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Teacher Feature: Sarah R.

Here at Molly’s Music, we have teachers who come from a wide variety of backgrounds and collectively share a staggering amount of musical experience. Every couple months, I’ll have the exciting opportunity to interview one of our accomplished teachers and share what I’ve learned with you. We’ll start with a Teacher Feature on our beloved Music Coordinator and teacher, Sarah R.

Sarah’s range of teaching experience includes singing, piano, and guitar instruction. In 2013, she took a break from private teaching to be our full-time Music Coordinator and OC Glee instructor, but in the summer of 2014, she’ll be returning to private teaching! Any student would be lucky to work with such a creative, caring teacher. Without further ado, here’s our first teacher interview.

MM: How did you get started with music, and how long have you been singing and playing the guitar and piano?

SR: I grew up singing in the car, in after-school programs, and in choir competitions. I’d call it my first love – much to my brother’s dismay. Music was in the family, so I took a few months of lessons on the piano we inherited from my grandma in elementary school, and learned how to read percussion on my dad’s drum set in Jr. High. After picking up guitar on my own in high school, it was my grandpa’s bass that inspired me to pay attention to the neck and the theory behind the music. Performers like Sara Bareilles and Molly Jenson made a huge difference in enjoying my last year of college, leading me to work at an arts education non-profit after graduation.

MM: How did you get started with teaching, and how long have you been doing it?

SR: It was during my time working at the arts education non-profit that I began teaching informally to family friends—just as I was first taught piano. After a few referrals and ads, I was able to have my guitar students perform a walking blues riff together at an open mic night. The smiles on their face when some of the other performers started singing over them was priceless.

That was nearly five years ago, and it’s been over two years since I’ve started working with Molly’s Music – including a year and a half of teaching OC Glee! It’s been a pleasure to see those girls grow together and as performers, and I can’t wait to see where Molly G takes them next.

MM: What are your current musical projects? (community service, education, performances, recordings, etc.)

SR: I have a group of friends who meet together to learn covers and go to open mic nights. The community you can find there is encouraging like none other. I’m hoping I’ll have time to catch up with a few songwriters I used to work with again, but I’m equally excited about getting to know my next few students, and helping them along on their journeys.

MM: You’re trapped on a desert island – what one album would you have with you? (provided you magically also have a way to play that album!)

SR: That’s tough – I’d much prefer something to create music with, then a way to listen to music.  I think I’d either go with some calming old big band, soul singing crooner album, or else just embrace my fate and play me some Jack Johnson.

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