March 11, 2019

Remembering Sarah Slechta

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Sarah Slechta, who passed away Feb. 6, 2019, impacted many with her skill and passion for teaching during her 97 years. Once a member of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, she had a long tenure as an Arts+ violin and viola instructor. Sarah had a reputation as a great instructor with a strict teaching style who was loved and admired by her students and fellow musicians. She taught both traditional lessons and the Suzuki method. Sarah embodied the Suzuki philosophy that “every child can,” and she expected the best of her students.

Students and parents alike remember Sarah fondly. Arts+ parent Jeana Gladstone called it a privilege to work with her. Their family had recently moved to North Carolina, and Sarah was the children’s first instructor at Arts+. Jeana said, “she encouraged everyone (including me) to do things they didn’t think they could do. She always found the good in everyone.” Thanks to Sarah, Jeana’s two youngest girls are still playing and taking lessons 14 years later. Jana Gladstone remembers her kindness and generosity. “She would always give a three-minute lesson to my two-year-old sister, who is now 15 and still playing violin,” Jana recalled. “We have very happy memories of Mrs. Slechta, and she will be missed.”

Sarah’s fellow instructors had great admiration for her as well. Arts+ instructor Mary Lou Hindley described Sarah as a treasure to Arts+ and her students. “She was always interested in the lives of Arts+ teachers, and we all loved her and tried to follow her excellent teaching suggestions. During her long life, Sarah brightened the world with her music and teaching.”

Sarah’s impact as a teacher and musician has left a lasting legacy at Arts+. We were fortunate to have her as an instructor and will continue to honor her passion through our mission.