Skip to body


College of Arts and Humanities

Dr. Michelle Rahn

Viola HomePerformance Standards | Audition

Lecturer of Viola

Violist Michelle Rahn enjoys a career that balances teaching and performing. As an experienced teacher and viola instructor at Central Washington University, Dr. Rahn works to inspire curiosity; form healthy, efficient and musical players; and provide all the tools necessary to continue learning after graduation. She also works with youth, local youth symphonies, and maintains a private teaching studio. As a performer, Dr. Rahn is an active freelancer, soloist and chamber musician. She has performed in China, Italy, Germany, Mexico, Bermuda and across the US. She enjoys premiering new works and has recently performed pieces by Brian P. Buch, Rodney Lister and Andrew Smith.

Dr. Rahn is a native of southern Oregon and studied for her undergrad at the University of Oregon in violin performance until, upon hearing the Walton Viola Concerto, was compelled to switch to the viola. She received a Doctor of Musical Arts, Performance Diploma and Master's degree from Boston University. Her primary teachers were Michelle LaCourse, Edward Gazouleas, Leslie Straka and Steven Ansell.

While attending Boston University, she received the Dean's Scholarship, the String Department Honor’s Award and won the viola prize at the Boston University Bach Competition. Dr. Rahn was a participant in the National Orchestral Institute (2008), the International Chamber Music Course in Positano, Italy (2008), the Karen Tuttle Coordination Workshop (2007) and the Jascha Heifetz Music Institute for the Development of Personal Style (2003). 

Previous appointments include faculty positions teaching viola, orchestral excerpts and chamber music at the University of Oregon School of Music and Chemeketa Community College.

During the summer, she performs and is on faculty for many festivals including: the International Chamber Music Course in Positano, Italy, the Community Music Center Chamber Music Program in Portland, Oregon and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute Junior Strings Intensive in Lenox, Massachusetts. She is a performer in the Siletz Bay Music Festival and the Astoria Music Festival.

Dr. Rahn approaches every pursuit with creative, positive energy. In her free time, Michelle enjoys baking, hiking, gardening and watching classic movies with her husband and cat, Bijou.

Dr. Michelle Rahn


Take the Next Step to Becoming a Wildcat.