Alumni Profile: Matthew Stensrud

2013, Music Education, MM

LOCATION: HARPERS FERRY, WV DATE: November 23, 2013 -- CAPTION: Engagement Session of Matthew and Michael. CREDIT: Jay Premack

Matthew Stensrud is currently in his seventh year teaching kindergarten through fifth grade general music at Annandale Terrace Elementary School, a Title I public school in Fairfax County, Virginia. He received his Master in Music Education from George Mason University in 2013 and Bachelor in Music Education from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in 2010. An avid Orff Schulwerk educator, he completed his Orff Schulwerk certification through George Mason University in combination with the San Francisco International Orff Course and is an Orff Schulwerk approved Teacher Educator of Movement.

Matthew frequently writes about and presents workshops across the country on the unique combination of Responsive Classroom and Orff Schulwerk in the elementary music classroom. He served on the board of the Middle Atlantic Chapter of the American Orff Schulwerk Association and was a key content contributor for the recently published Responsive Classroom for Music, Art, PE and Other Special Areas. He continues to work with the George Mason community through guest lectures for the undergraduate general music methods course and serving as a cooperating teacher for seniors in Mason’s music education program.

He also serves as Lead Mentor for Annandale Terrace Elementary and is a Pyramid Leader for Fairfax County Public Schools. Matthew is also involved in federal and state policy and advocacy, is a member of the National Association for Music Education’s (NAfME) Advocacy Leadership Force, an Influence Leader with the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) and was selected as part of twelve arts educators from across the country to meet with the Department of Education and Secretary John B. King, Jr. to speak on the importance of arts in education earlier this summer. One of his recent articles, What Students Have to Gain From the Arts, was published by both The Education Trust and NAfME.

Beyond the classroom, Matthew is also active in his local community and is Chair of the Alexandria Commission for the Arts. There, he works with local citizens and government officials on arts policy regarding public art, arts and culture, grants programs, education, and more. He lives with his husband, Michael Cohen, in the Alexandria neighborhood of Del Ray.