Darren Sacks
Boston, MA
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Darren Sacks

Darren S.

Boston, MA
Profile-background-check Background Check
This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
Profile-student-favorite Student Favorite
This teacher is rated in the top 15% of teachers in the specialty subject. on a nationwide scale.
Teaching Locations:
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Profile-location-home Student's Home
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-home Student's Home
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Students can expect a teacher that addresses every single aspect of learning orchestral upright bass: from honing bow technique, to left-hand formation and fingering choices, to reading musical notation, interpreting music and learning rhythm.

My goal is to help students develop a technical foundation on the bass for playing just about any kind of music that they are interested in, and to support students with practicing tips for areas in their playing where they want to improve. My specialty is symphony orchestra training, so I primarily use the Essential Elements for Strings books at the beginning, and then later as students make progress, I begin to introduce standard orchestral repertoire, sonatas, and concertos written for the bass. I have been teaching since August 2016 and so far I have helped students get into All-States, ensembles at the New England Conservatory Preparatory Division, Districts/Regional festivals, youth orchestra programs, and music degree programs at colleges. I feel that the reason why my students succeed is because most of my students get the sense that I am very passionate about teaching the bass and therefore I am usually very detailed and patient in my explanations. I also use a combination of both verbal explanations and hands-on demonstrations, especially when it comes to improving mechanics and musicality. Most of my students (and parents/guardians of students) consider me to be very proficient and engaging.

If you are interested in taking lessons with me, choose one of the lesson durations from the provided selection and then we can solidify lesson times that work for your schedule. I look forward to working together and helping you to achieve your greatest potential on the double bass.

About Darren S.

Darren is one of the leading private teachers for double bass lessons in Greater Boston and specializes in audition preparation for music festivals, colleges, and youth orchestra programs.

Darren focuses on improving his students' playing ability by focusing on their technique, phrasing, tone, and by providing insight on the way they approach practicing.

Darren is currently a substitute bassist for the Boston Lyric Opera. He has also performed in several professional orchestras across Connecticut including the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra, the New Britain Symphony Orchestra, and the Wallingford Symphony Orchestra.

While studying with Darren, his students' achievements have included performing in the MMEA All-States Festival, getting promoted to more competitive ensembles within the New England Conservatory (NEC) Preparatory Division, performing in the MMEA Northeast Senior District Festival, the Northeast Massachusetts Youth Orchestra, and the CJMEA Elementary Honors Orchestra.

Darren has been invited to coach chamber ensembles at the Northeast Massachusetts Youth Orchestra and the Rivers School Conservatory.

Darren received his Master's degree in Double Bass Performance from Boston Conservatory, and received his Bachelor's degree in Double Bass Performance, graduating summa-cum-laude from the Hartt School.

Darren studied privately with world-renowned double bass musicians including Lawrence Wolfe, assistant principal bass of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Robert Black, founding member of the New York City-based contemporary ensemble, Bang On A Can. Darren has received additional instruction from well-known double bassists from the Boston Symphony Orchestra including Edwin Barker, Benjamin Levy, Dennis Roy, Todd Seeber, and Thomas Van Dyck, as well as double bassists from the New York Philharmonic such as Eugene Levinson and Orin O'Brien.

Darren is a bass teaching artist for El Sistema Somerville, an after-school orchestra program that empowers all students to become confident, engaged learners through rigorous, daily instruction in music ensembles and also provides the Somerville community with equitable access to musical excellence.

Darren is also currently on Harvard's Office For The Arts' reference list which is a compilation of instructors who teach Harvard students. The listing is considered a starting point reference to Harvard students looking for quality music instructors in the Boston area and, in some cases, are awarded stipends to study with Darren.

Students majoring in music at various colleges and universities (including students studying at music programs such as Valdosta State University) also take private lessons with Darren for additional help with honing their solos, orchestral excerpts, and technique.

In his spare time, Darren enjoys writing and publishing his own insightful articles related to practicing the double bass. He also has a passion for learning languages and is currently studying Mandarin, Cantonese, and Thai.

Reviews

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9 Reviews
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Claire
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Darren works hard with my son from the moment he arrives until the moment he leaves, and I can always hear big improvements in the quality of my son's playing over the course of the hour. Since working with him, my son has qualified for Northeastern Senior Districts Orchestra and the All-State Orchestra. He has helped him take his bass playing to the next level and enjoy opportunities that he may not otherwise have had!

