From the very beginning, volunteer violin teacher Sara Matayoshi, seemed destined to be a musician.  “Music played a role for me from when I was first born, I guess. My parents told me that music was being played for me while I was still in the womb. I don’t remember that, but even imaging music not in my childhood seems so empty. Music taught me so many things as a child that I didn’t even realize I was learning. You learn discipline. Your learn dedication. You learn attention to detail. You learn how to express yourself in a different language ad all of these skills are so important in becoming a human being growing up in the world today.”

“I think all of these skills are really important even if someone isn’t planning to go into music ultimately.”

Sara grew up in Richmond, Illinois, which when she was very young had no orchestra program. So when Sara began violin lessons at age six, her parents drove her to another town thirty minutes away. As her skills developed she changed teachers, and the drive to lessons grew to a four-hour round-trip. “It was a big responsibility for my dad. But he was really passionate and felt that music was a really important thing for me. He videotaped lessons. I would go home and study the tapes and take notes.”

“I grew up in a family that really instilled a love for music and also the discipline part of being a musician at the same time.”

Sara continued to study violin through high school and at Northwestern University, where she majored in violin. She did her graduate studies at the Longy School of Music at Bard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “When I finished my graduate studies in the spring of 2011, I won a job with the Knoxville Symphony in the fall of 2011.”

“If there were no Joy of Music School in town, I think It would be very sad. It offers something for children that is invaluable and can’t be replaced in any other way.” As a volunteer teacher, Sara currently has one student, whom she has taught for three years. “I think I’m giving something really valuable to him, not only in the music realm, but also in the life realm.”