Conservatory of Music

photo of Tara Helen O’Connor

Tara Helen O’Connor

audio clips

As a new freshman at Stony Brook, I fondly remember knocking on Samuel Baron’s studio door as Paula Robison encouraged me to do. Mr. Baron kindly told me that he didn’t have room in his class, and I would have to audition for him the following week so he could place me with a teaching assistant. After I played for him, he went over to his schedule grid, made an extra place in it, and gave me a weekly time I was to keep for the next 10 or so years. I was so impressed that he made time for a good student and, as I soon discovered, I was also impressed at the inspiration and availability of the rest of the faculty as well. My experiences at school made me grateful for this kind of environment throughout my education.

As a teacher now, I am keenly aware of the impact I can have on a student’s life, and want to continue in the tradition in which I was trained. I always make the effort to come to student recitals, spend extra time for those that happen to need it, or just talk with them about music, their lives and concerns, and their other studies. This goes for all for the music students that I have contact with, not only my own flute students.

My philosophy of teaching is to train students to be thinking, feeling, constantly searching musicians and learn to use their bodies and instruments as fully, freely, and economically as possible. This is a process that inspires me and consumes my interest. I love the flute. I love the sounds it can make, its range of color, the directness of the physical and emotional experience playing it. I love the idea that, when the flute is up in the playing position on the face, it disappears from the player’s view. To me, it is a natural extension of the human voice. I want others to love it as I do, and I enjoy the challenge of finding the ways to each individual.

Return to top