Welcome to the Outside

You are a musician. You filter your experience of the world through your ears and your heart. But in your work in classical music, it may seem like parts of people’s identities have to be left outside. Welcome to the outside: an oasis of inclusivity is here for you and your students.

Be you.



Improve your skills in music theory, composition, or writing.


Diversify your repertoire: commission a bespoke composition.

What other musicians say

Krystal is a versatile musician, whose experiences include classical composition and music for Christian worship…. In February of 2018, I had the opportunity to world premiere a trio she wrote for clarinet, cello and piano. The piece didn’t disappoint, and the performers programmed it again for a concert later in the year.

Krystal is also an astute editor. In addition to my career as a musician, I am a professional writer. Krystal’s insights into a novel I was planning to submit to a publisher proved valuable enough that I have since asked her for further assistance.

In addition to her many talents, Krystal’s even-tempered personality makes her extremely easy to work with. I recommend her highly.

Maria Corley, pianist, educator, writer

As an academic advisor, I worked alongside Krystal to help college students navigate the stressors of life along with their academic coursework. Krystal was an effective professor who not only taught with pedagogical excellence, but also demonstrated a sincere care for her students’ well-being. She accommodated students through unique circumstances, offered extra academic help to those who needed it, and went out of her way to lift up students who were going through health challenges or family problems.

Sara Jones, Academic Advisor, VCUarts

Be heard.

Your Listener: Dr. Krystal J. Folkestad, nee Grant

14 years

of teaching experience in college classrooms


students of various ages and backgrounds in after-school programs, summer camps, a homeless shelter, and a senior center


in collaborations, concerts, commissions, and conversations from Birmingham, Alabama, to Brooklyn, New York, to Chico, California.

Why Not?

Meet with Krystal for free for 15 minutes to share your story and discuss your goals.


Krystal is a composer-pianist, writer, and teacher. Ars Arvole (“art” in Latin + “tree” in Judeo-Spanish) is her work of supporting students, featuring underrepresented composers, and highlighting social enterprises.

Being a musician has made her a listener. Your voice is welcome here.