Staff Spotlight: Kat Oak, Office Guru

This month we would like to give you a glimpse behind-the-scenes here at Off The Wall and introduce you to one of our amazing office support staff members, Kat Oak.  

Kat has worked remotely with OTW for a little over a year now and in that time, she has done a variety of things to help the school run smoother and gear up for the growth we are experiencing.  While you may never have seen or talked to Kat, I assure you that if you are a student at OTW, she has helped you in ways you never knew.

Her OTW Work.

When we asked Kat to describe to us what she does for OTW, she said “A little bit of everything!”  Truth!   Kat was brought on as a project manager, and through this role she has worked with others at the school to improve processes, update technology, create new programs, develop new marketing materials, and help the school scale as it grows.  Kat tells us that she loves the variety and “I also really love that the work I’m doing is contributing to the growth of a music school, and that the service we’re providing has such a meaningful and positive impact on the community.”  What a fantastic mindset!

Music Experience.08 Ireland Kat

Kat has some experience with music lesson herself as a kid.  She started learning to play the piano at 3 years old and continued to play music and sing (even in bands) until her late 20’s.  “One thing that I do attribute my early exposure to piano via the Suzuki method is that I have an amazing ear for languages, and can pick them up really easily. I think learning how to play by ear at such a young age helped develop that element of my cognition at an even deeper level.”  She strongly believes that kids should take music lessons ASAP so they can reap many other benefits later in life!

The best piece of advice Kat has ever received was overheard from a teacher, who told another student that “only boring people are bored”.  This has inspired her to always remain curious.  Perhaps that is why she is good at so many things!!

Travel & Life’s Lessons.

One of Kat’s favorite things to do is travel.  She had an amazing experience when she was 19 that has helped shape her view of music and creativity in general.  We wanted her to share it with you in her own words.

08 Kat Oak Spotlight“When I was 19, I was broke and I wanted to live in another country, so I volunteered for room and board on an organic farm in Ireland. It was an amazing experience, and I hitchhiked around the country afterward. As I mentioned before, I was a musician in bands, but in the US it’s so often
commercially-oriented — especially if you were gigging in Seattle in the early and mid 90s. My experience of music in Ireland — that it was part of the community, how they expressed and connected with each other in a very natural and authentic way — totally changed my own personal approach to music. And, ultimately, to my own creative projects in general…seeing how art can be part of someone’s life as an enrichment was transformative for me.”

We hope you have enjoyed our little glimpse behind the scenes and if you do happen to run into Kat on the rare occasions that she is at the school, make sure to tell her hello.  She is sure to be working hard on something to benefit us all!

Two Truths…and a Lie!

Can you figure it out?  Two of these things are true….one is a lie.  Which is which?

  1. I was once chased by a gang of wild turkeys up a muddy mountain in Central America
  2. I have a tattoo of a phoenix on my back
  3. Even though our school didn’t require uniforms or have a dress code, I wore the same dress every day to high school.


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