Degrees and Certifications:
Bachelor of Music, Major in Piano and Voice, minor in English, Midwestern Baptist College Master of Music, Choral Conducting, Oakland University Associates in Business, Oakland Community College Additional college work includes Westminster Choir College, UMASS Amherst, Pima Community College & University of Phoenix Secondary Certification Middle School Certification Music K-12 Structured English Immersion K-12 Certification
Mr. Keith Koster
I have been teaching award-winning choirs at La Cima Middle School since 2001. In my choral music career, I have taught at the middle school, high school and college level. My experience also spans community and church choirs and musical theater (from middle through university). I have also been teaching a Career Explorations semester elective for eighth grade students since 2009.
Defining Moment in Education
My high school chorus teacher, Gilbert Jackson, a University of Michigan grad and exemplary teacher at Pontiac Central, inspired me every single day. Singing with my chorus and in small groups was vibrant, exciting, safe & fun! I knew my first year with him that I wanted to pursue music as a career.
Core Educational Belief
I believe everyone can learn. I believe an educated society is a productive, civil and caring society. I believe that music impacts all lives and that every student should be afforded the opportunity for a quality music education. A well-rounded education that includes the arts enriches lives and communities.
I've been working with singing groups since the age of 15, teaching singers of all ages vocal, musicianship, choral, sight-reading, sight-singing, team-building and leadership skills. I have taught chorus, vocal jazz and musical theater at La Cima Middle School, Amphitheater High School, CDO High School and the University of Arizona. Middle and High School Choirs participated in state and national choral festivals, Jazz/Madrigal Festival at NAU in Flagstaff and national vocal jazz festivals at Fullerton College in California. Middle School students are prepared to enter higher level high school choirs in their freshmen year and High School students participated in Regional and All State Honors Choirs. Many middle school singers participate in All State Honors Choir each year.
I'm an active member of ACDA (American Choral Directors Association), CHODA (Choral Directors of AZ), AZMEA (Arizona Music Educators Association), ADM (Association of Disciple Musicians) and GALA Choruses. I have served on Arizona music education committees, presented workshops at state and national conventions and was high school Regional Honors Choir Coordinator for two years. I served on GALA Choruses Board of Director for four years, spearheading policies on youth inclusion, leading to the formation of youth choruses around the country. Choirs and ensembles from La Cima Middle School and CDO High School consistently scored in the top 10-20% of choirs in the nation under my leadership. I have had the pleasure of commissioning numerous original works from nationally known composers. Many of these works have been published, including All of Us by Amy Bernon, for La Cima with text inspired by students.