Posted Mar 15, 2020
Tom
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Darren Sacks is a fantastic bass player and teacher. I have improved quickly with him as my instructor. He helped me prepare for a solo in my high school orchestra and I felt that I was as prepared as I could have been. I was able to make it into my local district orchestra with his help. He's very passionate about his craft, and it shows through in his teaching.

Posted Mar 15, 2020
Mary Margaret
Profile-location-online Online

Darren did a wonderful job of preparing me for my audition. He could fix all of my issues and answer all of my questions! Thank you, Darren!!

Posted Sep 4, 2018
Polly
Profile-location-home Student's Home

My son does hybrid in person and online lessons with Darren. Darren is very enthusiastic, encouraging and articulate. After every lesson, my son is energized. For the first time, he advanced to state level after intensive lessons with Darren. Darren also teaches HOW to practice and clearly points out what he needs to do so my son can focus his practice. Highly recommend him.

Posted Feb 4, 2018
Kalena
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Darren has been great to work with. He is highly motivated and passionate about teaching. I would highly recommend him.

Posted Jun 16, 2017
Emily
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Darren is enthusiastic and always looking for ways to "get through" to a student. He has a contagious passion.

Posted Jun 16, 2017
Ms. Turner
Profile-location-online Online

Darren has been a great instructor to my son Terrill. He's learning a lot and getting much better thanks to Darren. I wasn't sure how online sessions would work but they are going great. I'm glad I chose Darren.

Posted Jan 24, 2017
Kathleen

Darren has been an outstanding teacher for my high school daughter preparing for her college auditions. His attention to detail has vastly improved her technique. She is playing with more confidence also. Darren is fabulous in sharing his time and talent. She has had several private lesson teachers on the past but he is definitely the best!

Posted Jan 16, 2017
Craig
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Great teacher, very attentive and helpful, and is passionate about teaching proper form and best practices on the upright bass. Highly recommended.

Posted Aug 10, 2016

Photos & Videos

27 Photos & Videos

Experience

Double Bass Teaching Artist
Oct 2018 - Present

El Sistema Somerville @ Somerville Public Schools

Located in: Somerville, MA Description: After-school music education program

Substitute Double Bassist
Mar 2018 - Present

Boston Lyric Opera

Located in: Boston, MA

Guest Chamber Coach
Feb 2018 - Present

Northeast Massachusetts Youth Orchestra

Located in: Manchester-By-The-Sea, MA

Guest Artist
Apr 2017 - Apr 2017

The Rivers School Conservatory

Located in: Weston, MA Description: Youth Symphony bass sectional

Substitute Double Bassist
Apr 2014 - Apr 2014

New Britain Symphony Orchestra

New Britain, CT - Adrian Sylvan, conductor

Substitute Double Bassist
May 2013 - May 2013

Waterbury Symphony Orchestra

Waterbury, CT - Leif Bjaland, conductor

Substitute Double Bassist
Jun 2012 - Jun 2012

Wallingford Symphony Orchestra

Wallingford, CT - Philip Ventre, conductor

Education

Master of Music / Double Bass Performance
Sep 2014 - May 2016

The Boston Conservatory

Bachelor of Music / Double Bass Performance
Sep 2010 - May 2014

The Hartt School @ University of Hartford

Languages

English

Fluent / Native Proficiency

Awards

Boston Conservatory Scholarship
Mar 2014

The Boston Conservatory

Hartt Performing Arts Scholarship
Apr 2010

The Hartt School @ University of Hartford

Affiliations

American String Teachers Association
Jun 2018
The American String Teachers Association, founded more than 60 years ago, is a membership organization for string and orchestra teachers and players, helping them to develop and refine their careers. ASTA's members range from budding student teachers to artist-status performers. The organization provides a vast array of services, including instrument insurance, an award-winning scholarly journal, discounts on publications and resources, annual professional development opportunities, and access to collegial network of colleagues throughout the string profession.
International Society of Bassists
Oct 2017
The International Society of Bassists was founded by the world-renowned virtuoso Gary Karr in 1967. With nearly 3,000 members in over 40 countries, the ISB publishes a triannual magazine, Bass World, with an eclectic mix of articles about soloists, jazz and orchestral players, early music, pedagogy, international personalities and orchestras and reviews of new print music and recordings, plus monthly e-newsletters and communications.
American Federation of Musicians
Jul 2017
A labor union representing professional musicians in the United States and Canada. Founding in 1896 as the successor to the "National League of Musicians," the AFM is the largest organization in the world representing the interests of professional musicians.

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