• ELEMENTARY MUSIC STAFF

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Deb Barsotti

Schools: Sankofa United and East Oakland Pride Elementary

Prek-5th grades learn general music skills, drumming and violin, viola, cello and bass.  

 

Deborah Barsotti is a Violist, with over 30 years experience as a teacher, program director, and community building music facilitator. She is a Music Therapy Specialist, and has worked PreK through High School, including Professional Development with adults.

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BA. in vocal performance from San Francisco State, certificate in vocal pedagogy from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, and certificate in Kodaly education.

Natalie Buck-Bauer

School: Bridges Academy

I teach 1st grade through 5th general music at Bridges Academy at Melrose. My background is in Kodaly educations, choir, and vocal education. I also teach recorder to the upper grades and I am learning Ukulele to teach as well. When I am not teaching, I am a classical singer and I have performed in musicals, operas, and operettas around the Bay Area.

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BA in Music; MA in Education, National Taiwan University of Arts.

Hannah Chao

Schools: International Community School, Franklin Elementary, and Think College Now

Hannah has been teaching classical music, with emphasis in piano, cello, and general music in music schools and junior high school settings. When developing a lesson plan, she not only considers her students' learning styles and particular needs but dedicates herself to providing support and motivation in the learning process. Her goal, as a teacher, is to help students discover their musical potential and appreciate the beauty of music.

I currently teach Music for K-5th graders. We focus on engaging students in various styles of music and students will be exposed to music literature from cultures around the world. We also have violin and keyboard learning experiences in our music lessons.

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BA in History and Spanish, Stanford University; MA in Education, Stanford University; CA Professional Clear Credential with CLAD certification

Maria de la Rosa

Schools: Acorn Woodland and Bridges Academy Elementary Schools

HOLA! I’m María de la Rosa, San Jose native and not too quietly passionate about heritage arts, particularly multicultural music. I’ve studied and collaborated with masters of Mexican dance/music; performed throughout California and beyond; and received national awards for my work. As a teacher and free-lance artist, I find joy in developing work that promotes visionary reconsideration of artistic cultural traditions to sustain the well-being of communities. I have my BA/Masters from Stanford.

I differentiate my music program for grades K-5; optional Spanish instruction at each level. I anchor classes in music fundamentals-- such as learning to keep a beat-- working towards creative independence and cognizant musicianship. Students experience music movement, lyric composition, and several musical instruments: body percussion (including percussive footwork), small percussion, drums, ukulele, voice, and keyboard. My curriculum comes from world music traditions, emphasizing transferable social/emotional and cognitive skills developed through community music making.

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Joshua Diamant

Schools: Joaquin Miller and Lincoln Elementary Schools

Hi, I'm Joshua Diamant, but my students know me as Mr. D. I'm a native New Yorker and graduate of Columbia University and Brooklyn College who came west in 2011 and has been teaching elementary music ever since, joining OUSD in 2017. When not making music, I can often be found hiking the hills of the Bay Area, cheering on the Yankees and Warriors, or making a delicious mess in the kitchen.

Students in my program receive 45 minutes a week of general music instruction including listening, singing, movement, hand percussion, tonebar instruments, and ukulele taught according to the tenets of Gordon Music Learning Theory. Students may also take strings and modern band after school.

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BA in Physics, UCSC, Physical Science and Music CA Single Subject Credentials

Steven Faivus

School: Allendale Elementary

I am a professional alto saxophonist and a high school science teacher. I have been developing materials and methods for science arts integration for over 30 years, starting at Roosevelt High in East LA in 1988.I believe Arts Integration is an important piece to solving the achievement gap.

Our music class starts with clapping and saying rhythms. Then we play games with songs like name that tune, where and when, and which poster am I playing. We get out drums to play and read rhythms. We watch, sing, discuss and write about music videos from around the world. We play music games, dance, and draw pictures to write songs.

