Making Magic

Music school is positive force for young and old

By LeAne Rutherford
May 2023

Music is magic. Just ask the 200 students at Martucci Music.

Gabriella Martucci, founder and owner of the new school near McKinley Park, says, “Students have embarked on a physical and psychological journey that will shape them into whatever they want to be.” Music transforms.

“Music is a positive force for healing,” Martucci says. “It makes us aware of what we are feeling.”

Martucci’s father died when she was 21. She found “the power of music to heal my grief ignited my passion for music.” Since 2013, she has channeled her passion into helping students grow through music. “Engaging their mindset, their emotions, their thoughts, music develops the whole child,” she avows.

Martucci Music offers classes for three age groups: 0 to 5 years, kindergarten through 12th grade, and adults. Every class is tailored to each student’s age, experience and wishes. Some want to learn to play the ukulele, some to make music with others, some to meet a challenge and some just to have fun.

Half of Martucci Music’s students are children. Half are adults; 11% of those are retirees. “They trustingly put their voice in your hands,” voice teacher Monica Serrano says. It is never too late to make music a part of life.

And it is never too early. The toddler who bounces to “Baby Shark” can become a mini musician exploring music with baby instruments: little drumsticks, tambourines, triangles, maracas and rainbow xylophones. Martucci Music provides the toys and tools to aid in developing the brain, motor and listening skills, a sense of rhythm, and an awareness of body.

An important influence on child development, “music is multisensory—eyes, ears, touch—addressing the total person,” Martucci says. “Music uses not just the creative right brain, but the left as well. Music is mathematical.”

Ranging from novice to knowledgeable, older students can pursue voice, violin, piano, guitar, ukulele, cello or choir with its social benefits of connecting people. During COVID closings, Zoom sessions allowed people to link from as far away as Idaho and North Carolina.

The school feels purposeful, nurturing and positive. Kids smile. It is a safe place. No scolding. The less threatening, the more learning. Teachers encourage students. In the evolution of learning, students must figuratively crawl before they walk and walk before they run.

To provide musical ownership, Martucci Music believes in empowering students with self-awareness. When asked why she is taking voice as an adult, student Courtney Smith says, “It’s scary to me.” In response, the coach says, “Look at yourself in the mirror. How’s your stance? Tell me what you see. Now try this.” By identifying issues, students can learn how to resolve fear and tension with help from staff.

Martucci Music’s staff, veritable magicians who can pull shyness out of children, have solid credentials. Brianne Cardona and Vanessa Martucci both have master’s in opera performance from UCLA. Monica Serrano has a bachelor’s in vocal performance from Sac State.

The eight recitals per year promote students’ self-confidence. The more they create and demonstrate new skills, the more self-assured they become.

Before class, students are asked to describe how confident they are in performing the song they prepared for the day’s lesson. Where did they struggle? Post class, they check themselves again. How do they think they did? Do they see themselves as better? Relying on their own assessment gives them power and confidence.

What leads pupils to Martucci Music school? Often it is because their parents are in the arts. Or sports aren’t a good fit, so they try an alternative. Or parents want their children to have an opportunity they did not have. Often they go to Martucci because budget cuts in the arts have eliminated music programs in their schools. Vocal student Eliora Hernandez, 9, gives the best reason of all: “It’s fun!”

“If all had music from birth, we would be a different society,” Martucci says.

Martucci Music is at 2830 G St. A Music Funfair will be held 5:30–7 p.m. Thursday, May 4, with the East Sacramento Chamber of Commerce. For more information, visit

LeAne Rutherford can be reached at Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @insidesacramento.

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