May Østhassel

Artistic and executive management

Main Instrument: Piano
Secondary instruments: Singing, guitar and harp
Genres: Classic, rhythmic / pop / rock, folk music, improvisation and chords.

Maya / May Østhassel founded Maya's School of Music And Performing Arts / MAYA Music & Kulturskole in Oslo, Norway in 1981 and has more than 30 years experience in teaching, administration and organization of music and culture. She has worked at the school as a piano teacher, music teacher and as a trainer for "Music from the beginning of life" for children from 0-4 years of age. Prior to 1981 she taught for five years at a private music school in Oslo. Maya now works mainly as the school's artistic and administrative director.
Maya completed bachelor studies in teacher education at the Barratt Due Institute of Music, specializing in music for preschool and elementary school. She also completed 1-year of postgraduate studies in instrumental and piano pedagogy at the same institute. She then took basic and intermediate courses in musicology at the University of Oslo, and 1 year of postgraduate studies in administration and management at the Norwegian State Academy of Music.

She has since childhood, performed at numerous events as a pianist and accompanist. Has participated for many years, as pianist and musical director, in services at the Lutheran Free Church in Oslo. Travelled to Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Avignon and Marseille summers 1990 and 1991 with an international music, dance and theater group organized by YWAM. Has sung in various choirs. Participation in workshops in Norwegian folk music, with Guri Solum, Elin Grytting, Eli Storbakken and other folk musicians from Ole Bull Academy (Univ. Bergen). Member of the Oslo Music Association, including several years in the association's host committee.
Over the years, the Maya has developed an extensive network of educators, musicians and artists who contribute to teaching, performances, concerts and exhibitions at the MAYA Musikk & Kulturskole in Oslo and at Maya's School of Music and Performing Arts, a division of the school recently established at the Norwegian Seamen's Church in New York.
Mayas grandparents and a large part of her family immigrated to the United States in the early 1900’s. Her family lived in Brooklyn NY for more than two generations. Although Maya grew up in Norway, her family has remained closely connected to New York, so that coming to NYC feels like coming home.
Maya is now looking forward to sharing her vast experience within music and the performing arts with the people of New York.

Courses and study trips

  • Study trip with Barratt Due Institute to the Orff Institute and Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria.
  • Participation in workshops in Norwegian folk music, with Guri Solum, Elin Grytting, Eli Storbakken and other folk musicians from Ole Bull Academy (Univ. Bergen)
  • Workshop in Orff-instrumentation and rhythm for children, with Ingrid Oberborbeck.
  • Workshop in African drums (djembe) and percussion, with Eddie Andersen.
  • Various workshops organized by the Norwegian Music Council and Foreningen Musikk fra Livets Begynnelse/ Association for Music from the Beginning of Life.