Louise Zeitlin

  • Associate Professor of Community Engagement
  • Director of the Community Music School


  • BM, Eastman School of Music, 1985
  • MM, Yale University, 1987
  • Suzuki Teacher Training Certificate, 1989


Violist Louise Zeitlin is the Director of Oberlin Conservatory's Community Music School. In this role, she develops programs and coordinates faculty to provide students from toddlers to senior citizens with exceptional educational and artistic experiences with the aim of fostering a lifelong appreciation of music.

She also teaches courses in string pedagogy and community building in the conservatory's Pedagogy, Advocacy, and Community Engagement Division.

She previously served on the faculty at Baldwin Wallace University from 1994-2015. She has also held teaching positions at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Carleton College, MacPhail Center for the Arts, and Music Institute of Chicago. In addition, she teaches students ages 4-18, who have gone on to win state and national competitions.

Zeitlin teaches and performs regularly at summer music festivals throughout the country, including past positions at the Brevard Music Center and Madeline Island Music Camp. Past orchestral performances include concerts with the Minnesota Orchestra, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Minnesota Opera, the Chicago String Ensemble, and the Chicago Opera Theater. 

Zeitlin served as a board member and secretary of the American Viola Society from 2000-09. She is a founding member of the Ohio Viola Society, has served as president of the organization, and continues to work as a board member.

Zeitlin's musical studies were with Heidi Castleman, Jesse Levine, and the Tokyo Quartet.

In 2006 she received the prestigious Founders Award from the American Viola Society. In addition, she was a certificate winner from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts.

In 2012 Zeitlin was the featured pedagogue in the May issue of The Strad magazine.

Fall 2024

Secondary Private Study - Viola — PVST 055
String Pedagogy I — PACE 104

Spring 2025

Secondary Private Study - Viola — PVST 055
Community Engagement Musicians — PACE 102
String Pedagogy II — PACE 105


Peter Slowik and Louise Zeitlin Featured in Journal of the American Viola Society

January 4, 2022

The Journal of the American Viola Society (AVS) celebrates "Fifty Extraordinary Leaders in Fifty Years" with an article that features Oberlin Professor of Viola Peter Slowik, former AVS President and host of International Viola Congress and Associate Professor of Community Engagement and former secretary of AVS Louise Zeitlin.


Who is Louise Zeitlin?

January 28, 2022

Louise Zeitlin started taking violin lessons when she was 5 years old. She can still see the rows of cookies and sweets that welcomed students and guests after each holiday concert. The experience left a lasting impression. Now, as a teacher of viola and director of the Conservatory’s Community Music School, her students are leaving lasting impressions on her. And of course treats after recitals are a must. Learn more about Zeitlin in this installment of Who Am I?