OSU Violin and Viola Studio


Welcome!

horizontal headshot LTAThank you for visiting the online home of the OSU Violin and Viola Studio!  I'm Dr. Laura Talbott Clark, Associate Professor of Violin and Viola.  I hope that this page can help give you an idea of what studying violin and viola at OSU is like.  Please contact me if you have questions or would like to plan a visit to OSU.

Studio Culture

Our studio typically has an enrollment of 10-15 students, composed of mostly undergraduate students (music majors) and up to 5 graduate students. We meet weekly for a studio class, in which we practice performing for each other, as well as refining our ability to listen deeply and offer meaningful feedback for our colleagues. Our studio is a ‘drama-free’ zone, in which we work to support each other in our individual artistic goals, with the shared understanding that as artists, we each have something unique to offer to the world of music.

I encourage many of my students to teach during their education at OSU; some students have large private studios. Others have worked toward Suzuki certification through our OSU Community School. Teaching reinforces many of the issues that we discuss in our own lessons and gives my students a chance to positively influence the next generation of musicians.

OSU offers many performance opportunities for our students, both on campus (OSU Symphony, solo and chamber music recitals, and student chamber ensembles) and within the region (Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Enid Symphony), for students interested in freelancing.  Many students stay active performing chamber music gigs (Orange Quartet), as well.

My Teaching Philosophy

I believe in empowering students to engage in music-making as not just a means to an end, in terms of a career, a degree or a performance, but as a life-long, continually evolving forum for discovering how they process information, how they experience the world, and how they express their thoughts and feelings about what they encounter. While practicing and performing challenge even the most motivated of musicians at times, we work to find ways to keep it a flexible process that responds to the musical and personal needs of the student. Music does not exist in a vacuum, so I work with my students to integrate their musical goals into the fabric of their lives beyond the practice room.

I believe that my students already know best how to teach themselves, but might not be mindful of what stands in the way of accessing this inherent wisdom. My role is to ask more questions than I answer, inspiring my students to own the process of learning new skills and concepts. If I do my job properly, the student should become her own best teacher. As their professor, I provide a basic structure to the teacher/student relationship: I help guide students in terms of repertoire sequencing and technique development, but past the sophomore year, I encourage students to define their own goals and to be involved meaningfully in crafting the direction of their undergraduate education. For graduate students, I serve as a career coach as much as a violin/viola instructor. Together, we shape the course of their graduate work based upon their career aspirations, as well as their short-term musical goals.

I feel deeply influenced by my teacher’s tutors, including Ivan Galamian, Josef Gingold and Dorothy DeLay, and utilize Ms. DeLay’s repertoire and etude sequence, as well as teach from the Galamian scale system. My own principal teachers, Paul Kantor, Chris Teal and Peter Zazofsky, inspired me to think and feel deeply about music in the practice room and on stage, to make music in real time when performing, and always to meet your students and colleagues with respect and compassion.

Performing

Performing remains a deeply fulfilling means for me to engage with music and our community. I often feel that in one hour on stage in performance, I learn more than I do in weeks of spending time alone in a practice room! For this reason, I work with my students to make sure that they get the amount and quality of performance opportunities that best suit their needs as artists. Many of my students perform extensively as members of chamber ensembles, while others focus on solo recitals/competitions or large ensemble/audition performing opportunities. In all cases, we spend time discussing the psychological side of performing, working to find solutions to dealing with performance anxiety and other blocks to their direct communication with the music and the audience.

More Information

Studio Events
Studio Alumni News