Continuing my interview with Sara Gazarek Part Two!
You've had some major changes in your life fairly recently; you teach as well. Does teaching open you up to a whole new level of creativity of inspiration?
What is the most important lesson you have learned as a teacher and if you can impart one bit of knowledge to a fledgling vocalist what would it be?
S.G. - Teaching:
"I've always been really passionate about music education, particularly jazz education. I love working festivals with an educational element (the Reno Jazz Festival, Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, etc), especially those that send artists out into elementary and middle/high schools to work with young people and spread the word about this beautiful American art form. It's exciting to be a part of helping these kids discover and some times fall in love with this music. I think most jazz musicians understand the importance of getting word out and igniting the fire under young people when it comes to jazz. I also have the distinct pleasure of being on faculty in the Jazz Department at USC, which is a whole other beast. These are young adults who have dedicated their lives to jazz, so learning and discovering things together is incredibly inspiring, and it keeps me on my toes! I probably learn as much from my students at USC as they do from me!
Most important lesson from teaching:
The most important lesson I've learned from teaching is that the work is never over. It's such a beautiful and inspiring concept - that will continue to keep me humble and hungry for more information. I can always improve my technique, breath control, resonance, range, etc, when it comes to my instrument. But then there's always room for more knowledge about history, application, lyric delivery, improvisation, writing, transcription, the list goes on. And so does the homework. That's the advice I'd continue to impart on any student or young singer hoping to make a place for them self in this world. To never stop learning, growing, and pushing yourself to get better. I think if we have that thought "OK, I got it, I'm good, no more learning," something is askew."