About Me

Carol Ann Diven



Music has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.  Like all children growing up in England in the 60s, I was fortunate to have wonderful musical experiences as a daily part of my school life: playing in recorder ensembles in elementary school, and participating in orchestra and chorus in Middle and High School.

I started playing the piano and recorder at the age of 7.  I remember looking forward to my lessons and to discovering the magic in each new piece of music.

Thanks to my mother there were frequent field trips to concerts, where I was introduced to the sounds of the great London orchestras.  As soon as I heard the first bittersweet tone coming out of the oboe, I was certain that would be my instrument.  I started lessons at the age of twelve and have never looked back.

I won a place as principal oboist in the London Youth Symphony Orchestra and toured Europe and the United States as a teenager.  After High School I attended the Royal Academy of Music, studying oboe with Lady Evelyn Barbirolli, who lovingly instilled in me lifelong good practicing habits.

Tubular Bells album coverWhile in my last year studying at the academy, I was chosen to work with Mike Oldfield (you might have seen his moving performance at the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics) on a single released along with his Tubular Bells album (later to be used as the soundtrack for the movie The Exorcist).  This first professional “gig” enabled me to travel to the United States to visit family.  I fell in love with the country and immediately started to get work in the San Francisco Bay Area, playing as a free-lance oboist with many orchestras and chamber groups, including some work with the San Francisco Symphony and the Ballet Orchestra.  I have continued to work as a free-lance musician, playing in orchestras and giving recitals all over the country.

As my first child grew up and started school, I became interested in different methods of education.  Wanting to combine my great love of music with my growing appreciation for the qualities of Waldorf Education, I embarked upon my teaching career.  Over the years I have taught in Waldorf and Charter schools across the country, teaching music to children from Kindergarten through High School.  I also spent 15 years teaching at Rudolf Steiner College — where I helped to establish a strong music program — teaching the teacher trainees how to work with the music curriculum for the Waldorf Schools, which is specially designed to meet the children at each developmental stage of their lives.

I opened my first private music-teaching studio over 25 years ago and have continuously taught piano, oboe, and recorder to children and adults throughout the ensuing years.  As an extension of the studio I also mentor teachers, coach chamber ensembles, and conduct a community chorus.  Recently I have also become involved with a not for profit High School performing ensemble, conducting the orchestra for musical productions.

I wish to pass on my love and appreciation for music to each student, and to bring them the values and wonder of music as lovingly as my own teachers brought them to me.

“Carol is not only an incredible musician, she is an outstanding, devoted, enthusiastic and inspiring teacher. Whether she is teaching students the oboe, the recorder, the piano, music theory, voice coaching or offering organization and English tutoring, she has the ability to meet each students where they are and inspire them to unfold and blossom in a way that is truly remarkable. She challenges her students to reach new horizons with great warmth, compassion, and enthusiasm.”
—Lael Rasch