Sara Neilson

Sara N.

Chicago, IL

About Sara N.

Background check: Last verified 07/02/2016
Sara passed a background check on 07/02/2016 that included the following:
  • National Criminal Record Check
  • County/State Criminal Record Check
  • Sex Offender Registry Search
  • SSN Trace & Verification
For more information, please click here.
Sara teaches: Ages 5 and up
Special needs
Teaching since: August 2008
Last sign in: 4 days ago


Sara, a freelance double bassist based in Chicago, IL, has over five years of experience teaching in a variety of capacities. In addition to teaching at the Merit School of Music, she has received an honorable mention in the DePaul Concerto Competition, graduated at the top of her class at DePaul University, and performs regularly with orchestras and chamber groups across the Midwest. In her free time she enjoys knitting, baseball, and Game of Thrones.

Photos and Videos

This is a timelapse video of myself practicing Bach. Slow practice for the win.



Jan 2016 - Present
Illinois Symphony Orchestra

Bass Faculty

Aug 2015 - Present
People's Music School

Bass Faculty

Sep 2014 - Present
Merit School of Music

Former students have gone on to study music at Roosevelt University, and have participated in the Interlochen Summer Arts Academy.

Freelance Bassist

Aug 2009 - Present

I have performed on a freelance basis with the Illinois Symphony, the Dubuque Symphony, the Fayetteville Symphony, the Raleigh Chamber players, and the Halsted Eight Ensemble, among many others. I have played under Grant Llewellyn, Timothy Muffitt, and Cliff Colnot, and collaborated with soloists such as Bill Preucil of the Cleveland Orchestra, Joshua Bell, and Johannes Moser.


Music Performance

Aug 2013 - Jun 2015
DePaul University

Music Education

Aug 2008 - Dec 2012
East Carolina University

Languages Spoken


Fluent / Native Proficiency


Professional Proficiency


Teaching Certificate

Apr 2013
North Carolina Board of Education


DePaul Concerto Competition Winner

Jun 2014
DePaul University School of Music


American Federation of Musicians

Oct 2015

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.

International Society of Bassists

Aug 2015

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.

Write a Review

4 Reviews on Sara N.

Joshua Jul 5, 2016
Music Performance · In home
Sara has a great eye for detail, and has various ways of articulating what she either sees or hears in a person's playing. She does well in meeting the student where they are in order to encourage them along the way, while maintaining the teacher student relationship, something not easily done. Her experience, willingness to help and patience all make her a very excellent instructor in my opinion!
Elizabeth S. Mar 30, 2016
Upright Bass · Online
Verified Student
Sara is patient, professional, thorough and encouraging. She is really helping me along with my bowing technique. Highly recommended :)
Sini H. Nov 23, 2015
Upright Bass · In home
Verified Student
Our high school son bounced around from teacher to teacher till he met Sara. She is an excellent straight forward teacher. Who just brings the best out in his playing. She is detailed and focused. Highly recommended.
Sini H. Nov 23, 2015
Upright Bass · In home
Verified Student
Sara is fantastic! My son only started the upright bass last year as an incoming high school freshman. The weekly lessons that Sara has provided over the past few months have helped him improve tremendously. She is both patient and encouraging. She inserts elements of music theory along with proper technique. I highly recommend her to anyone interested in private upright bass lessons.
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