About Oakway Studios
Oakway Studios publishes and distributes harp music written and arranged by Jacqueline Pollauf. This music falls into several categories including pedagogical exercises, solo works for harp, and chamber pieces. In addition to the thirteen pieces and books currently available, many more works are in various stages of completion.
A Brief History
I can't remember a decisive moment when Oakway Studios came into being, but at various times I found myself doing things like publishing some music I'd written or producing a CD I'd recorded. Not being very good naming things, I decided to put these ventures together under the name of Oakway Studios, since I happened to be living on a street called Oakway Road at the time.
Over time Oakway Studios expanded and now publishes many of my compositions and arrangements, although I have other works available through a variety of publishers. I have several different areas of interest in my compositions for Oakway Studios. One of the first areas that captured my attention when I began my musical career was exercises for students. This surprised me, because most of my experience with exercises came from playing the piano as a child, and I had never given much thought to how many technical skills I had gained from working through a few exercises (more or less compliantly) each week.
But as a teacher, I began to realize just how valuable exercises can be. This was driven home to me the first time I had a student make the switch from the lever harp to the pedal harp. On the one hand, you don't want to give students pieces with too many pedal changes, because this is overwhelming when you're brand new to moving pedals. On the other hand, if you're only moving a couple of pedals per piece, how are you ever going to get good at it? What I wanted was something that would give students lots and lots of practice moving pedals while systematically covering all of the various types of pedal changes, and progressing from the easier skills to the harder skills. Essentially I wanted an incremental exercise book focused solely on pedal changes so I set out to write one.
Here I am working on an exercise book in my living room.
I figured, in my usual overly optimistic way, that I would just sit down and whip off a few exercises and that would cover it. But there was so much to it. What skills should I cover? Was there a way to break down some of the more complex skills into steps? What was the best incremental order? I kept writing and revising and expanding and testing the finished exercises out on batches of students, only to make changes based on how well they did (or didn't) work.
Finally, in 2016, I published my first exercise book, Pedal Exercises for Harp. It was a moment of accomplishment and pride for me, and I'm so pleased whenever anyone tells me how much their pedal changes have improved through using this book.
During that whole process, I started working on other exercises, all from the same basic premise of wanting to delve deeply into a skill and work on it thoroughly and systematically. In 2018, Exercises in Harmonics (with versions for pedal and lever harp) was published, followed by Glissando Exercises in 2020.
I also began arranging chamber music as need arose. Sometimes I would encounter a combination of instruments without much repertoire, or a student who needed chamber music at a particular level. A third area of interest for me is solo harp pieces, mainly written and arranged for myself. This is less about filling any particular need and more about becoming semi-obsessed with various songs or snippets and creating something beautiful for the harp from them.
More works in all areas will be forthcoming! Thanks to everyone who has purchased from Oakway Studios, and to all of those who have prompted me to expand it. I appreciate all the supportive emails and positive reviews on Amazon!