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Bachelor of Music Ed, Bowling Green (Ohio) State University; Masters in Viola Performance, New England Conservatory of Music; Post Grad, Syracuse University

Linda Green

Schools: Cleveland and Thornhill Elementary Schools

Originally from Toledo, Ohio, Linda Green makes her home in Richmond, and teaches 300+ instrumentalists every year in the OUSD. With her viola, she free-lances with many orchestras and plays in the Carol StringTrio. Linda was the assistant principal violist of the Orquestra Nacional do Porto (Portugal) and was a participant in the 2017 and 2019 Gateways Music Festival in Rochester, New York. She co-founded both the Home of United String Ensembles and the Oakland Symphony sponsored MUSE VIVO Orchestra.


I teach music to all of the 4th and 5th graders by way of the violin, viola, or cello. We do a
a variety of styles, including classical, hip hop, fiddling, and blues, with the idea that studying an instrument will make you a better student overall. I consider joy and creativity to be important components for teaching and learning.

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A.A., B.A., M.A.

David Hardiman, Jr.

Schools: Global Family, Crocker Highland, and Hillcrest

 

OUSD Instrumental Music Teacher since 1991, and have taught at almost all elementary schools. 

3rd Gr. Song Flute/General Music., 4/5 Instrumental Music. Strings, Brass, Woodwinds, Drums.


Jazz Educator at City College Of San Francisco for the past 30 years, teaching Jazz History, Jazz/Rock Improv., and Adv. Jazz Band.

www.davidhardimanjr.webs.com

 

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BA in music, Skidmore College; MM in cello performance, San Francisco Conservatory of Music; MAT with Single Subject in Music Credential, Longy School of Music of Bard College

Jessica Ivry

Schools: Manzanita SEED, Manzanita Community Elementary Schools, and Sequoia

I am classically trained on cello but have always explored non-traditional music routes including rock, bluegrass, jazz and world music. I also sing and play my cello and for 10 years was a founding member of Real Vocal String Quartet, an improvising/singing ensemble. I have recorded and played with many notable artists including singer, Feist on her 2012 album as well as with her on The Tonight Show and at the Coachella Music Festival. Full bio www.jessivry.com

I teach 4th and 5th grade students on violin, viola and cello. Students learn proper instrument and bow hold alignment at each class then learn how to make a beautiful tone and finally learn familiar songs in unison. We work toward playing a song in 2 parts and eventually learning how to play in a small ensemble. Along with the basics of string playing, students also learn the important building blocks of music, including rhythm, melody, and harmony.

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BA, Music Education, New York University MM, Music Education with Kodály Emphasis, Holy Names University Single Subject Credential: Music, San Francisco State University

Katie Jenks

School: Garfield Elementary

I teach elementary music for TK-5th grade. We focus on singing and playing instruments in the classroom in an inquiry-based lens with a Kodály focus on culturally relevant music and singing. Previously, I student-taught in both OUSD and SFUSD.  Her main instrument is voice. She comes from a Kodály background, and promotes singing and learning through discovery, with a culturally relevant curriculum.

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Shelby Lawton

Schools: Grass Valley and Redwood Heights Elementary Schools

 

Shelby Lawton is a music educator from Omaha, Nebraska. Before joining OUSD, she taught at Elliott Elementary, a Title I school in Lincoln, Nebraska, and All Children Academics, an elementary school in San Rafael for students with social and academic learning differences. Shelby is committed to creating a music classroom which provides her students with opportunities to build relationships, process emotions, experience culture, embrace diversity, and become their best selves.

Email: shelby.lawton@ousd.org

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Erica Richardson

Schools: Fruitvale and Lockwood STEAM

 

Erica cultivates personal rapport with all her students and community. She teaches vocal and general music with K-5, working with culturall responsive materials.  

Erica is a well-known Bay area vocalist performer, educator, and coach. She is the lead vocalist and composer with the Kah Liberation, an All-Black Women's band. They are touring to Ghana with Tony Toni Tone.

 

kahliberationofficial.com. Get Free, Be Free, We Free

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BA Theater Arts, Drew University. Single Subject Credential in Music, Cal State East Bay

Adam Schraft

School: Chabot Elementary

I teach K-5 Music. A central component of my music classes is creativity. Every class is different depending on what the students bring to the table. We explore music from different cultures and genres while creating and responding to the music through voice, instrumentation and movement.

