A woman with the soul of a musician and the heart of a teacher.
Makena Clark is a local musician and the Director at Sierra Strings in Sonora. Makena’s whole life revolves around her love for music, and she teaches classes on the violin and cello. Having obtained a Bachelor’s in Music: Violin Performance, from University of the Pacific’s Music Conservatory, she continued her music education by finishing her Master’s in Music from Bob Cole’s Conservatory at California State University Long Beach. Like Makena, all of the instructors at Sierra Strings are well equipped with a minimum education of a Bachelor’s degree in Music.
Makena has been playing the violin since age 4 and knew at such a young age that she wanted to make a career out of it. “After seeing symphonies perform when I was a child, I knew that I wanted to be in the orchestra one day.” She has played for so long that she doesn’t recall a life without music. Like many, music brings joy and love to her days. She has spent countless hours mastering the talent and keeping melodies alive that have long outlived their original creators. She is one of many talented musicians in this world who absorb themselves in the works of others, adding to the art and carrying it through time.
As a musician, Makena is unique to our small community because she brought the music she loves back here after college, to continue her journey of growth in it and to share it with those she teaches. “The best part about teaching music lessons,” she says, “is seeing the excitement on a student's face when they conquer a new musical idea, technique or song.” The luck she feels to be in this profession is unmatched. By fostering music, Makena aims to enhance Sonora’s culture by increasing awareness and support of the arts and music community.
A source of Makena's inspiration for committing her time to music is the astonishing influence of her own music teachers. “I have had 5 teachers, from early childhood through graduate studies that have shaped my musical journey and supported me to no end.” These teachers influenced her to cross the world for music as she played her violin in traveling-orchestras in Germany, the Cech Republic and Italy. Some of her fondest memories come from these moments, gathered under stage lights among a group of worldly musicians as their bows and fingertips worked in harmony through the highs and lows of a beautiful symphony. It takes great dedication for a musician to make it to a professional level, and the lessons learned on that road to greatness are never to be underestimated.
From her experiences in the last two decades, Makena has come to firmly believe that the power of music can bring together a community and shape the lives of all who listen and play. Music education has obviously had a life-changing impact on her which shows through her hard work as a leader for the youth of the community. “I want people to appreciate the beauty of music.” For this reason, she and others working at Sierra Strings have sought to bring in many beneficial music programs for individuals interested in embarking upon a musical journey of their own.
“Music is such an amazing art form. It is a universal language that can bring together people of any background, culture, race, etc. It is a way to break down barriers. Everyone loves music. I want students to take away life lessons - the responsibility of caring for their instrument, the hard work and determination to practice every day, and not giving up.”
– Makena Clark
Wonderful teachers are at the very heart of Sierra String’s mission to provide a safe and nurturing music studio where students can leave their worries at the door to learn, express themselves and make new friends.
At Sierra Strings, Angela Drury is a Board-Certified Music Therapist who offers Music Therapy workshops. One workshop, Drumming for Wellness is offered currently. Angela also travels around the country to teach classes in Music Therapy Technique to students in need. Fellow teacher Isabel Seektaz plays violin, Irish fiddle, mandolin and the ukulele. Join a class and work alongside these incredible women to feel the richness of music in your life, today.