The Blossoming Clarinetist.jpg


Francesca Gray currently resides in Darien, CT and is a chorus director/general music teacher. She instructs middle school chorus grades 6-8, music appreciation and theory, world music, piano and guitar, songwriting club, after school clarinet lessons, and is involved with the music curriculum planning committee. Ms. Gray is certified by The Connecticut State Department of Education to teach music from Pre-K through Grade 12. She has worked as a teaching artist for the Midori and Friends clarinet residency at Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music. Over the summers, Ms. Gray has taught at The Piano Shoppe in Garden City and Kathryn Brickell Music. She has also worked as a chamber intern at Summertrios. In her undergrad, she tutored piano and ear training at The University of Hartford’s Student Success Center as well as served as an adjudicator at the Connecticut Music Educators Association.

As a performer, Ms. Gray is a recipient of the New York Youth Symphony Principal’s Fellowship and winner of the New York Summer Music Festival Concerto Competition. She performed with the Regina Opera in Brooklyn. Noteworthy venues in NYC include Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space, United Palace, and The Frick Collection. Over the past summers, Ms. Gray has attended the Decoda Skidmore Chamber Music Institute, Clarinetopia, Buffet Academy, Claremont Clarinet Festival, Aria International Summer Academy, Interlochen Institutes, New York Summer Music Festival, Drum Major Academy, and The Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts. 

As an entrepreneur, she was the founder and director of The Collaborative Clarinet in Concert Exhibition where she commissioned new works for clarinet by Mannes and New York Youth Symphony composers, involved Mannes clarinetists and other performers to premiere the compositions, as well as invited Parsons artists to create visual artwork inspired by the music. She is very passionate about making a positive impact in the lives of others and nurturing future generations of artists. 

In addition to being a musician, Ms. Gray is also a visual artist. Most recently, she was selected to lead The New School “Paint and Dip” orientation session. She was named a Long Island Scholar Artist and was presented with the Bianchi Scholarship in the Long Island’s Best Exhibition. Her artwork has been featured at the Heckscher Museum of Art, the Huntington Art Council’s High Arts Museum, and the Clarinet Art Exhibit held at Colorado State University.

Ms. Gray received her M.M. from Mannes School of Music and B.M. from The Hartt School. 



Thoughts on Learning

  • Mastery is individual

  • Concept teaching

  • Present concepts in a variety of ways

  • Student assessment, self-evaluation, and reflection lead to independent problem solving

  • Positive interaction and engagement with content and classmates promotes interest in subject matter and builds camaraderie

  • Integrative learning and interdisciplinary knowledge help to develop well-rounded individuals

  • Student centered learning

  • Sequential and adaptive teaching

  • Knowledge of context and understanding students as individuals on any given day

  • The needs of all student learners will be adequately met (Section 504)

Life Outcomes

  • Maslow’s Pyramid: physiological needs, safety needs, belongingness and love needs, esteem needs, self-actualization

  • People skills: respect, responsibility, empathy, effective communication, kindness, givers and takers of helpful constructive criticism, teamwork, friendship and a sense of belonging for all, confidence, leadership, initiative, empowerment, gracious, consideration, gratitude

  • Integrity

  • Build confidence


  • Music for all

  • Sound before sight

  • Comprehensive musicianship

  • Intuitive music

  • Using imagination to create deeper meaning

The 21st Century Classroom

  • Technological, Pedagogical, and Content Knowledge

  • SAMR Model for integrating technology (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, Redefinition)