Adam started in the rock band world first with vocals and drums and then guitar and keys. He has toured the west coast and recorded several albums. Adam is Level 3 Orff-Shulwerk certified through the San Francisco International Orff Course. and emphasizes creativity through singing, playing and dancing in all of his K-5 classes.

 

 

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BA in Environmental Studies, Lewis and Clark College

Jordan Baxter Stern

Schools: Hoover and Martin Luther King elementaries; West Oakland middle school

Jordan Baxter Stern is a musician and artist who lives in Fruitvale. He performs on trumpet, drumset, guitar and keyboards in various music projects throughout the Bay Area. He grew up in San Francisco and has lived in Oakland for 10 years.

I teach Violin and Keyboard. I'm looking forward to bringing winds back when we don't need to social distance.

 

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Level 3 Orff - 2017 Hidden Valley Multiple Subjects credential - 2011 Mills College BA - 2005 UC Berkeley

Diana Strong

School: Bella Vista Elementary

Diana Strong completed her level 3 Orff certification in 2017 with SF Orff in Hidden Valley, and has been teaching general music for the last 7 years in multiple school settings. She is excited to establish a K-5 Orff music program with the students of Bella Vista.

Diana was born and raised in Oakland, began studying piano at age 7, later picked up accordion, and enjoys all kinds of music, singing and dancing. Her music education came from a variety of sources including learning from her mom, taking private lessons, growing up with summer folk music camps, taking college music classes (though her degree was actually in Geography!), dance classes, drumming with a Brazilian group, singing and dancing with a body percussion ensemble called MoToR, and for the past 12 years, learning on the job as a professional accordionist with groups including Dona Francisca and Wind Weavers. She performs regularly around the Bay Area and composes original instrumental music.

As a teacher, Diana strives to bring joyful musical experiences to the students, creating a learning environment that is calm, creative, and constructive, while building basic musical skills and vocabulary through direct experience and play.
 

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Eric Swihart

Schools: Glenview Elementary and La Escuelita K-8

Eric has taught over 15 years in OUSD, specializing in band and orchestra. He also brings his Orff-Schulwerk creative music and movement training to all his teaching. 

Eric was the director of the US Department of Education 3-year grant, Music Integration Learning Environments, working with multiple OUSD schools to integrate music in their classroom teaching. 

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Sam Telford

Schools: Esperanza, Korematsu Discovery Academy, and Madison Park Primary

 

I teach Elementary Music, grades TK-5th. My philosophy is that Music has something to offer everyone.

At work and during my free time, I enjoy playing guitar, singing, dancing, and about anything to do with Music. I also enjoy running, hiking, camping, off-roading, and about anything to do with enjoying the outdoors.

 

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BA in Music Education

Michael Turner

Schools: Carl B Munck and Brookfield Elementary Schools

I have been teaching music for Oakland Unified for 23 years. I provide pull out and in class instruction for students K through 5th grade. 

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BA in Music Education-Choral from University of WI-River Falls

Sam Wilson

Schools: Oakland Academy of Knowledge, Prescott, and Horace Mann

Ms. Wilson is originally from snowy St. Paul, Minnesota, but has joyfully taught music in South Korea, Utah, Colorado, Texas and has now made her home in California.

K-5 General Music, with a focus on vocal music and equity access for all students. 

 

 

 

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BM in Music Education, Berklee College of Music

Alexandra Zablotsky

School: Greenleaf Elementary

I teach general music to 1st-4th grade, and pullout Middle School violin. In our classroom, we focus on multi-modal and cross-curricular learning, including incorporating dance, movement, visual art, science and languages alongside music-making. Students at Greenleaf explore many styles of music and many types of instruments, and bring music from their own cultures into the classroom. They also compose and create their own music, and explore different types of music recording and notation.

I am primarily a violinist, but consider myself multi-instrument-curious! I enjoy fiddling, playing non-traditional styles, multi-track looping, singing, and teaching. When I'm not teaching, I am spending time with my wonderful 3-year-old, camping, cooking, or making art!

Last Modified on March 24, 2022