Molly Sazer-Hopf Music Lessons
Music has always been and continues to be my life. I began singing before I could talk, began piano lessons as I entered elementary school, and taught myself guitar and songwriting before I was ten years old. Growing up in a family musicians, I was exposed to all styles of music and learned a variety of instruments. I have recently gone to school to study Jazz Voice, and have a writing, recording, and gigging band outside of school, with which I've performed around the country, and played at festivals and universities. I owe much of my knowledge and passion for music to my upbringing in the field, and the lessons I took early in life. Much of my creativity and skill stems from the songs, theory, and improvisation I learned as a child. Knowing what it means to really learn music, I hope to give others the opportunity to do the same.
I began assisting teaching and getting training at the age of 12, always excited and ready to take any opportunity to share my knowledge and passion for music. Since then, I have accumulated years of experience teaching group and solo lessons in piano, voice, violin, ukulele, guitar and songwriting, and with students of all ages. I currently offer piano, voice, violin, ukulele and songwriting. I have been living in Los Angeles for a year and a half, and have been teaching in the area for over a year. I currently have 20 students, and am looking for new students as well! In my teaching, I tailor my methods to the learning style and goals of each individual student, allowing them to discover their potential and fall in love with their instrument. I emphasize creativity and collaboration, making my lessons a lot of fun! I hope to inspire lifelong love of music, and ultimately share what I am most passionate about.
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Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new student?
I like to start by getting to know the student and their previous experience, if any. If they are new to an instrument, our first lesson will be about introducing the instrument, going over the basics in an interactive and engaging way. If the student is not a beginner, we will work together to figure out where they are, and will pick up where they've left off. No matter what level, the most important thing is getting to know the student, and getting to understand their own unique learning style.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
Music has been at the forefront of my life since before I can remember. I studied piano for eight years, and taught myself guitar at the age of nine. I have been singing and songwriting since I was very young, and have been studying voice for six years, including time studying jazz voice at Santa Monica College. I also studied violin for three years, and went on to teach a beginning violin class at Berkeley Music and Art camp for many years. In my work at the camp, I also taught songwriting and improvisation, as well as other instruments. I started teaching private lessons in Berkeley in 2017, and the following year, I moved to Los Angeles and began teaching at the Schuler Music Studio. I have been teaching in the LA area for over a year now, and have taught lessons in piano, violin, voice, songwriting, ukulele, guitar and cello. I currently have 20 students, and have had up to 35 students at a given time.
In addition to my own studies and teaching, I have been a performing musician for four years, writing, recording, producing and performing with a band.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.
My standard price is $60 per hour. Lessons are usually 30 minutes, 45 minutes or an hour, depending on the age and level of the student.
How did you get started teaching?
I grew up in an incredibly musical family. Many family members, including my mother, are professional string players who, among their other studio, movie and performance work, have been teachers. I grew up sitting in on my mom's lessons, soaking in years of her techniques and teaching methods. My years of being a music student fueled my love for both learning and teaching, and I began teaching as soon as I could at Berkeley Music and Art Camp in around 2011. Over the course of my teaching, I took on more responsibility at the camp, gaining experience teaching group violin lessons and other lessons such as piano, guitar and songwriting. After years at the camp, I started teaching my own private lessons.
What types of students have you worked with?
I have mostly worked with students aged 4-14. Most of my students are 6-10. I have also taught adults on occasion, but my specialty is teaching children.
My expertise is working with beginners, and I have much experience working with intermediate students as well. I am always happy to meet a student wherever they are, and to help them grow and develop from there!
Describe a recent event you are fond of.
My favorite thing as a teacher is to watch my students fall in love with music, and also find their own voice as a musician. One recent fond experience I've had was with a new student of mine, who came into our first lesson claiming to "hate music" and wouldn't even touch the piano. Working with him and finding ways to relate music to his own life and current interests, such as basketball and videogames, as well as encouraging him to explore his creativity through songwriting, I have had the privilege of watching his passion grow. He has now written a whole book of his own originals, and has had the opportunity to learn and perform some of his favorite songs. He went from finding music unexciting, to being fascinated with reading music, and emotionally connecting and composing his own songs. For me, instilling that lasting love of music and creativity is the greatest accomplishment of all.
What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?
From my experience as both a teacher and a student, my best advice would be to find a teacher you feel comfortable with and enjoy working with. A good teacher-student connection is imperative for development and a long-lasting love for music. In addition, it is important to find a teacher who will tailor their teaching to your needs and your learning style, to ensure your greatest success.