Sarah Palmer

Sarah P.

San Diego, CA
100% Satisfaction Guarantee

100% Satisfaction Guarantee

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Lesson Details



Sarah delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 3+ and special needs

Teaching since:
June 2004

Hello, my name is Sarah. I'm a classically trained violinist and pianist that has a passion for music and teaching! I started both instruments when I was 4 years old, and obtained perfect pitch--I can compose/transpose whatever you would like to learn just by singing or showing me the music on YouTube. :) I use this gift to compose, transpose, and teach music of all genres of various instruments and arrangements (classical in different keys that fit levels and vocal ranges, contemporary, jazz, soundtrack, rock, pop, folk, etc.).
I have taught students as young as 3 yrs old and as old as 83 yrs old, students with physical/mental/learning disabilities, group lessons and more! I believe that learning to play an instrument doesn't have to be difficult or frustrating, and that it should be enjoyable and fun!

*** Instructor's Music History ***
Because mother was a piano teacher for over 30 years with contagious passion for music (teaching while I was in the womb and an infant), music was inevitable. At age 5, I began performing solo and in ensembles, and since age 6, I've been a part of the church choir, school ensemble and later the school band, and orchestra. As I entered high school, I decided to become more active and take leadership in the ensembles. I became the Concert Mistress of the symphonic and string orchestra and held onto my first chair until graduation. I also participated in the San Jose Philharmonic Orchestra, as first violinist. I was a first violinist of the Korean American Music Supporters Association (KAMSA), performing a concert at the Disney Concert Hall. Since 1997, I have won countless awards from CWC Annual Music Competitions, California Music Education Association, KTVN Bay Area Annual Music Competitions, Prospect-Westmont String Orchestra voted Most Outstanding Instrumentalist, and passed all levels in both piano and violin in Certificate of Merit (CM) Tests.
I moved to San Diego to study Music Performance at University of California-San Diego. I became the Concert Mistress of the UCSD Chamber Orchestra and look forward to continuing my education for Music Performance, Music Education, and Music Therapy. In my music career, I've worked in senior communities as the music director, conducted orchestras and ensembles, formed and performed in duets, trios, and quartets, in public and private concerts, weddings, nursing homes, etc. I also am a part of an indie rock/bluegrass band (voice and fiddle) recording and performing, as well as a classic rock band (voice, keyboard, violin). In my free time, I compose and transpose for myself as well as for my students who would like to learn an easier version of a piece, different genres like pop songs, movie soundtracks, TV shows, favorite artists, etc.

*** Lesson Plan ***
Mix and match genres and lesson elements: Classical, contemporary, jazz, soundtrack, rock, pop, folk, ensemble, solo, theory, sight-reading, technique, Suzuki, Hanon, etc.
My main priority in every lesson is to make learning an instrument fun and comfortable. I have a plan mapped out for every lesson, for every student. Depending on the student's age, level and preference of genre, I pick out books suitable for each student, and also ask the student to bring in a piece or book they would like to work on. I find it important to make every lesson enjoyable, so it is crucial that the student enjoys the homework assigned when they leave the lesson. I usually begin the lesson with warm-ups, scales, music theory, then continue with reviewing past homework, focusing on posture, rhythm, technique, etc. Lastly, we will sight-read and preview the next pieces to be assigned for homework. Pace is set mostly by the student and how much they practice, but I will always nudge the student to improve in musicianship and posture after every lesson, with patience and perseverance.
[There will be an annual/semi-annual recital, optional but highly recommended for all students!]

If your child is a beginner, we will take turns picking songs (i.e. one week "Pirates of the Caribbean" and the next week "Minuet in G" by Bach) to ensure that they practice. I utilize stickers and goal-oriented tasks to have fun and encourage students to maintain their interest and also hold them accountable.
If you're a beginner adult, I will require more self-discipline from you, but you will not be excluded from sticker rewards. ;) We will still pick songs and genres you want to play, with classical and recognizable folk songs to cover the basics.
Whether you are 3 or 83 years old, I look forward to helping you play any instrument with comfort and enjoyment, with the right posture and techniques.

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Jun 2010 - Present
Musika and Take Lessons

Violin, viola, piano, performance and theory instructor.

Activities Director
Aug 2016 - May 2017
Montera of Westliving

Coordinator for all internal and external events and entertainment. Host quarterly concerts with local students and teachers.

Music Director
Dec 2013 - Apr 2015
Oakdale Heights

Responsible for providing a diverse program of musical events to 200+ residents: weekly choir rehearsals, percussion classes, music therapy and holiday performances featuring students ages 3 to 100!

Concert Mistress
Sep 2008 - Jun 2012
UCSD Chamber Orchestra

First chair


Marriage and Family Therapy
Aug 2015 - Present
Bethel University / Bethel Seminary
Music Performance and Psychology
Sep 2008 - Jun 2012
UC San Diego


Fluent / Native Proficiency
Fluent / Native Proficiency

Photos & Videos

University of California-San Diego Chamber Orchestra
UCSD's Conrad Presbys Music Center 
Winter 2010
In Your Eyes-Peter Gabriel (cover)
Dust in the Wind-Kansas (cover)
Old Black Rum-Great Big Sea (cover)
Photo by Sarah P.

Photo by Sarah P.

Photo by Sarah P.

Photo by Sarah P.

