Our Faculty

Claudia Schaer

Teaches: Violin

“I like to vary what I do with each student based on the student’s own tastes and personality.”

• D.M.A. State University of New York at Stony Brook
• M.M., The Juilliard School
• B.M., The Juilliard School

A native of Calgary, Canada, Claudia began playing violin at the young age of 4. “My mother and one of my sisters played violin. Everyone in my family played piano and another instrument.”

An energetic and warm teacher, Claudia enjoys teaching students 6 and older, including adults. Her approach includes using a succession of skill-teaching repertoire. “However I like to vary what I do with each student based on the student’s own tastes and personality.” She is dedicated to helping each student figure out how the violin fits into his or her life, whether as a serious passion or an enjoyable hobby. “I’ve found that incorporating the way a student naturally learns also makes for the greatest progress in terms of violin-playing.” She also feels it’s extremely important to have an enjoyable spirit in the lessons. “I remember one lesson in which my student and I started telling jokes back and forth. We now think of jokes to tell each other each week, and it’s been a fun way to help her also build rapport, self-esteem, and concentration.”

As a musician, Claudia enjoys performing in many venues including solo, chamber music, and orchestra ensembles. Claudia greatly enjoys playing chamber music because “the communication with the audience is so direct and the repertoire is phenomenal. Chamber music allows artistic freedom and interaction at the same time in performance.” She also enjoys continuing to play piano on the side which she studied seriously until going to college. “Playing piano gives me an opportunity to hear all the parts of a score.” She includes her college teacher Sally Thomas as one of her major influences because “she taught me a great deal about life and music and their interconnectedness, all at the same time.”

“In addition to my musical studies, I have taken many college philosophy classes, and currently write papers linking philosophy and music.” Claudia also enjoys hiking and nature and tries to spend as much time outside as possible. “Naturally, I’m also passionate about conserving our beautiful environment.