Meet Tanner VanderKrabben, Upper Campus Music Teacher
Wednesday, October 14, 2020 5:40 AM

Our PTA Membership Chair caught up with Tanner VanderKrabben, our new Music Teacher at Upper Campus, to welcome them to LHCS.
How you would like students to address you?
I prefer to be called Mr. VanderKrabben, but I'm also fine with Mr. V and Mr. Van. When I was student teaching, I had a class (primarily 9th grade boys) that exclusively called me "Captain Krabs". So long as I'm not hearing students say "Hey Tanner!", I'm not extremely particular.
Please share a little about yourself: (ideas are hometown, college, family, pets, favorite food, etc:)
I'm from Orland Park, Illinois, a suburb about 25 miles southwest of Chicago. My mother teaches 2nd grade and my brother teaches middle school math and science. My life in music started when I began playing the cello at age nine, and by the age of 16 I was gigging around Chicago with a semi-professional string quartet. I moved up here to attend the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, originally pursuing a dual degree in Music Education and Cello Performance, but I ended up focusing on Music Education with an emphasis on Vocal Pedagogy. In addition to teaching, I am also on staff at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) - Minneapolis where I am the Handbell Choir Director and Bass Section Leader. I currently live in the Loring Park neighborhood with my cat Sebastian.
What do you love about teaching music?
The reason I went into music education as a career was that I wanted to give back to students what I was given by my own music teachers growing up. To put it mildly, I was considered by many of my teachers to be a "problem student". It was through music that I was able to find my passions, make strong, lasting connections, and express myself as I truly was. Still, to this day, I rely on my musical mentors when I need guidance musically, professionally, and personally.
Do you have any hobbies or special interests outside of the classroom?
I'm an opera singer! During my undergrad I was fortunate to be able to sing 5 full roles spanning Mozart to Menotti. I'm passionate about opera as an art form for storytelling and human connection. I'm also invested in the push to make opera more accessible, which means unpacking and dismantling the inherent classism, racism, and misogyny that is perpetuated in the classical music world.
Outside of music, I thoroughly enjoy cooking! My favorite thing to cook at the moment, especially now that we've gotten into the -ber months, is Julia Child's recipe for mussels à la marinière.
Anything else you would like us to know about you…
My goal as a teacher is for my classroom to be a space where all students can feel seen, heard, and respected. While this may look different while we are in an online classroom, I will still try my hardest to give students a quality music education where they are all a part of the learning process. I'm so immensely thankful to be a teacher in this wonderful community, and I look forward to what the year holds.