Sara Neilson
Chicago, IL
Profile-background-check Background Check
This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
Sara Neilson

Sara N.

Chicago, IL
Profile-background-check Background Check
This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
As an experienced teacher with a Master's Degree in Bass Performance, you can expect instruction in either French or German bow, left hand technique, and musical concepts that apply to many different styles of music. Additionally, I have studied jazz and can help with sound production within that genre.

About Sara N.

Sara Neilson grew up in Alexandria VA, and began her musical career as a violinist. Though she always wanted to play music for a living, it wasn’t until college that she fell in love with the bass and decided to pursue it professionally. After earning degrees in both Music Education and Music Performance, she received a master's degree in Bass Performance from DePaul University, where she was runner up in the Concerto Competition. Since graduating, she has taught double bass in a variety of settings around Chicago. Her students have performed at the Obama Foundation, the Aspen Music Festival, and Carnegie Hall. She had performed at the Chautauqua Institute, Eastern Music Festival and Brevard Music Festival and has appeared locally with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, the Elgin Symphony Orchestra and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. Her teachers include Rob Kassinger, Ira Gold, and Owen Lee. In her free time, Ms. Neilson enjoys knitting sweaters, doing vinyasa yoga, and daydreaming about her future dog, Button.


Write a Review
5 Reviews
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Sara is patient and full of knowledge. She’s taught me so much on the fundamentals of bass playing which helps a lot when working on excerpts and solo music!

Posted Apr 25, 2020
Profile-location-home Student's 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!

Posted Jul 5, 2016
Elizabeth S.
Profile-location-online Online

Sara is patient, professional, thorough and encouraging. She is really helping me along with my bowing technique. Highly recommended :)

Posted Mar 30, 2016
Sini H.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

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.

Posted Nov 23, 2015
Sini H.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

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.

Posted Nov 23, 2015

Photos & Videos

4 Photos & Videos


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



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.

Let Our Student Counselors Help You

We can match you with the perfect teacher and take care of all your scheduling needs.
Reserve Your Spot
Upright Bass
change subject
  • {{ subject.value }}
{{ (view.locations.length > 1) ? 'Select a ' : '' }} Lesson Location
Other lesson locations may be too far away. show all
Sara's Availability
{{ time }}
{{ time }}
{{ time }}
Time Zone:
Sara's {{ (view.location && view.location.isStudio) ? 'Studio' : '' }} {{ (view.location && view.location.isTravel) ? 'In-Home' : '' }} {{ (view.location && view.location.isOnline) ? 'Online' : '' }} Lesson Pricing
{{ rate.duration }} minutes
${{ rate.rate }}
{{ view.loadingText }}
100% Satisfaction Guarantee

100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Try the first lesson and if you’re not satisfied we'll refund any unused lessons.

Recently Viewed