, and La Hoja. Lisa y Josué perform Community outreach concerts and interactive workshops for audiences of all ages.
Introducing the guitar as a universal instrument, my classes and workshops create a nurturing forum for musical expression. Historical context and personal memories provide a reference point for creative re-exploration of music. My area of expertise is in Latin and classical music, however, my hands-on experience is in customizing my programs for the groups that I teach. Material may include American standards, calypso, gospel, Irish, Italian, and Jewish songs culled from years of working as a music/dance group leader at the Jewish Guild for the Blind. I was the music teacher but my students actually taught me, not only a treasure of great tunes, but the ability to listen to what "older adults" need and are capable of achieving in their recreational classes. My workshops offer the tools for the individual to reconnect with music and dance, lifelong friends. Courses I have taught include guitar instruction, dance, music appreciation, sing-along and performance. My dance/fitness class is adaptable for mixed level and age groups. I use a variety of music (such as cumbia, salsa, flamenco, merengue, cha-cha) in a class that improves stamina, coordination, and balance. The camaraderie of a group dance class combined with the infectious joy of Latin dance music to give students an emotional boost and a feeling of ease in movement.