Sarah Wald
Davis, CA
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Sarah Wald

Sarah W.

Davis, CA
Profile-background-check Background Check
This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-home Student's Home
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-home Student's Home
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
If you want to learn how to compose your own original music, I'm the teacher for you! I have experience teaching music—composition, music theory, ear training, flute lessons, and beginner piano—to K-12 and adult students. In our first meeting, we'll discuss your goals and go from there, whether those goals are learning to compose solely for your own enjoyment, or preparing to apply to college or graduate music programs. I'm quite flexible in my teaching style: for students who are at the beginning stages and/or want more structure, I can devise lots of fun exercises and assignments. For more self-guided students, I'm happy to simply look at and discuss what you bring in for each lesson.

A little more about me: I just received my PhD with departmental distinction in music composition and theory from UC Davis. I also have a master's degree in composition from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and a BA in music from Columbia University. My main instrument is flute, though I also have some piano and choral singing skills.

About Sarah W.

I received my PhD in music composition and theory with departmental distinction from UC Davis in June 2021. While at UC Davis, I was a TA for several music courses, including introductory music theory, introductory music history, and intermediate ear training. I also have experience teaching music to K-12 and adult students in several other capacities: as a private teacher, an after-school program instructor, a summer music camp composition teacher, and as a substitute music theory instructor at a community music school.

My own compositions have been performed at music festivals across the U.S. and in Europe. I have won several calls for scores, including calls from the Sewanee Summer Music Festival (2020), North/South Consonance (2019), Vox Musica (2017), and New Music on the Bayou (2016). I have also received commissions and grants from soloists, ensembles, and arts organizations in several U.S. states. Some of my pieces have been published by music publishing companies or have been broadcast on the radio (including WFMT's Relevant Tones).

I played principal flute in the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra for four years, and I appeared as a flute soloist in several orchestral and choral concerts on campus as well. I was also a member of the newly-formed UC Davis Graduate Student Ensemble, which is dedicated to the performance of new works.

Finally, I also sang in several small choirs at UC Davis, including the Early Music Ensemble, the Chamber Singers, and the Schola Cantorum.


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Photos & Videos

4 Photos & Videos


TA for MUS 3A, Introduction to Music Theory (2021, 2017-2018)
Sep 2017 - Jun 2021

UC Davis

Identifying notes on the piano keyboard, reading notes on the staff in treble and bass clefs, rhythm and meter (simple, compound, and asymmetrical), major and minor scales, solfège, basic chord progressions and cadences, songwriting

TA for MUS 10, Introduction to Musical Literature (2019-2020)
Sep 2019 - Jun 2020

UC Davis

History of Western art music from the medieval era through the present day, including works by women and BIPOC composers; basic music vocabulary; final project was a seven-minute podcast episode on a topic/style/genre of the student’s choice

TA for MUS 17, Intermediate Ear Training (2018-2019)
Sep 2018 - Jun 2019

UC Davis

Sight singing (melodic and rhythmic), dictation (melodic, two-part, harmonic, rhythmic), keyboard skills (melody harmonization, singing and playing), composition assignment (writing a tonal melody based on a rhythm exercise from the textbook)

Private Music Teacher (2012-2015)
Sep 2012 - Sep 2015


Taught private lessons in flute and beginner piano to K-12 students and tutored high school music theory/aural skills

Composition Teacher (2015)
Jul 2015 - Aug 2015

Hyde Park Allegro Summer Music Camp

Primarily taught composition classes for students ages 6-13; also led sessions on music theory, orchestral instruments, and handbells

Substitute Music Theory Instructor (2015)
Jan 2015 - Aug 2015

Merit School of Music

Filled in as needed for the Level II theory course

Music Instructor (2014-2015)
Aug 2014 - Jun 2015

Park Ridge Park District

Taught beginner piano lessons to children ages 4-15

Volunteer Flute Teacher (2009-2011)
Sep 2009 - May 2011

Musical Mentors

Taught private flute lessons at PS 145 in New York City as part of an after-school program, assisted with end-of-year recital logistics


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Sep 2016 - Jun 2021

University of California, Davis

Master of Music
Sep 2012 - May 2014

San Francisco Conservatory of Music

Bachelor of Arts
Sep 2008 - May 2012

Columbia University


Fluent / Native Proficiency


Winner, Call for Scores
Jun 2020

Sewanee Summer Music Festival

Finalist, Young Composer Awards (2020)
May 2020

ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards

Winner, Love of Learning Award (2019)
Sep 2019

Phi Kappa Phi

Selected Composer, Call for Scores (2019)
Apr 2019

North/South Consonance

Phi Kappa Phi (elected in spring 2018)
Apr 2018

Phi Kappa Phi, UC Davis chapter

Winner, Voices in Poetry Project Call for Scores (2017)
Feb 2017

Vox Musica

Graduate Scholars Fellowship (2016)
Mar 2016

UC Davis

Selected Composer, Call for Scores (2016)
Feb 2016

New Music on the Bayou

Individual Artist Grant (2015)
Jun 2015

Chicago DCASE

Individual Artist Grant (2015)
Jun 2015

Illinois Arts Council

Semifinalist (2015)
May 2015

The American Prize

Rapaport Prize for summer music study (2012)
May 2012

Columbia University

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