Laura Eakman

Violin and Viola lessons in Manhattan, Kansas




about laura

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, performed with new music ensembles in Colorado, and was 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 House.

Laura  currently serves as Strings Division Chair at Community School for the Performing Arts at Kansas State University. In this role, she runs a Suzuki Program, Chamber Music Program, Summer Camp, Group violin class and teaches private violin and viola lessons. Prior to her work with Community School for the Performing Arts, Laura was a Teaching Artist with El Sistema Colorado which serves primarily disadvantaged students in the Denver Area. Dr. Eakman has also served as head of the music department at Colorado Early Colleges, Parker where she instructed a Music Appreciation courses and started a String Ensemble. 



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 private instruction with Roger Chase, Mathias Tacke, and chamber coachings Robert Chen, the Vermeer Quartet, and the Jerusalem Quartet. 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.





“Beautiful Heart; Beautiful Tone” - Dr. Shinichi Suzuki

I whole hearted-ly believe in Dr. Suzuki's core ideal that important character traits may be acquired through learning the violin. The dedication, commitment, persistence, and creativity it takes to play an instrument well, continues to enhance every aspect of a persons' life, long after lessons have ended. Just as necessary: humility, patience, understanding and tolerance can be learned through involvement within a like-minded community, such as group lessons and recitals.

Process Driven Learning

Because we are developing much more than just violin technique, importance must be placed on the process of learning instead of a finish line. Essentially, I want my students to understand, how to learn through tackling the everyday obstacles of learning to play the violin at a high level. By mastering practice techniques such as repetition, problem solving, and experimentation, students are able to gain satisfaction and confidence by overcoming difficult challenges and expressing themselves through music. At the same time enormous effort is placed on allowing the student to keep an open mind by creating a positive and non-judgmental environment.


My goal as a violin and viola teacher is to help my students play their instrument to their highest ability. We establish ideal mental and physical habits from the very first lesson: Posture, remaining tension-free. tone production and left hand organization are stressed. Studies include Suzuki repertoire, exercises, etudes and additional pieces catered to each individual students' needs.

Thanks for showing me how much fun and how rewarding the violin truly is.
These past few years of lessons have really helped me grow as a player.
You have inspired me to love violin.
I plan on playing in college and beyond!
— - Christina Rentner (former student)
You have a very nice way of empowering the good areas and kindly teaching the areas that need improving, and you have a very fun and honest personality, that is what I look for, someone that is going to make it inspiring, and engaging.
— Meral Mecum


All lessons are through:

Community School for the Performing Arts

Program Offerings


Traditional Private Lessons

One on one, private lessons will take place once a week for 30, 45, or 60 minutes depending on level. Posture, technique, and musical selections will be emphasized and tailored to the need of each individual student using a variety of repertoire, etudes, exercises, and scales. Parents are welcome and encouraged to observe. See my teaching philosophy for more information.

CSPA’s Suzuki program

CSPA’s Suzuki Strings Program is encouraged for students who choose to begin the violin or viola between the ages 3 and 8. This program includes Group Classes and Private Lessons; when both are attended, students excel more quickly and have more fun making music with others students. Suzuki lessons require that a parent attend all lessons and practice with their child at home. Ear training, and technique through Suzuki repertoire and review pieces are emphasized. For more information about the Suzuki method visit:



Group Violin classes at the mac

Violin group classes at the MAC are best for families who want to experience learning the violin in a fun environment but are unsure of their commitment level. Based on the Suzuki Philosophy, these classes focus on technique, ear training, and making music with others. Classes meet once per week for 30 minutes; parent attendance and at home practice highly encouraged. Many of our group class beginners go on to join our Suzuki Program!

chamber music intensive

Offered during the Spring Semester, CSPA’s Chamber Music Intensive allows pre-college students to study chamber music at a high level. Coaching sessions are one hour with highly qualified instructors and groups are required to rehearse on their own for an additional one hour per week. Rehearsal strategies, leadership skills, and score study are emphasized in this program. This is a great opportunity for groups preparing for Solo and Ensemble Contest, or students who wish to advance their playing at a faster pace.



student photo gallery





I can't wait to answer any questions that you have - please let me know a little about yourself in the message section or by calling: (815)289-2010.



 upcoming events


May 13, 2017: CMA Suzuki Group Class Recital; Center for Musical Arts, Lafayette, CO; 10:30am

May 17, 2017: El Sistema Swansea Site Concert; Swansea Elementary School, Denver, CO; 4:30pm

May 20, 2017: Before the Flame, LifeArt Dance Ensemble and Pyxis Reckon; DL Parsons Theatre, Northglenn, CO; 8:00pm

May 21, 2017: Before the Flame, LifeArt Dance Ensemble and Pyxis Reckon; DL Parsons Theatre, Northglenn, CO; 2:00pm