Photo by Sarah P.
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24 Reviews

Write a Review
Isabel C. Jul 7, 2018
Violin · In home

Only one lesson so far. My daughter loves her.

Madelon Jul 3, 2018
Piano · In studio

Sarah is great this far! We are looking forward to working with her more.

Iliana Feb 6, 2018
Piano · In home

Sarah is a wonderful and very knowledgeable teacher, my daughter enjoys the lessons, she's made progress and improved her musical confidence

Mackenzie L. Mar 5, 2016
· In studio

Mackenzie is very inspired by Sarah. She said she is learning way more than previous teachers.

Megan D. Jan 11, 2016
Violin · In home

Sarah has been wonderful. The violin was much harder than I had expected and she is truly pushing me to excel yet she is so patient at the same time.

Eli V. Dec 13, 2015
Violin · In studio

She really is the best instructor ever! She is so accommodating and patient, I couldn't ask for a better instructor. Not only that, but she listens to your goals as a student and helps you work towards those goals in a manner that fits your learning style. Thank you for helping me achieve my musical goals!!!

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Maya G. Aug 4, 2015
Music Performance · In studio

Excellent teacher! My daughter has learned quickly. She's very patient! Recommend!

Shihong W. Jul 26, 2015
Violin · In studio

It was not an easy task to find a great violin instructor for my boy who was entirely new to violin. After almost two years, I have to say we were incredibly lucky to have Sarah as his violin teacher. She is very pleasant, hardworking and detail-oriented, my boy absolutely LOVES his lectures and practice with Sarah! Sarah invested so much into my boy's learning, and well tailored his learning experience based on the progress made. My boy's violin skills have improved dramatically, I cannot believe he is now No. 4 violinest (out of ~ 40) in his middle school orchestra only after 1.5 years learning from Sarah, and the No.1-3 have been practicing for > 6 years! If you are looking for a truly outstanding violin instructor for your kids, I recommend Sarah without any reservation!!!

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Almira N. Jul 25, 2015
Piano · In studio

Sarah is awesome for my 2 kids. They started about one and a half years ago and they have progressed through about 5 different song books already. She adapts to the strenght of each, and she keeps them focused with a variety of activities: individual piano song practicing, duets, paper tests, learning to recognize famous classical music parts. She totally connects with the kids, and succesfully pushes them with a firm and fun grip. Great teacher!

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Jeffrey Danks May 31, 2015
Violin · In studio

Sarah is very professional and learning to play the violin with her is fun.

xueming Z. May 8, 2015
Piano · In home

Sarah gave me the impression that she is a great teacher after the first lesson!!

Karina E. Mar 26, 2015
Violin · In home

She is great!

Karina E. Feb 27, 2015
Violin · In home

She is great!

Andrew B. Sep 2, 2014
Violin · In studio

Wonderful instructor. Teaches the low level basics through advanced compositions. My partner has progressed very well because of Sarah's instruction.

Sarah P. Jan 24, 2014
Piano ·

Patient and Humorous

Sarah is like a friend I visit once a week. My first violin lesson was almost a year ago and I came to Sarah very nervous, without any experience in music. In just two lessons, she taught me how to read music and play a song. We now play duets of songs we feel like. Sarah is a talented teacher and also makes her students feel comfortable.

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ida W. Jun 8, 2013
Viola ·

Shes an excellent teacher

Sarah is very good teacher, she's very nice very friendly but yet strict, so she can push the student to do their best

Jake B. May 19, 2013
Violin ·

She's awesome

Sarah has the knowledge and the abilities to both teach verbally and demonstrate physically any style of you would want to learn. From classical, modern/pop, bluegrass or Irish fiddling, or just theory. You can learn it all from Sarah. Highly recommend.

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StevenB2 Mar 20, 2012


Sarah has motivated and offered instruction to my son. He has increased his playing ability and practices more frequently. Great Job Sarah!

LanaS Feb 26, 2012

Personal, Patient, Knowledgeable, Talented

Sarah knows how to teach music in a calm and organized manner. She tailors the classes toward what is requested and is delighted to help as much as possible.

EsperanzaR Nov 11, 2011

Sarah K

Sarah is an excellent piano teacher. She is very patient in teaching beginning student like me. Highly recommended.

SylviaM Oct 26, 2011


Sarah is y second violin teacher at TL. She is a very good teacher. She teaches me how to improve my posture and and she gives me good cues about music theory. Her lessons are very personalized. She helps me with songs I want to learn that are not in the regular violin istruction books and even transcribes them for me. She keeps me motivated and I enjoy my lessons every week.

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JessicaC Oct 12, 2011

Sarah is a wonderful teacher!

I take violin lessons with Sarah and she is a patient and detailed. She makes things clear and easy to understand. She's an excellent teacher!

MahadevanS Sep 17, 2011

Great teacher for adult beginners

I just started learning Violin and Sarah is my first teacher. I have had three classes till now. She teaches a combination of music theory and violin playing each class which is a great idea. She is very patient and she makes sure that I have learned what was taught in the previous class.

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DimitriB Aug 25, 2011

Excellent teacher for beginners!

Although I have always been around people that played instruments, it was my first time playing the piano, and Sarah took her time to explain things thoroughly! I probably have many years ahead of me, but I look forward to being able to one day use the skills that Sarah is teaching me!

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