Virginia Olander

Instructor of Music Education

M.M.Ed. and B.M, Loyola University New Orleans; Dalcroze Certification, Ithaca College, New York

Virginia Olander is a music educator in the New Orleans area and currently serves as a Instructor of Music Education. She has been a guest lecturer, workshop presenter, and cooperating teacher for Loyola University's College of Music and Fine Arts since 2000. She received her Bachelor's and Master's degree in music education at Loyola University College of Music and has pursued post-graduate work in Jungian psychology at the Jung Institut in Zurich. While a student at Loyola, she studied piano with James Bastien, taught piano in Jane Bastien’s studio, and served on the staff of the Interlochen National Music Camp. Olander’s areas of specialty include Dalcroze Eurhythmics, school music curriculums, choral conducting, piano pedagogy, preparing pre-service music educators, composing music for children, music production, and Jungian psychology as it relates to the artistic temperament. In December of 2004, Olander composed and conducted “An Advent Journey: God’s People Prepare Together,” a composition written for choir, orchestra and soloists which she premiered at Holy Name of Jesus Church on Loyola’s campus. She has composed Alma Maters including the school song for Holy Name of Jesus. She has been a guest conductor for events such as Pope John Paul II’s historic mass in New Orleans in 1987, the Academy of the Sacred Heart Centennial Mass celebration at St. Louis Cathedral, and the first “Messiah” community performance at Trinity Church. In addition, Olander has presented numerous workshops and lectures including “The Value of Arts in Education” at the North American Educators Conference in 1998, the Grammy in the Schools Project, and has lectured extensively on Carl Jung’s visit to Louisiana in 1924. Since 1995, Olander has been on the music production staff of both the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and the Essence Music Festival, including productions for Presidential Inaugurations and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. She is a member of the American Dalcroze Society, Music Educator’s National Conference, and Founding Board of the New Orleans Jung Society. Olander serves on the New Orleans Public Schools Music Education Commission Program Committee and the Music Education Committee of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.

On April 26, 2007, during Olander's tenure as interim coordinator of the Music Education Department following Katrina, the Loyola Student Government Association presented her with the Cura Personalis Award "for her personal care and concern of students inside and outside of the classroom." This recognition by the students reflects a Jesuit ideal inspired by Ignatius Loyola's love of Magis as one who "cares for the whole person."

Office Location:
204 Communications/Music Complex
Mailing Address: 

Loyola University New Orleans
School of Music
6363 St. Charles Ave.
Campus Box 8
New Orleans, LA 70118

Direct Phone: 
(504) 865-2085
Fax Number: 
(504) 865-2852
E-mail Address: