Sara Neilson

Sara N.

Chicago, IL
100% Satisfaction Guarantee

100% Satisfaction Guarantee

We know that starting lessons is a big step and we want you to feel confident booking with us. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll help you find a new teacher or you can receive a refund for any unused lessons within the first year from the date of purchase.

Lesson Details



Sara passed a background check that includes a SSN verification, national criminal record check, and sex offender registry search. Learn More
Sara delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 5+ and special needs

Teaching since:
August 2008

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.

+ Read More


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.

+ Read More


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.

+ Read More
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.

+ Read More

Photos & Videos

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

French bowhold (alternate view)
+ 1 more

4 Reviews

Write a Review
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!

+ Read More
Elizabeth S. Mar 30, 2016
Upright Bass · Online

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

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

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.

+ Read More

You may want to revisit

Previously viewed teachers: