Meet our multifaceted clarinet, saxophone, brass, piano, and percussion teacher Sarah! Sarah is currently completing a degree in composition at Ottawa University. To hear some of Sarah's compositions performed visit her website here.
When did you begin studying? What was your motivation? My senior year of high school my band director quit in the middle of the summer. The school district never hired another director the whole fall semester. As the drum major that year, I did not want to see my band fall apart. I worked so hard to plan a band camp, get drill and teach the music to the students. That whole experience made me realize how great of a teacher I could be and that it was my passion all along.
Did you have a teacher that made an impact on you? If so, why? I had a private lesson instructor my freshman through junior year of high school. He is a Saxophonist and now currently works at San Jose State in California. He truly taught me so much about having musicianship and how to be a musician in this world.
Why did you choose your instrument? What do you love about it? What do you find challenging? To be honest, clarinet was the least expensive to rent when I started band 11 years ago. I never switched major instruments but I have semi mastered other instruments including; piano, percussion and bass clarinet.
What I love about clarinet is that is has one of the largest ranges for a wind instrument and can be so versatile. The clarinet can be used as a solo instrument, in wind band, jazz ensembles, chamber ensembles, and other music genres. What is the most challenging is learning all of these different genres so I can be the best clarinetist I can be.
When did you begin teaching? I started teaching privately after high school, just a few lessons with clarinet players. Now I teach multiples times a week, teaching piano, ukulele wind instruments and a show choir!
What do you enjoy about teaching? What I really enjoy about teaching is the moments where your student is making progress and they are so happy and excited with what they are doing, it makes everything worth it.
What aspects of music education do you find most important to your instrument?
Scales! Scales are the most important thing when it comes to the clarinet, learn them!
What do you want your students to ultimately learn? I want my students to learn discipline, hard work, humility and self confidence!
If you could do anything in music what would it be?
I would love to just play all the time! In symphonies, chamber groups and solo.
What kind of music do you listen to? Like to play the most? I listen to all kinds of music, including; wind band, orchestra, choral, chamber, solo, and movie score.
Who are the musicians and artists that you admire most? I really admire my clarinet professor Dr. Stefanie Gardner. She is one of the most amazing clarinet players i have ever known. She teaches and plays all the time professionally and she is what I hope to be some day.