Strings consultant pursues her passion


Chloe Seifert

Strings consultant Laura Pinfield receives flowers at a 2019 orchestra concert

For almost as long as she can remember, orchestra has been a part of strings consultant Laura Pinfield’s life.

Pinfield has been playing the violin since she was 4, using the Suzuki method, which focuses on memorization and musicality.

“I learned to play everything by ear, and memorized everything I played,” Pinfield said. “I began learning to read music when I was seven, and continued to play through high school.”

She first majored in theater in college at Tulsa University, but changed her major to violin performance when the University of South Florida offered her a full scholarship.

“I had dreamed about living in Florida since fifth grade — growing up in Wisconsin — and the financial incentive was good, so the violin ended up being my ticket to Florida,” she said.

After graduating college, she spent two years in Tampa until she received a call from a friend about a position in Brevard that involved playing in the Brevard Symphony Orchestra and consulting in the schools. While doing this, she earned a master’s degree in music education from the University of Central Florida and earned her Florida teacher certification.

“I love both playing and teaching. The two go hand in hand, complementing each other,” she said. “I have done this for 30 years in Brevard and continue to enjoy it.”

While she has served as strings consultant to more than 25 elementary, middle and high schools in southern Brevard throughout the years, she said one school — where she has consulted for four years — stands out.

“West Shore is exceptional in many ways,” she said. “One of many things I admire and enjoy is the students’ genuine love of learning.”

Freshman violinist Karina Garridolee said she Pinfield’s guidance has helped her playing improve.

“I think that she is helpful because she always helps us try new techniques like new bowings or different positions for different pieces,” Garridolee said. “She has taught me to do different things to make pieces more interesting and unique.”

Pinfield said she enjoys many aspects of her career, a favorite being discovering what she can contribute to each orchestra program, and coming up with creative ways to make those contributions. She also said she enjoys working with a variety of players.

“Because I work with all levels of orchestras, I have the fortune of working with some students from the time I put the violin in their hands when they’re in fifth grade until they graduate,” she said. ”I feel most successful when students continue to include music in their lives after high school, in whatever form that is.”

Although she said she enjoys what she does, there is more she would like to add into the curriculum.

“I hope my future will include opportunities to incorporate alternative facets of music into the orchestra, including electric string instruments and electronic music.”

By Chloe Seifert