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BA, State University of New Paltz, Jazz Performance, Guitar
I realized the power of music at a very young age, when I first started singing in a musical theater workshop. I was incredibly shy up until I got to sing as someone else. The music transported me from my rather hectic childhood to a place beyond trouble, and only to freedom and expression. I was lucky enough to continue on this magical track when I was 10 with piano lessons, and then when i was just 13, one the most lively and angst-filled ages, with private guitar lessons. The electric guitar quickly became a part of my identity, a part of my security, and has remained as a stable force in my life. I've been lucky to have a diverse professional musical career, studying jazz at SUNY New Paltz, nationally touring in a Zydeco Punk band, fronting my own band of originals, singing and playing guitar in rock musicals, and composing soundtracks. All while keeping up my teaching practice.
As soon as I was able to, which was about 15 years old at summer camp, I naturally wanted to spread the goodness of learning and playing music, and took to not only performing, but teaching anyone who asked me to. It was fun for me to do so, and I enjoyed being able to help people incorporate this into their lives. Plus, it gave me more people to play music with! I continued to teach music at that same sleep away camp for years -- eventually becoming the Head of the Music Department ( Rock Shop) there - coaching bands, leading improv classes, and developing the program. I later enjoyed several years teaching as an adjunct professor in the music department at my alma mater. I have always had a steady practice of private students ranging in ages and experience. Whatever the material be, I focus on finding the student's true musical voice, allowing them to take ownership over their instrument, allowing any intimidation to fade, and therefore, finding the natural joy in playing music.
Beginners - intermediate have a healthy helping of both theory ( notes, scales, chords), technique ( physical drills), and creativity! Meaning, songwriting, listening, learning favorite songs.. improvisation! This of course varies from student to student, but whatever they are physically and mentally able to handle at the time, is what we will embark on -- nothing challenging enough to keep anyone away from their chosen instrument -- it's supposed to be fun - 'PLAY"ing music! I always encourage students to take advantage of any friends they may be able to play music with, as well as stepping out and possibly finding some jam sessions. Playing with others is fabulous, and often, how music and musicality really starts to wake up.
it is an honor, always, to teach music, to be a medium for what truly is a magical force -- the universal language. I believe that music would be nothing with out the individual touch -- so every student of mine must progress at their very own pace, in their very own way, thus to truly become a musician - and not a carbon copy of what we think music might be. I am here because I love music -- it makes me smile, dance, it brings color to my life. More music = more compassion, more confidence, and in turn happier society. This is what I believe, because this is what I’ve experienced. I would like to do nothing more but to continue to explore music, and help cultivate that exploration and fulfillment for anyone who would like to take it on.
Sara has been a wonderful teacher so far. She listens very well to what and how my son wants to learn, and comes up with creative and inspirational ways to teach him. He has learned so much so quickly, and is very enthusiastic about every lesson. She is so nice, very patient and always prompt.
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