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Education:

  • Pre-college Piano Lessons for 10+ years
  • University of California, Santa Cruz.  2005-2009. Regent Scholar.  Received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music with honors (classical piano), received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature with honors.
  • School for Music Vocations, Southwestern Community College in Creston, IA, 2010-2012. Studied Jazz Piano, Jazz and Classical Voice, and Arranging.
  • Robert Pace Piano Pedagogy Training, West Des Moines, IA, 2012-2013
  • Private classical piano study with Dr. Nicholas Roth in Des Moines, IA, 2011-2014.
  • Continue to study jazz piano with Murray Low in Palo Alto, CA, 2015-present.

Teaching Experience:

  • Adjunct Faculty, Southwestern Community College, Creston, IA, 2010-2014. Taught private classical and jazz piano lessons at the School for Music Vocations. Taught Ear Training, Vocal Jazz Groups, and Jazz Piano Fundamentals courses from 2010-2012. Assistant to the Concert Choir director, Fall 2011. Taught at the summer vocal jazz camps, Summer 2012.
  • Private Piano and Voice Instructor, Des Moines, IA 2012-2014, Creston, IA 2010-2014, San Francisco, CA 2009-2010, Willits, CA, 2003-2005.
  • Learning Support Services Supplemental Instructor of a Music Theory class, UCSC, 2006-2009. Taught supplemental class sessions for a university-level music theory course.  Designed sessions to help students become successful, engaged, motivated learners as well as competent music theorists.  Prepared practice exams and provided one-on-one tutoring. Served on the Learning Support Services Student Advising Committee.
  • UC Santa Cruz Music Department Undergraduate Representative, UCSC, 2007-2009.  Served as the student voice at all full-time faculty meetings at the UC Santa Cruz Music Department. 
  • Music Teachers’ Association of California Talent Bank Competition Winner, College Division Piano Duets, Santa Cruz, California, 2007 
  • Student Accompanist, University of California, Santa Cruz, 2005-2009. Provided accompaniment for vocal repertoire class. Provided accompaniment for flute studio recitals. Provided accompaniment for several vocal recitals, including a junior recital. Received private coaching from the UCSC professional accompanist.  Accompanied students during class demonstrations.
  • Piano and Organ Accompanist, United Methodist Church of Santa Cruz, 2008-2010. Provided music for all Sunday morning services, accompanied the choir, and coordinated with the Music Director and Pastor to choose music and organize the service. 

Contact Sarah for a full resume if interested.

Sarah currently teaches private voice and piano lessons at her studio in Campbell, CA. She is an expert at inspiring her students, drawing out each person's intuitive musicality while offering feedback and suggestions that bring their musicianship to the next level.

Before moving back to the Bay Area in August 2014, she taught at the School for Music Vocations (Southwestern Community College) in Creston, Iowa.. At the School for Music Vocations, she taught classical and jazz piano, ear training, and directed vocal groups. She also taught voice and piano lessons privately in Des Moines, Iowa. 

Prior to attending the School for Music Vocations in Iowa, Sarah attended the University of California, Santa Cruz, double majoring in Music and Literature. While she was a student at UCSC, she taught supplemental music theory classes at the university, accompanied student recitals, and was the piano accompanist at the United Methodist Church of Santa Cruz. 

She brings with her a diverse range of teaching experiences, having taught privately, in studios, and at the community college and university levels. She enjoys teaching people of all ages, having taught students who are three years old to ninety-two years old.

Teaching Philosophy:

"I never practice, I always play."  Wanda Landowska

I believe that there is a reason that we say playing music. For me, music is a way to express the joy of being alive, always with the spirit of play and fun accompanying discipline and structure. I strive to keep this joyful gratitude at the heart of my teaching.

I create a positive and supportive learning environment where students leave with more energy than when they arrived.

I prioritize excellent musicianship at all times. I challenge my students to create music that is beautifully nuanced and pleasing to hear at every skill level.

I emphasize teaching strong music fundamentals, including sight-reading, theory, and knowledge of harmony. I believe this sets up the foundation for a lifetime of music-making and encourages independent learning. 

I incorporate musical collaboration in my teaching, including playing and singing duets with my students, forming duet teams among students, and creating studio workshops for students to perform for each other. I believe that a well-rounded music education includes developing the ability to listen and respond with keen awareness, and developing the ability to communicate musically with words, sounds, and body language.

 

 

The Bigger Why:

"all the right notes, all the right rhythmsI would almost stand and bet you that that [performance] was 100% accurate. We like 100%. We like high scores...we come to the musical table expecting that, and that's what we call mediocre."

100%. An "A." That's what we call mediocre

One of the reasons I am passionate about music education is because I believe that music teaches the true meaning of excellence, which doesn't have to do with scores, tests, or reports. 

Music teaches the kind of excellence that points to something beyond its own achievementan achievement where ultimately the achiever steps out of the way to create an experience of something greater than getting it right.

In this way, music requires a wholesome achievement: that you bring all parts of yourself together into one moment, that you learn how to gather your intellect, physical body, and feelings into one unified, artful expression.

Creating a unified, artful expression asks nothing less than your full presence. Performing then becomes an act of devotion, a generous offering of the most precious gift you'll ever haveyourself.