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Sara Doan inducted into Steinway & Sons Teacher Hall of Fame

By Rebecca ChristophersonFebruary 14, 2024No Comments

Sara Doan inducted into Steinway & Sons Teacher Hall of Fame

By Rachael Lindley
Photo courtesy of Steinway & Sons

Sara Doan, Fort Worth piano teacher, is one of the newest inductees into the Steinway & Sons Teacher Hall of Fame.

Steinway & Sons bestowed the honor to 67 piano educators in the United States and Canada this past fall.

Doan’s Fort Worth studio is as bright and bubbly as she is. With colorful art donning the walls, and mascots — dogs Fred and Charlie — greeting students as they arrive for their lessons, Doan takes great pleasure in being a piano teacher.

“It’s such an honor to be inducted,” said Doan, who has played piano since she was 3. “Seeing my name next to other musicians that I admire is surreal.”

Growing up in Fort Worth, Doan played piano under the tutelage of Donna Edwards throughout her childhood and into her teenage years. Edwards encouraged Doan to continue pursuing music and audition at the University of North Texas.

“I didn’t know if I wanted to do music for a living,” Doan said. “But Donna saw something in me and convinced me to audition. I did and I received a scholarship.”

She attended UNT for her undergraduate and master’s degrees and went on to Texas Christian University for her doctorate in performance and pedagogy. It was there that she was inspired by pedagogy professor Ann Gipson to share her passion for piano. Doan has now been teaching children and teens for about 20 years.

“I love what I do because I’m with my students for many years and get to know them very well,” Doan said. “I make them a part of my family and in turn, I get to watch them grow up and have a hand in teaching them about the world. Sometimes our lessons end up being more like therapy sessions depending on what is going on in their lives.”

Doan’s primary goal is to teach her students to be lifelong music lovers and good people.

“We have fun, but we work really hard too,” she said.

Doan constantly seeks new ways to keep recitals and programming fresh. Whether that means partnering with other musicians or offering a rock-climbing party as an incentive for her students to practice for 100 days. Her 2023 holiday party encouraged parents of students to get involved with open mic night.

“It’s a great way to get everyone in the family involved,” Doan said.

In addition to keeping up with her piano lesson students — about 50 a week — Doan also is heavily involved in Cliburn in the Classroom. Cliburn in the Classroom reaches more than 57,000 students through 185 North Texas elementary schools, including all Fort Worth Independent School District elementary schools. Doan participates in 50-60 of those programs a year. She also hosts contestants in her home during the quadrennial Cliburn International Piano Competition.

“It’s all about fostering a love of music,” Doan said. “That’s the end goal.”