Lindsey Strand-Polyak, PhD/MM (UCLA), is an experienced educator, performer and scholar​ with a passion for both the history and future of string playing and pedagogy. 

Educator Background

Lindsey Strand-Polyak has been active in music education for over 16 years. She has worked with students ranging in ages from age 4 through adults, and from absolute beginniners to conservatory-bound performers. No matter what the end goal, Dr. Strand-Polyak believes that ergonomic, sustainable string playing is the key for a lifetime of pain-free musicking, and that a good dose of humor makes it more fun.


Dr. Strand-Polyak has always considered her work as a teaching artist an integral part of her career in music. She is currently on the Teaching Artist faculty for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Santa Monica High School Orchestra Program and Elemental Strings, leading sectionals, and giving special workshop-clinics throughout Southern California.


Among groups and organizations she has previously worked with are: Education Through Music-Los Angeles (West LA), the Young Musicians Foundation Mentor Artist Program (Downtown), UCLA Mentor Outreach Program (Compton), The Buckley School (Sherman Oaks), and Cornerstone Music Conservatory (West LA). 

Performance Background 


A career Bruin, Dr. Strand-Polyak completed both her undergraduate (BA) and graduate studies (PhD/MM) at the Herb Alpert School of Music at UCLA. Major teachers include Mark Kaplan, Movses Pogossian, Guillaume Sutre, Ida Levin and Lorenz Gamma.


Equally at home on modern and baroque violin/viola, she has appeared in festivals in both North America and Europe, and performed with groups from across the musical spectrum -- from early music ensembles Musica Angelica, Pacific MusicWorks and American Bach Soloists, artists such as Stephen Stubbs and Anne Akiko Meyers, to pop icons Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson. Dr. Strand-Polyak served as the Associate Director of the UCLA Early Music Ensemble from 2011-2015, and currently directs Los Angeles Baroque- Southern California's first community baroque orchestra. She plays on a violin by Richard Duke, London, 1776. 


For Dr. SP's Latest Upcoming Performances, go to: 




Musicological Scholarship

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Dr. SP's scholarly work is strongly influenced by her career as a performer and educator. Her research focuses on intersections between the worlds of performance and scholarship, most recently centered on Early Modern Italy and Austria in her dissertation “The Virtuoso’s Idiom: Spectacularity and the Seventeenth Century Violin Sonata.” She was an advisee of Elisabeth Le Guin and received numerous awards for her work, including a Dissertation Year Fellowship, the Henry and Yvonne Lenart Research Fellowship, and the 2013 Teaching Award.


Dr. SP has presented papers and lecture-recitals at conferences held at Harvard, McGill, University of Texas at Austin, University of Washington, and national and local meetings of the American Musicological Society, and Arcomelo VII: The International Corelli Symposium in Fusignano, Italy. 


Committed to bringing musicology out of the academia and into her community, she has written program notes and educational guides for groups such as the Angeles Consort, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and UCLA Philharmonia, and given talks and workshops at the Colburn School Summer Piano Academy, Manhattan Beach Middle School and the Buckley School. 


For a sample of Dr. SP's CD Liner notes, check out the recordings below: