Alexander Koops, DMA.

Alexander, Shaelyn, Dana, and Daniel Koops
Koops Family

My 9 year old daughter Dana in the forest by Teika near our apartment:
My 9 year old daughter Dana

My 7 year old son Daniel loves Oga Jogurts!
My 7 year old son Daniel

I welcome you to this course at JVLMA. I am honored to serve as your guide through this part of your education journey. However, you may want to know some things a about me. First, my heritage is Dutch, even though I grew up in Nigeria, and then lived and worked in America. I have retained the Dutch prounounciation of my last name, Koops= "Copes". (I am not offended at all if you pronounce it a different way! I hope I can learn to pronounce all of your names correctly!)

About Me
I was born and raised in Jos, Nigeria, where my parents worked as Bible translators. My father plays guitar and recorder and was always leading our family in singing as well as leading community events and Sunday school singing. My mother plays violin and piano and was always very supportive of my musical development. I have wonderful memories of growing up in Nigeria, though I enjoy living in Los Angeles, California now.

While here in Latvia, I am enjoying living in Teika, where I can easily take runs or go skiing in the forest, when I have time! My family and I are enjoying visiting the museums and sites of Latvia and look forward to learning a lot about your culture and history while we are here. I am a Christian and back in California I attend Lake Avenue Congregational Church (Pasadena, CA). I grew up with a Christian Reformed Church background, though I attended an Anglican Church in Nigeria. Here in Riga, I am hoping to visit several Churches. For now, my family plans to attend Riga Reformed Church.

I hold a DMA in Music Education from the University of Southern California, with minors in theory, orchestral conducting, and horn performance. My dissertation was on the topic of teaching music composition to middle school band. I completed my BA degree in Music Education from Calvin College (Grand Rapids, Michigan) and my MM degree in Wind Band Conducting from the University of Colorado (Boulder, Colorado), where I studied with Allan McMurray. Additionally I studied voice, opera, and orchestral conducting with Nicholas Laurienti, Artistic Director of the Denver Opera Company.

I joined the music faculty at Azusa Pacific University in August 2001 and I am currently, director of undergraduate music education, associate director of bands, and director of the Azusa Conservatory (a community music school for elementary and secondary school children). I frequently conduct the Lake Avenue Chamber Symphony in Pasadena as well as performing regularly on my horn. My wife Shaelyn Theule-Koops, is the manager of the Blue Chair Children’s bookstore <>, and I have two children, Dana (9) and Daniel (7). We live near Azusa Pacific University in the city of Azusa, California--this is about 30 minutes car drive from downtown Los Angeles.

I have worked in California, Colorado, and New Mexico teaching band, orchestra, general music, and choir as well conducting professionally and performing on horn and voice. While in Colorado I worked as the assistant conductor for the Denver Opera Company and led many performances with them including The Magic Flute, La Boehme, The Medium, and The Threepenny Opera.

In this course, Introduction to Kodály, we will operate in a seminar format where you and I will both be presenting and discussing materials. I expect you to be pro-active in making this course practical and applicable to your current teaching situations and/or future teaching situations you hope to be in.

If you have general questions, please email me or set an apointment with me--I love to meet and talk with students. (

May God bless you as you in all you do!
Alexander Koops