Sakari Vanderveer

Classical Composition, Classical Orchestration, Composition, Contemporary Composition, Music Theory, Sibelius, Viola, Violin

Lesson Fees
from $45.00 / 30 Minutes

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Sometimes, I wish composing was as easy as making yogurt—once started, it would essentially create more of itself. Even though that is definitely not the case, I generally still take more enjoyment in the disorderly scrawls on the manuscript paper piling up on my desk than in the tangy bacteria cultures in my crockpot. (However, I’m far more likely to enjoy the yogurt as a late-night snack garnished with honey and walnuts!)

One of my favorite things about composing and performing are the plentiful opportunities to explore new ideas and make discoveries. Back when I wore ponytails like Penny Proud, obsessed over Animal Planet, and dreamed of becoming a veterinarian, I began writing my own music thanks to a project in my middle school orchestra class. Before long, I was writing chamber music for my friends year after year.

Today, the ability to explore new ideas with both novices and virtuosi alike truly inspires me. My associations with Derek Bermel, the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra, the Portland Youth Philharmonic, and the San Bernardino County Music Educators Association are just a few examples of my commitment to working collaboratively. Additionally, when I coach my violin and viola students through a new piece of repertoire, the opportunity to look at music through a new lens continues to invigorate me.

I also enjoy teaching my students how to write their own music. To that end, in 2020 I founded the You(th) Can Compose! Summer Workshop, a personalized, online program for beginners. In my capacity as a Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Composer Teaching Artist Fellow, I also collaborated with local elementary students to write original works which groups of LACO musicians then performed. Currently, I split my teaching hours between my own private studio and the Arts Connection of San Bernardino County, where I facilitate composition classes in local afterschool programs.

When I’m not working on music or bombarding my entomologist husband with my curiosity about the insects he is studying, I enjoy reading nonfiction, playing board games, and taking lessons in Latin dance.

My students include young musicians who win auditions in regional honor orchestras, take lessons for the very first time, or premiere their works in online and community showcases.

My students also include adults who want to start a new hobby in retirement, play alongside their grandchildren, or seek a profession as a classically-trained artist.

Whether you are taking lessons as a hobby or developing skills for a career in music, I will draw from over 12 years of teaching experience to tailor your lessons to your unique goals and needs.

During our work together, my aim will be to help you feel empowered to pursue your goals as an artist, embrace your innate creativity, and experience the joy that making music can bring.

Ready to take charge of your musical growth?

Book your FREE 15-minute consultation today!


". . . [Sakari] has a passion for teaching and makes even the most mundane of exercises fun and educational ." - Jordan C., adult violin student

"My 7 year old daughter decided that the very first instrument she would like to learn how to play was the violin. I was hesitant considering her incredibly short attention span and overall age. Sakari Dixon was excellent with her. She was very patient and informative while keeping it fun. My daughter was reading music after just a couple of lessons and started showing great improvement in a short span of time of working with Sakari. She is a wonderful teacher and you will not be disappointed." -Tiffany W., parent

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