Marianne Feenstra was born in Port Elizabeth where she also received her school education. Aftermatriculating in 1969, she attended the University of Stellenbosch where she gained her B.Mus.
degree and the O.D.M.S. diploma.
Her first teaching post was at St Mary’s Diocesan School for Girls in Pretoria. In 1975 she was
appointed Junior Lecturer in the Department of Musicology, University of South Africa. In 1978
she was promoted to Lecturer in the same department. In 1979 she also worked part-time, teaching
music theory, at the Pretoria Technikon (now the Tshwane University of Technology). During these
years she also helped found the Musicological Society of Southern Africa, of which she was the
secretary until 1985.
Marianne left Unisa at the end of 1979 to take up a lectureship in the Music Department
(Toonkunsakademie) of the University of Pretoria in January 1980. In May 1980 she was awarded
the degree M.Mus. (cum laude) from the University of the Witwatersrand for the dissertation The
Songs of Richard Strauss op.10 to op.56.
After the birth of her first child in 1984, Marianne resigned from the University of Pretoria and
taught music theory privately until January 2004 when she joined the staff of the S A College of
Music at the University of Cape Town. She left UCT in February 2007.
Between 1985 and 2003 she at various times lectured on a part-time basis at the University of
Pretoria and the University of the Witwatersrand. She also taught music theory at the Pro
Arte School in Pretoria. She has published articles on music theory, and co-authored a book on
musical form and several books on the teaching of music at school level. She has also presented a
number of papers at the congresses of the Musicological Society of Southern Africa, the South
African Society for Research in Music, and at other meetings.
For personal reasons Marianne chose not to be employed in a permanent position at a university
between 1984 and 2004. Despite this, she remained actively involved in education, music
education, music research and related issues. She was a member of the Ministerial Committee:
Music for the National Curriculum Statement: FET (Music). She was the chairperson of the
Standards Generating Body: Music of the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) until this
body was disbanded due to SAQA’s restructuring; was the deputy chairperson of the Musicological
Society of Southern Africa; and was the deputy chair of the South African Society for Research in
Music (SASRIM) from its establishment until August 2008.
In 1999 she help establish the National Union for Music Educators on which she served as the
General Secretary until the end of 2002.
Marianne is actively involved in community affairs. Sponsored by the Music Foundation of Unisa,
she has taught music theory at the Maximum Security Prison, Baviaanspoort. She was also a
member of the School Governing Body of New Hope School (a school for learners with cerebral
palsy and certain learning disabilities), Pretoria, from 2001 to 2003. She for several years also
undertook the music typesetting of the prescribed works for the Tirisano Schools Choral
Eisteddfod run by the Department of Education.
The diverse nature and range of her interests is reflected in the fact that she has co-authored books
published by Nasou Via Afrika that were used in the implementation of the Arts and Culture
learning area of the Department of Education for Grades 7, 8 and 9, and again for the Creative
Arts learning area for Grades 7, 8 and 9. She has also been involved in presenting training
workshops for educators for the Department of Education in Gauteng, the Western Cape and at
national level, as well as for the training company CLASS Consulting.
Marianne is currently co-authoring textbooks for the subject Music at Grade 10, 11 and 12 level. She
is also supervising master’s students at the University of Pretoria. Between times she tries to be a
supportive mother to Annette and Antje, and partner of Chris.
Her books can be found online at: http://www.feenstrabooks.com