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About Dr. van Oostrom
Thank you for visiting my page!
I have been a Music Specialist in the Kyrene School District since 2005. Currently, I also direct the Estrella Marimba Band, the Estrella Band & Orchestra, and I teach private drum set, percussion, piano and composition lessons in Ahwatukee.
“Tell me, I forget;
Show me, I remember;
Involve me, I understand”
~ Carl Orff
My mission is to pass along my enthusiasm for music and it's inner workings. In my class, students will experience an active music curriculum where children learn music by doing music. On a typical day, you will see students singing, playing instruments and moving to the music of different cultures and historic periods.
In addition to learning music, my students will develop their language, reasoning, creative thinking and problem solving skills. Kids will also experience intrinsic rewards for their hard work, the responsibilties of being a team member, and they will strengthen their self-confidence, self-reliance, individual expression and creativity.
My comprehensive approach to teaching provides students with the necessary skills and knowledge to pursue further musical studies if they so desire, and the character-building benefits of being a musical person for those students who choose to explore other areas of study.
I am an Orff-Schulwerk trained instructor and serve on the board of the Arizona Chapter of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association. I hold a Ph.D. in music composition from Stony Brook University and degrees in music theory/composition from California State University, Sacramento.
Prior to working in Kyrene, I taught private music lessons for ten years, specializing in percussion and composition instruction, and I held an assistantship at Stony Brook University for three years, where I co-taught classical, rock, and world music classes.
I have worked as a free-lance percussionist, performing with orchestras, chamber ensembles, and rock and jazz groups and am a composer of artsy music for large and small ensembles, soloists, and in the electronic medium. I have received awards and recognitions for my music and music-making from organizations such as Meet the Composer, the Davis Arts Council, the Evelyn Day Foundation, and the Festival of New American Music.
I live in Ahwatukee with my wife, Jessica (who also teaches music in the Kyrene School District), our two kids, two cats and a Golden Retriever. If I'm not in my classroom, you might find me outside hiking, biking, swimming or grilling with my family.