Sarah Downey
Bradenton, FL
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Sarah Downey

Sarah D.

Bradenton, FL
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Teaching Locations:
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Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-home Student's Home
Levels taught:
Beginner
I've been teaching piano for 7 years and love seeing my students discover their own musicality through piano! I specialize in teaching school-age kids, teens, adult beginners, and secondary instrument learners.

As a beginner, you’ll learn your way around the keyboard, increase your finger dexterity, and develop healthy playing techniques and body alignment. We will explore ear training and creativity from the beginning of your journey, while making connections to symbolic notation on the page. With continued practice, you’ll learn to read music fluently on the grand staff, allowing you to play songs you know and love AND notate and share your own compositions.

I'll make your lessons meaningful to you, by blending different resources to match your level and interests. I typically start younger students in Faber Piano Adventures or Alfred Basics books, but I choose each student’s materials to match their personality and musical background. We will also explore your favorite modern genres “off the page” even when the sheet music seems beyond your reach - I break it down and make it accessible to any level!

I strive to always give you just enough detailed, technical instruction for the day, while leaving the doors open for exploration and creativity. We want to keep it FUN, keep it YOURS, and LEVEL UP all at once!

About Sarah D.

Hi, I'm Sarah, and I can help you turn that instrument sitting in the corner into a beloved musical hobby that you can always turn to through life’s ups and downs. Let's make music more often and enjoy the learning process!

I specialize in teaching highly individualized, age-appropriate lessons for school-age kids/teens, as well as teaching adult beginners, recreational music learners, or secondary instrument learners. I take a unique and creative approach to private lessons due to my experience in Elementary Music Education.

I'll make your lessons meaningful to you, by creating many of my own teaching materials and visual aids to meet your level and interests. We will blend your favorite modern genres with “classic” and “classical” tunes, and explore composition and songwriting along the way! I strive to always give you just enough detailed, technical instruction for the day, while leaving the doors open for exploration and creativity. We want to keep it FUN, keep it YOURS, and LEVEL UP all at once!

My background: I hold a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Florida State University. My primary instrument is flute, although nowadays I devote lots of love to my guitar, ukulele, piano, and voice to support my younger students and enjoy music making more recreationally. When I'm not teaching music, you can find me hula hooping and teaching hoop dance!

I've taught public school music (including K-5 general music, 6-8 class guitar, and chorus clubs) since 2016 and private lessons since 2015. This past year, I welcomed the new challenge of teaching online. I love connecting with students and helping them enjoy musical activities amidst the challenging times we're facing. I believe that safe musical instruction and connection is vital and valuable for our well-being.

Reviews

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Tricia
Profile-location-online Online

My daughter really enjoyed her flute class with Sara today!!

Posted Apr 7, 2021
Marli
Profile-location-online Online

Sarah has been a wonderful voice instructor for my son. She connects with him, keeps him focused and engaged, all while allowing him to have fun while he is learning. She tailors the lessons to him each week, and spends time sending us practice materials and notes after each lesson. He looks forward to his lessons each week!!

Posted Feb 22, 2021
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

Photos & Videos

3 Photos & Videos

Experience

Hoop Dance Teacher
Aug 2020 - Present

Self-Employed

I teach hoop dance for all levels, both outdoors and online.

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

Certifications

Hoola-Fit Hoop Dance Teacher Training
Aug 2020

Hoola-Fit/ACE

ACE-Approved course in hoop skills, pedagogy, fitness, and business practices, including video practicum. 1.4 ACE Credits
Teaching Certificate - Music K-12
Jul 2016

Florida Department of Education

Affiliations

Sigma Alpha Iota (ΣΑΙ)
Sep 2011
Sigma Alpha Iota is a professional International Music Fraternity for women. Formed to uphold the highest standards of music and to further the development of music in America and throughout the world, it continues to provide musical and educational resources to its members and the general public.Sigma Alpha Iota operates its own national philanthropy, Sigma Alpha Iota Philanthropies, Inc.
Florida Music Educators Association
Aug 2011
The mission of the Florida Music Educators Association (FMEA) is to promote quality, comprehensive music education for all Florida Students as a part of their complete education.

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