“We are each a personal puzzle piece: each unique…and necessary for this world,” singer/songwriter, Monica Jensen says about her song, “Puzzle Piece.” “A puzzle piece isn’t meant to stand on its own either. We need each other to share in our strengths, helping in our weaknesses. ..on a journey to our fit.” Finding where we fit in the greater picture is an enigma to many. But for Monica, answers lie in her calling as a teacher and as a musical artist.
Monica Jensen, a California native who was raised in San Luis Obispo, has always been drawn to music. From a young age she studied instruments as diverse as piano and the drums all the while developing her own style of singing. As a child she worked on her craft rehearsing for recitals or experimenting with new genres until finally venturing out to perform in college. There she also studied music theory as she further honed her skills.
Fast forward many years to Monica as an elementary school teacher in a Title I district. When she encountered students from diverse and challenging backgrounds, she decided to seek out ways to impact their lives in a positive way. It was this desire that lead her to write her popular rap song, “Puzzle Piece.” “I use my songs to acknowledge some of the social/emotional difficulties my students face in life and to present alternative ways to handle them.”
When asked about her musical influences, Monica’s tastes are eclectic. “I enjoy listening to new independent artists on Reverbnation.com and also love world music (especially certain Middle Eastern and European sounds), big band and the classics such as Frank Sinatra.” She also listens to oldies from rock and roll’s beginnings, music of the Romantic Era, modern film scores, and the Christian music artists Toby Mac and Plumb.
What message does she want to convey through her art? “Life presents challenge, but there is always hope. We have a choice in how we respond.” Her inspiration stems from working through the turmoil of life, observing others’ journeys, as well as the developing her relationship with God.
Today Monica is excited to be collaborating with national speaker, producer and publisher, Blake Brandes. With his musical influence, she was able to develop “Puzzle Piece” into more than just a vision she shared in the classroom. It now could have widespread exposure. Because Brandes’s work is all about inspiration and taking a positive outlook, she requested he rap the verses. They recorded the song professionally and now are sharing it with others through Reverbnation.com and hearnow.com.
For Monica, life may have its share of jagged edges, but when we find our voice, the vibrations help then all to come together for an amazing cohesive whole.
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