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Learn More About Sarah
General Teaching Style
I primarily teach beginning through intermediate level lessons to students of all ages. I also believe that it is beneficial to work with multiple teachers over the course of learning to experience difference perspectives, styles and feedback. I enjoy teaching those who come with an eagerness to learn, yet am eager to coach and provide encouragement to those who feel uncertain or shy in order to help them develop their own confidence and passion for music.
I cater lessons to individually meet the goals of the student, and I customize curriculum based on age and interests.
For young students, this means providing fun music that encourages them to practice and have fun learning their instrument. For older students, this means working in both method books as well as in other outlets of study like longer solo pieces to work towards over longer periods of time in any genre.
Curriculum-wise, I typically use Faber and Faber's Piano Adventures series for younger students, and the Alfred series for older ones. I usually use the Essential Elements method books for all ages of violin students. These methods supplement a well-rounded approach crucial to learning that incorporates theory, ear-training and performance preparation.
Additionally, I use student input to gather separate solo pieces outside these method books for development, because I think it’s important the student has access to a wider variety of genres -- from classical to pop.
I encourage students of all ages to perform their pieces for the experience and confidence it builds. Our recitals at the Hard Rock Cafe are a great, welcoming place to start!
Focus & Goals of the First Lesson
In our first lesson, students will be asked to share things, such as what drew them to the instrument, what kinds of music they like or are interested in learning, and any goals they hope to achieve through taking private lessons.
For young children, we'll take more time on the instrument and learn a song or two. For older learners we'll take more time to dialogue about goals and any past musical experience.
No matter what the student's age, there will be time to try out the instrument and have any questions answered. It's important to me that the first lesson is a positive, welcoming experience that encourages the student to continue with more lessons!
I have professional performing experience through groups such as Seattle Rock Orchestra and the touring Cascade Youth Symphony Orchestra, and will coach students who aim to perform outside of their school groups or lessons appropriately. I also currently perform with the Northwest Symphony Orchestra.
I am eager to share tips to help students succeed in auditions or to simply work to push through their nervousness. It's important to cater to student requests and teach based upon unique learning styles. Everyone learns differently!
Most Inspirational Music Moment
Attending Radiohead’s concert in South Korea was inspirational to me. I first felt discouraged as a foreigner hardly able to communicate. However, once the music started I witnessed everyone around me singing along in English and sharing the same passion for this music. It was then I experienced weeks of language barrier broken through music and it gave me the encouragement to see it’s okay to perform outside my own community and participate in musical endeavors in other parts of the world. Music is an amazing way to break down these barriers.
Top 3 Desert Island Albums
- Coldplay - A Rush of Blood to the Head
- Alt-J - An Awesome Wave
- Radiohead - OK Computer
- Public Folder - This is where Sarah posts files for her students