Patrick Cerria - Creator/Director

Patrick has enjoyed a life in music. He began playing the drums at six years old and has never stopped. He earned a BA in Liberal Studies from William Paterson University with concentrations in Music (percussion and piano) and the Humanities. He then went on to complete a study in Dalcroze Eurhythmics at The Juilliard School in Manhattan where he graduated with honors. He was recently accepted into the Carnegie Mellon University Dalcroze School, and will begin his studies there in February, 2018. He is the music teacher at Westlake School and Crossroads School - both part of the Union County Educational Services Commission.

Prior to becoming a music teacher, Patrick worked as a professional musician. This culminated with a six year stint in a professional rock band that was signed to Sire/Warner Brothers records. The band, Fossil, was managed by the late Hilly Kristal, owner of famed Manhattan punk club CBGB. They recorded two albums, and toured non-stop for five years. After that, he worked at Mercury/Def Jam records in Manhattan for four years.

Patrick began teaching in 2004 with the creation of TumbleJam. In 2007, he (and TumbleJam) received an award from Morristown Memorial Hospital’s pediatric occupational therapy department for his work with autistic children. A year later Patrick (and TumbleJam) was recognized by the New Jersey chapter of Autism Speaks for his positive impact on the local autistic community. Over the course of the last twelve years, his teaching experience has spanned various populations of students and includes teaching in or at:


  • Brooklyn/Queens Conservatory in Brooklyn
  • Newark Public Schools
  • Union County Educational Services Commission (a county district servicing children with physical disabilities, and at-risk inner city students)
  • Intensive Therapeutics (therapy center for children with physical & developmental delays)
  • The JCC of Central New Jersey​

In the spring of 2016 Patrick had a paper published in the international journal Dalcroze Connections on the uses of Eurhythmics with developmentally delayed, and at-risk students. He was also a speaker/presenter at the international conference of Eurhythmics teachers in June of 2016. Patrick has spoken at The College of New Jersey specifically on the subject of teaching and working with at-risk students. 


He has presented staff development workshops across the state of New Jersey and in the midwest to music educators, as well as classroom and special education teachers. As a result of this work, he has presented workshops at the Opening Minds Early Childhood Education Conference in Chicago, IL; the Tr-State Camp Conference in Atlantic City, NJ; and the Serious Play Leadership Conference at George Mason University in Virginia, and at the Afro-Jazz Center in Harlem, NYC.  Patrick will also be presenting at the NJEA Teacher's Convention in November of 2017.


Patrick continues to teach private music lessons to over 30 students a week - both typically developing and with special needs. He is also on the Special Needs Programming Committee at the JCC of Central New Jersey.


Patrick is also a proud husband and father. He and his wife, Laura, have been married for more than 20 years. They live in New Jersey with their two teenaged children, and their dachshund/golden retriever, Cookie. When not teaching or playing music, Patrick listens to his extensive record collection; loves to read, and begins every day with Yoga at 5 AM.