Jerry Jay Cranford
Kiirsi Maunula Johnson
Oscar Vazquez Medrano
Community School for
the Performing Arts and Manhattan Arts Center are pleased to announce the
arrival of Dr. Laura Eakman as Viloin/Viola Teacher.
Laura currently teaches group violin classes at Swansea Elementary School as
a teaching artist with El Sistema Colorado which serves primarily disadvantaged
students in the Denver Area. Dr. Eakman also serves as head of the music
department at Colorado Early Colleges, Parker where she instructs college-level
Music Appreciation courses and leads the String Ensemble. She has been the
primary violin teacher at Lake County Music and Bloomingdale School of Music,
and held an adjunct faculty position teaching private violin and viola lessons
and coaching chamber music at Hoffman Estates High School and Conant High
School in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.
Laura received her Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from the University of
Colorado, Boulder where she served as Erika Eckert’s teaching assistant and
studied chamber music with members of the Takacs Quartet. Her doctoral
thesis, Teaching the Violin with Purpose: strategies designed to
foster musical, cognitive, and social development in low-income students, has
been a resource for El Sistema sites, and has been adapted to suit the Suzuki
philosophy in a forthcoming article in the American Suzuki Journal.
Laura received both her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Northern
Illinois University in music performance and pedagogy where she studied with
Richard Young and Anthony Devroye. Additional studies include coaching with
Roger Chase, Mathias Tacke, and Robert Chen. Dr. Eakman's pedagogy
training has included Suzuki registration with Ann Montzka-Smelser as well as
classes and workshops with Mimi Zweig of Indiana University and Rebecca Henri
of Peabody Conservatory.
An avid freelance and chamber musician, Laura has performed throughout the
United States and internationally. As a chamber musician, Dr. Eakman has collaborated
with the assistant concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic, Michelle Kim, as
well as renowned soloist, Elizabeth Pitcairn. She has worked with the Bill T.
Jones and Arnie Zane Dance Company, performs with new music ensembles in
Colorado, and is a founding member of the Avant Duo, Kylian Quartet, and
Camus Quartet which toured the Netherlands in 2009. She has served as assistant
principal violist with the Northbrook Symphony Orchestra, the Kishwaukee
Symphony Orchestra, and the Lasalle Bank Messiah held at Chicago’s Civic Opera
Dr. Eakman will teach Group Violin lessons at Manhattan Arts Center and will
have a private studio through Community School for the Performing Arts. For
information on classes and lessons with Dr. Eakman, please contact Manhattan
Arts Center at 785-537-4420.