Van Maanen holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Composition with a minor in music theory from the University of Houston.
Her Master’s degree is from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. In addition she holds the Performers Certificate in Scoring for Film and Television from the University of Southern California. Her undergraduate degree, also in composition with a focus in flute performance is from Baylor University. Her professors in composition were David Ashley White, Samuel Jones, and Richard Willis. Masterclasses and workshops were with Christopher Rouse, Alvin Singleton, Samuel Adler, Elliot Antokoletz, and Christopher Theofanidis. Her work at USC was with Richard Bellis, Jerry Goldsmith, Buddy Baker, John Parker, Bruce Broughton and included additional masterclasses in composition with Bill Conti, David Raksin, Henry Mancini and sax lessons with Buddy Collette