Karen Livingston

Lower & Middle School Music Director

Location: Mariposa Campus

Wide-open skies, miles of fields, farms, woods and forests, and hills rolling to the Mississippi River are the images that filled Karen Livingston’s world as she grew up. Her Midwest roots and Girl Scouts instilled in her a strong work ethic, respect for others, and a kinship with nature. She has loved music from before birth, and loved school from the moment she began. She played clarinet, sang, majored in music education, and graduated cum laude. That she soon found her way into teaching music was no surprise to anyone; she first taught public middle and high school chorus in Stoneham, Mass.


Karen and her husband, an orchestral conductor, moved to Los Angeles in 1986; their daughter enrolled at Flintridge Prep. At the prep school their son Ryder first attended, they became increasingly dissatisfied with what seemed to them a disregard for child development and no sense of educating toward the future. In 1992 at Pasadena Waldorf School, they found the recognition that humans are spiritual beings whose unfolding capacities must be nurtured. Both sons, Ryder and Taylor, then matriculated at PWS through 8th grade.


Karen served as Parent Council President, Board Chair, and administrative staff member, and in 1998 began teaching music here. 2018, the school’s 40th year, is her 21st year of teaching at PWS. She has taught music to generations of school-aged students and to adults seeking to become Waldorf teachers. She feels a deep connection to the school, the students, families, and colleagues, and to this education. And she gets to sing every day.