← Who is this guy?
Yep, that’s Mr. Cook back in his early days at Empresa !
Mr. Cook began teaching music part-time at Empresa during the 1997/98 school year, towing a little red wagon behind him from classroom to classroom when the school was serving 1100 students on a year-round schedule, delivering standards based music instruction to all students.
Over the years, the music program has flourished from those humble beginnings to become the model program that is is today, thanks to the support of the PTA and the Empresa Performing Arts Foundation, both of which remain dedicated to providing this critical element of core academic curriculum.
Mr. Cook attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA before graduating from San Diego State University in 1986 with a Liberal Studies degree. His passion for music has inspired thousands of children that have passed through his classroom, with many of them still involved in music as adults. Some have continued with music at the college level and/or perform professionally.
Inspired by the multiple intelligences research of Dr. Howard Gardner, Mr. Cook’s goal is to present music in a way that “places hooks in the coat closet of students’ minds so that coats of knowledge acquired later in their lives have a place to hang in the closet, standing ready to shield them in all kinds of weather.” Mr. Cook is dedicated to the teaching of music as a way of perceiving and participating in the world that will lead to a rich and productive life.
In 2011, Mr. Cook was the inaugural recipient of the California Music Education Association’s Fortissimo Choice award.
He also does some composing – here’s a video of a song he wrote for the 10th Annual VUSD Festival of the Arts, courtesy of School Board President Elizabeth Jaka…