Meet Sara Longwell

1) What do you teach at Metro Music Makers?
I am a music therapist, and I also teach adaptive piano, voice and guitar.

2) If you could only hear one song on repeat the rest of your life, what would it be, and why?
“Within You Without You” by the Beatles. If I had to hear something over and over forever, I would choose this one, because the lyrics of the chorus makes me feel very peaceful:

“Try to realise it’s all within yourself
No one else can make you change
And to see you’re really only very small
And life flows on within you and without you”

3) What is the best part about teaching?
The best part of teaching is the impact you get to have on your students’ lives outside of music. I always hope that in addition to learning an instrument, I’m giving my students the opportunity to learn how to set goals, how to learn, build confidence, persist through challenges, express themselves and even learn who they are.

4) Do you play or sing somewhere regularly? 
Most of my current performing is as a flamenco dancer. I study at Caló Gitano in Kirkwood, and perform at student shows and occasional public events like the Dogwood Festival with the group. I have also recently started teaching the Kids Level I class there, which I’m loving, and it’s a very different teaching experience that I’m really learning a lot from.

5) If you could snap your fingers and get your students to do one thing, what would it be?
I would want for them to be able to know how to walk that magical thin line between wanting to be the best you can be and working as hard as you can for that, but yet not taking it personally that there will just always be someone better than you, or that you’re not “there” yet. That’s a hard thing to get to, but as a performer, it’s so important to be able to look at yourself and know that you have work to do and you want to be better, but not feel bad at all about where you are, and stay positive about the progress you’re making.

6) If you hadn’t become a career musician, what other career would you have chosen?
I think I would have become a (non-musical) therapist. My undergraduate degree is in psychology, and I obviously chose to explore therapy through music, but I think that’s still the path I would have chosen.

7) What is one random fact about you that might surprise us?
My favorite weird fact about my family is that my “several times great” grandmother and grandfather obviously had grand ambitions for their sons, as they gave them all incredibly grandiose names. Their names were George Washington Guinn and Casanova Guinn, and I am directly descended from John Napoleon Bonaparte Guinn. No pressure, boys. No pressure.

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