Sarah Hansen

Sarah H.

Chicago, IL

Lesson Details



Sarah delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 10+ and special needs

Teaching since:
September 2007

Sarah H. is a young and upcoming classical cellist based in Chicago. She enjoys teaching cello to students of all ages and levels and is dedicated to helping each student explore their unique interests in studying music.
Sarah began her musical studies in her hometown of Cincinnati, starting the piano at age 8 and just a year later picking up the cello. Sarah earned her Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance from The Hartt School of Music and completed her Master’s degree from DePaul University’s School of Music. Her primary teachers include Stephen Balderston, Mihai Tetel, and Tom Guth.
Sarah is an active performer, playing with orchestras throughout the city of Chicago and around the country. She performs regularly with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra, Illinois Symphony, Quad City Symphony, and Chicago Composer's Orchestra. Outside of her orchestral career, Sarah plays with the Bradley University faculty chamber ensemble, Peoria Lunaire. She regularly presents solo recitals and concerts throughout the year, hoping to provide members of community an opportunity to make a connection with music and the performers that create it.
Outside of performing and teaching, Sarah is a devoted advocate for musicians’ health. She hopes to combine her expertise in music and physical fitness to help performers foster long, successful careers.
Check out Sarah's contribution to the TakeLessons teacher's blog on injury prevention:

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Cello Faculty
Aug 2015 - Present
Bradley University

Sep 2014 - Present
Peoria Symphony Orchestra

Substitute Cellist
Aug 2014 - Present
Quad City Symphony

Substitute Cellist
Sep 2013 - Present
Illinois Symphony Orchestra

Technique/ Section Coach
Jun 2013 - Aug 2013
Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp

Private Teacher
Nov 2011 - Aug 2012
Music and Arts


Master of Music
Sep 2012 - Jun 2014
DePaul University
Graduate Studies
Sep 2011 - May 2012
The Hartt School- University of Hartford
Bachelor of Music
Sep 2007 - May 2011
The Hartt School- University of Hartford


Fluent / Native Proficiency

Photos & Videos

Symphony Center in Chicago

Blue Lake Staff Quartet performance


8 Reviews

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Tom M. Oct 16, 2017
Cello · In studio

Sarah is the best cello instructor that I ever had. I really learned a lot from her besides just the technical aspects of playing. Sarah's passion for instructing the cello was clearly evident through her teaching style and what she demanded from me. She could also answer many of my questions about music, theory, and general style. I always felt like she was teaching me to play and practice with the same dedication that she has.
I'm truly sorry that I had to stop taking lessons with her because of a long distance move.

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Eileen L. Apr 21, 2017
Cello · In home

Sarah is an excellent cello instructor. I have been taking lessons from her for just over two years. Besides having a keen ear, she is able to explain new concepts in a way that makes it easier for a new student to learn. She is also patient, and understands that learning comes over time with plenty of practice and guidance. Learning the cello with Sarah has been a very positive experience.

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Qurrat J. Jan 29, 2016
Swimming · In home

Sarah was very effective in our first lesson. My swimming technique improved right away.

Craig Ludington Nov 28, 2015
Cello · In home

(Writing a second review after six months of lessons.)

I take notes while practicing so I'll remember the trouble spots and bring them up during the lesson. Sarah is pretty analytical and she gets to the root cause and tells me exactly what to practice to solve the problem. At the end of every lesson I've got more tools to work with so the next week's practice is focused and effective.

I'm really happy about having Sarah as a teacher.

By the way, I love this story:

The legendary cellist Pablo Casals was asked why he continued to practice at age 90. "Because I think I'm making progress," he replied.

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Sheena M James Nov 13, 2015
Cello · In home

Sarah is a great teacher! Very thorough and patient. The time flies durig each lesson because I'm having so much fun!

Tom M. Nov 6, 2015
Cello · In studio

Sarah is really an excellent teacher. So far, she's correcting all my bad habits and explaining what I need to do in order to perfect my technique. Although we've gone back to basics, this foundation is what I need. She has given me great instruction at a good rate of speed that I can handle. She also explains music issues like playing scales and counting and rhythm and why they're necessary and, most of all, how to practice.

I've already brought my new skills to the orchestra which has given me greater confidence as a musician.

I would recommend Sarah to anyone at any skill level. She's patient and encouraging and gives direction when direction is needed.

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Eileen L. Sep 13, 2015
Cello · In home

Sarah is an excellent instructor. I am new to the cello and do not have a music background. With Sarah's guidance since February 2015, I have learned to read the notes and the fundamentals of playing the cello. Not only does she share practical tips that enhance learning, Sarah answers fully my numerous questions about the theory underlying much of what I am learning. Her patience and empathy with the struggles of an older student is much appreciated.

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Craig Ludington May 28, 2015
Cello · In home

Today was my first cello lesson and I feel very good about Sarah as a teacher. It was pretty basic -- how to sit, how to hold the cello and bow, fundamentals.

Sarah explained things like posture and hand position in terms of anatomy, and she's studied that as well as music, so it made a lot of sense.

Good teachers seem to have a knack for spotting anything you're doing right and pointing it out, and Sarah's got that. I'm looking forward to the next lesson.

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