Adrienne Larsen Satyapa, our Cole Scholar of the Month for November, is pursuing a Master of Arts in Music Education. She grew up in a musical family in Danville, CA; her mother played the piano, her father, the violin, and her sister and brother were both involved in the Arts. In elementary school she studied piano and flute, and was a member of the Contra Costa Children’s Choir.
Adrienne studied dance and continued to sing in the school’s choir while in high school. She went to UC Santa Barbara and she studied English and Music, receiving a Bachelor’s degree in vocal performance. Her first job was as a dance instructor, but later she was hired to work at a summer theatre arts camp. There she soon realized her passion was not performance, but teaching music. She decided to return to school for a teaching credential at CSULB. She was fortunate to be hired by the Irvine Unified School District, where she taught kindergarten through eighth-grade general music, choir, and musical theatre for nine years.
In an interview, Adrienne said that she enjoys the complexities of teaching more than performance itself, stating, “I think I perform every day as an instructor.” She thinks that musical competitions should involve student leadership to enhance their understanding of the total performance experience.
She is currently teaching grades K-3 for the Irvine Unified School District where she works with a team of four other educators that teach in 22 schools. They employ teaching methods from Kodály, Orff and Dalcroze. The team works together to create lesson plans and also to ensure that all the students in the District are in the “same place as everyone else” as they prepare for 4th-grade instrumental and performance curriculum. The hope is to, “inspire and instill a love for music for a lifetime,” before it becomes an elective in the 6th grade.
Adrienne likes to read the classics in her free time, particularly those from British literature. Most recently she has been listening to the Sherlock Holmes series. Jane Austin and JK Rowling are also among her favorites. She has a young son who requires much of her attention but still hopes to complete her Master's degree within the next three years three years.