Sarah Downey
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Sarah Downey

Sarah D.

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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
Sarah is a thorough lesson planner who designs unique lessons for every student. She also provides detailed lesson summaries after each lesson so you can take everything you learned back to your practice sessions and stay on track! She is passionate about heathy technique and injury prevention. Her lessons always include helpful full-body and musical warmups, a focus on developing solid fundamentals, and opportunities to learn new concepts through student-selected music that is fun and relatable!

Sarah approaches lessons with a warm, welcoming, and encouraging demeanor. She knows what it’s like to practice new skills, so she shares perspectives from her own journey, keeping lessons “real” and relatable for her students! While flute is her primary instrument, Sarah has been constantly learning new skills as a musician and educator, adding guitar, ukulele, piano, and even hoop dance to her repertoire over the years. Whether you are learning an instrument with professional ambitions or as a personal hobby, you can find joy in the learning process with some expert feedback, musical connection, and friendly accountability!

About Sarah D.

Sarah was always surrounded by the arts growing up. She studied ballet as a child and teen, then dedicated many years and hours to her classical music skills, playing flute from school band all the way through applied lessons, ensembles, and recitals in her music education degree. Throughout her degree and into adulthood, her musical interests and skills have expanded continually. Sarah now enjoys singing and playing ukulele, guitar, piano, and flute. She even learned a little drum set this year! Her peers, colleagues, and students help her broaden and deepen her knowledge of different instruments, genres, styles, and musical cultures.

Sarah holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Florida State University, a Florida Teaching Certificate in K-12 Music, First Steps in Music Certification, Orff-Schulwerk Level 1 training, and Hoola-Fit Certification. She regularly attends professional development workshops held by the Florida Music Educators Association. Her teaching is influenced by methodology from Modern Band/Little Kids Rock, Kodaly, Dalcroze, Arts Integration, Dynamic Integration, Body Mapping, and experts in the field of performance psychology. She has taught public school music (including K-5 general music, 6-8 class guitar, and chorus clubs) since 2016 and private lessons since 2015.

This year, Sarah has welcomed the new challenge of teaching online. She loves connecting with students and helping them enjoy musical activities during this strange and overwhelming time! She believes that safe musical instruction and connection is vital and valuable for our well-being.

Reviews

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Holly
Profile-location-home Student's Home

As an adult learner, I was nervous about taking my first piano lesson. I had always wanted to learn coming from a musical family but was hesitant to start. From the minute I showed up, Sarah welcomed me in and explained the basics of the piano and what the white and black keys were named and how half steps and full steps work on the piano. She taught me the correct form of sitting at the piano and what height my bench should be in relation to the piano and how to hold my wrists correctly. As a math person, she indulged my curiosity about ratios and drew a fantastic visual about the circle of 5ths that is still the best visual have to do this day. Better than anything you could find online. She gave me warm up practices for my fingers and told me of a great beginning piano book for adults. She also helped me deal with the frustation of my left hand (right hand dominant) not doing what I wanted it to do and what my brain was telling it to do and gave me tips on how to practice my left hand and not be frustrated. I moved and was sad that I couldn't continue in person lessons but am very happy that she offers online lessons. Sarah is a very kind person and made me feel not stupid when I messed up or felt like I was asking a "dumb question." With her background in teaching music and her immense knowledge of different instruments she is able to explain things in a way where it "clicks." If you're looking for a good music teacher you cannot go wrong with Sarah. She's lovely and makes learning the piano fun and not frustrating (which can happen at the beginning especially with the non-dominant hand) but Sarah knows how to handle any problem that may arise. She loves seeing her student's succeed and with her as your teacher you'll fall more in love with the learning process than you ever imagined possible.

Posted Oct 29, 2020
Christina
Profile-location-online Online

Our daughter loves taking lessons with Sarah. We are very impressed with the lessons each week and her progress. The lessons are well organized and perfect for her age.

Posted Oct 23, 2020

Experience

Private Music Teacher
Jan 2016 - Present

Self-Employed

I teach flute, guitar, piano, ukulele, and recorder lessons to all ages.

Elementary Music Teacher
Aug 2018 - Jul 2020

Sarasota County Schools

K-5 General Music Teacher, Chorus Club Director, Violin Club Sponsor

K-8 Music Teacher
Aug 2016 - Jul 2018

Imagine Schools

K-5 General Music Teacher, 6-8 Guitar Teacher, Chorus Club Director

Private Lesson Instructor
Jan 2015 - Jan 2016

Mason's School of Music and Dance

Taught flute, piano, and recorder lessons.

Education

Bachelor of Music Education
Aug 2010 - Apr 2016

Florida State University

Languages

English

Fluent / Native Proficiency

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