Laura Cotney

Soprano Laura Anne Cotney has performed in operatic productions and classical concerts across the US and abroad. Raised in a musical family, she began formal musical studies at the age of six with piano and went on to study violin, baritone ukulele, and classical guitar before discovering her passion for voice. Laura holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and a Master of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she was praised in the Cleveland Plain Dealer for her “mastery of the demanding vocal lines” of Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites. An Atlanta-area native, she earned a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Georgia, where she was a resident artist with the UGA Opera Theatre and earned a minor in music theory.

Laura delights in performing the works of Mozart, and has had the privilege of singing many of his heroines across the US, including Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte), Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), Konstanze (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Madame Herz (Der Schauspieldirektor), and the Countess (Le nozze di Figaro). She has also performed the title role in The Merry Widow and Mimì in La bohème. Equally at home on the concert stage, Laura has served as a soloist in works such as Handel’s Messiah, Rutter’s Requiem, Schubert’s Mass in G, Haydn’s Creation, and Vivaldi’s Gloria. She was honored to be featured as the Matriarch in the US premiere of Paul Mealor’s dramatic cantata The Farthest Shore with the Atlanta Boy Choir.

Laura was distinguished as a recipient of the Irvin Bushman Memorial Prize in Singing, was a 2018 winner of the University of Georgia Concerto Competition, and was honored to be a semi-finalist in both the Meistersinger Competition of the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz and the Orpheus Competition. She was a founding member of the Great Lakes Light Opera Company, collaborating with the production team as a librettist, translator, costume master, and assistant properties master to bring their productions to life. She starred in GLLO’s inaugural outreach productions of Douglas Moore’s Gallantry and Mozart’s The Impresario, serving their mission to bring opera to unexpected and underserved communities in metropolitan Cleveland.

A passionate educator as well as a performer, Dr. Cotney has dedicated herself to the enrichment of musical spaces and the edification of both young and experienced musicians. She teaches voice, beginning to intermediate piano, and music theory, and she enjoys working with all ages: from the youngest of beginners to older students seeking to make music a lifelong pursuit. Laura recently relocated to the Twin Cities from Georgia, where she was a voice faculty member at Georgia College and State University. Her voice, piano, and music theory students have excelled in performances, competitions, and testing, earning top ratings at both the National Federation of Music Clubs Festival and the National Association of Teachers of Singing Student Auditions. She enjoys celebrating the successes of her students in recital and stage productions, and she has been overjoyed to see them find new avenues of expression at prestigious performing arts programs, in music therapy internships, and in professional and community performance opportunities.

When she’s not singing or teaching, Laura enjoys catching up on her reading (science fiction and fantasy top her fiction list, along with music, linguistics, and philosophy), gaming, hiking,baking, and doting on her two cats. She obsessively follows college football every fall, and is
looking forward to more Minnesota winters to come!



Geographic areas served

Laura is available for in home lessons in a 15 mile radius of NW Minneapolis and at the Opus studios in Plymouth, St. Louis Park, and Robbinsdale.


  • $44 / half hour lesson
  • $66 / 45-minute lesson
  • $85 / 60-minute lesson
  • $8 more per in home lesson

Attendance policy

Students must provide at least 24 hours notice prior to the lesson time in order to facilitate rescheduling. If a student is more than 15 minutes late for a lesson without notice, the lesson will be forfeited and will not be eligible for refund or rescheduling. For studio lessons, if the student arrives during their lesson time but after the first 15 minutes have elapsed, the remainder of the lesson may be taught at the teacher’s discretion.

If a student must cancel a lesson with more than 24 hours notice, that lesson will be eligible for rescheduling, pending instructor and student availability. The instructor will work with students to reschedule lessons for contagious illness with less than 24 hours notice.

Teacher Cancellation:
If the instructor is not available for a regular lesson, the student will be notified as soon as possible, and the instructor will attempt to reschedule at the time of the cancellation, according to student and teacher availability. If the cancellation is due to teacher illness, virtual lessons may be offered in place of in-home or studio lessons.

Special consideration is given to late arrivals or cancellations due to weather and road conditions. If either party is unable to travel due to weather, virtual lessons may be offered or lessons may be rescheduled.

Student Illness:
For the health and safety of the instructor and entire studio: if a student is ill, please contact the instructor as soon as possible to cancel the lesson. If the student has had a fever within the past 24 hours, has other active, untreated viral or bacterial symptoms, or has recent, known exposure to a contagious illness, the lesson should be rescheduled. For in-home lessons, this provision includes all those in the residence. If the student is able and interested, virtual lessons may be offered in lieu of in-person lessons.


Teaching Philosophy

I focus on student-led discovery in my teaching, and I encourage my students to contribute actively to their own musical growth and to interact with others in music. Collaboration with other musicians is one of the best ways to experience the joys that music can bring and the rich communication that it affords to both musicians and audiences. I encourage my students to take part in recitals, audition for shows, enter talent shows, join a band–find ways to make music together with others!


Since I began teaching music lessons, I’ve had the privilege of working with voice and piano students of many different ages and backgrounds. Though my focus in voice lessons is the development of a strong technique based in the Italianate school of bel canto, my belief is that one can achieve healthy, beautiful singing in many different musical styles. I strive to teach voice students the foundations of classical support and resonance while incorporating age- and style-appropriate technique. My goal is to help you achieve a beautiful tone, easy production, and pleasurable singing experience, no matter the style of music. I know how freeing it can be to find a grounded, calm connection to the body when singing, so I focus on bodywork and movement, and I love exploring how characterization can enhance performance.


In piano lessons, I work to help my students gain confidence, technique, expression, and theoretical understanding right away, and I find the best way to accomplish this is through the exploration of repertoire. I work to find the right fit and pace for each student, and encourage them to explore music that will help them grow as musicians while also being fun to play.


I tailor my teaching to help each of my individual students achieve their goals, so getting to know you and what you hope to achieve through music lessons is my priority!