Meet the Pop Up for Play Team

 
Chalkboard Drawings
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Tina Arenas

Founder, CEO

Tina teaches early childhood music and movement and serves as team leader for the elementary art, music, library, and PE team at the American School of Dubai, UAE. Prior to teaching abroad, she taught K-5 elementary general music and after-school musical ensembles in public schools in Plano and Denton, Texas. While in Denton, she was recognized as a campus Teacher of Year in 2011. Tina received her Master of Arts in Music Education from the University of St. Thomas and has completed both Kodály and Orff-Schulwerk levels courses, in addition to movement masterclasses. She has presented workshops for teachers at international, national, and state music conferences and has served as a board member and teacher representative at the national, state, and district levels. Tina has also served as a cooperating teacher for student teachers and as an invited guest lecturer and artist-in-residence for universities. With over 20 years of classroom experience, Tina has developed a passion for making play a priority in teaching and learning. Her mission is to create an environment where children feel valued and developing community relationships is central to our well-being.

Juan Manuel Arenas

Founder, COO

Juan Manuel is an elementary music and movement teacher at the American School of Dubai, UAE. Prior to teaching overseas, he taught K-5 general music for Denton ISD.  Juan has completed Orff-Schulwerk levels as well as specialty courses and masterclasses. He has a background in percussion directing at the collegiate, high school and middle school level in the Dallas, TX area. As the founder of Global Percussion, a percussion education company, Juan collaborated with expert world percussion and drum set teachers from the University of North Texas to provide classes to youths and adults. Over the past 15 years, he has presented workshops at state, national, and international music education conferences, and has been a guest lecturer and artist-in-residence at various universities.  Juan is also an active performing musician, having been a member of the UAE National Symphony Orchestra and the Dubai Wind Band as well as a member of Dubai-based jazz and pop groups, IMBUE and As Per Casper.  Through his experiences, he has come to believe in the communal power of music, its ability to teach empathy and share one's culture with others.

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