Teacher Spotlight: Sara Landeau
Sara Landeau is a guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, educator, writer, composer, and sound artist. She is currently the touring guitarist with Bikini Kill. She has received an MFA in Sonic Arts from CUNY Brooklyn College, where she is an adjunct professor, and has worked across a broad spectrum of music mediums. She is a founding member, co-songwriter, and lead guitarist of The Julie Ruin (Hardly Art/SubPop), achieved top 10 chart hits, has performed on Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, and Jimmy Kimmel Live, and has songs featured in films and commercials. She is a student favorite on Lessonface and this month’s Teacher Spotlight! We caught up with her via email:
1. What was the first instrument you played?
My first instrument was the drums. I bought a guitar a couple of years later because drums were often too loud to practice in an apartment. I love both instruments, one more physical, the other more cerebral. I often apply the skills of one to the other.
2. Who are some of your musical influences?
Too many to list! Creative musicians, feminist musicians, art, punk, rock, experimental, modernist, pop, classical players, all guitarists trying something personal or new.
3. What do you like most about teaching? How long have you been teaching guitar online?
People taking a chance with an instrument, seeing them hit "aha" moments, having them meet their goals - whether writing music with friends, playing Carnegie Hall, or learning a few songs. I've been teaching in person for many years, but Covid took classes online. Now I prefer it and appreciate the ability to work with people from around the world.
4. Any advice for someone trying to learn guitar online?
Be patient with online formats, especially when sound glitches. Also, be ready to duet or play along with tracks instead of the teacher. Maybe they prefer that anyway!
5. What is your favorite medium? Live, audio or video? Why?
All three have advantages. Students learn in different ways, but any format that ultimately allows some feedback is important for them.
6. Describe your favorite and least favorite part about being a musician.
My favorite parts are touring, and finding like-minded people, such as other women electric-guitarists or people who love the same genres of music. And being a musician is constantly opening up my mind to new styles. My least favorite: practicing guitar daily can be hard work, and some days I just want to do something else. But pushing through is always rewarding, and makes the tough days worth it.
7. What's next for you?
Some new guitar classes are coming up. Musically, I'm very slowly working on a solo album with electric guitars that I'm excited about. And touring is on the horizon!
“Warm, friendly and loads of knowledge I can use right away.”- Verified Student
“Sara is a great teacher. Every lesson I leave feeling more capable and confident in understand the guitar.”- Verified Student
“Sara was patient in her approach of teaching me about how electric guitars work in tandem with an amplifier.”- Verified Student
If you’re interested in taking 1 on 1 or group classes with Sara, check out her Lessonface profile.