Sara Tavanaie is a 26-year-old Music Educator who was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. She is a proud Canadian who stays true to her Iranian roots. Her last name is a great representation of her personality. In translation, “Tavana” defines ability and “ie” means the person. This is exactly who Sara is, an individual who has the ability to accomplish anything once she puts her mind to it.
Sara is beyond grateful for her parents for everything that they have taught her throughout the years. Her parents immigrated to Canada with a desire for her to grow up in a land of opportunity, freedom and possibility. Shortly after, they got divorced and Sara was raised with her mother. When she was twelve, her mother was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, a chronic disease that attacks the central nervous system. As a single mother, this was a very difficult time, both financially and emotionally. Sara learned the meaning of responsibility and maturity at a young age and has been her mother’s number one supporter and caregiver ever since. Despite her parents failed marriage, her father has always been a supportive and great father figure. She credits her music exposure to him. Her father’s influence, holding a doctorate degree as a classical guitarist definitely persuaded her into her field of study today. She began learning piano at the age of ten, which is much later than when the typical child begins. Her age was not a factor towards accomplishing her current title as a professional pianist, who completed all ten levels in the Royal Conservatory of Music. She took the skills she learned and applied it by working at numerous musical institutions until she built her own clientele. Her experiences in piano teaching allowed her to educate many diverse students, starting at the age of 3 up until 65. She has had exposure to teaching students with many exceptionalities, including autism, slight hearing impairment, learning disabilities and giftedness. These challenges only made her become a stronger individual and a better educator. Ultimately, she loves the impact she makes on each one of her students and is extremely gratified with bringing the gift of music into their lives.
Sara’s love for music and teaching is what persuaded her to obtain her two Bachelor degrees in Music and Education. During her undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto, she explored her interests further and became a fitness enthusiast. She enjoys weight training, meal prepping, and living a healthy, active lifestyle. Occasionally she plays sports such as volleyball and basketball but prefers to coach her junior girls team instead. In the near future, she intends on expanding her teaching resume by achieving her Canfitpro certification to help personal train others to accomplish their fitness goals.
Sara has encountered many diverse teaching experiences. After several years of teaching in the heart of multiculturalism, specifically the Toronto District School board, she has been given many incredible opportunities. These opportunities and experiences also presented challenges that she had to overcome. Her title as a band instructor at her current private school involves teaching students how to play brass, woodwind and percussion instruments as well as recorder, vocal and xylophone to her younger students. Unfortunately, the ugly truth is that the instrumental program is slowly diminishing more and more as the years progress. School systems, parents and many disbelievers do not prioritize music as a fundamental subject, thus resulting in a reduction in funding. This common misconception about the Arts being insignificant is extremely unfair to today’s children. Majority of schools only have students partake in the Arts once, maybe twice a week. Ms. Tavanaie’s philosophy on music education is that it’s an essential requirement for overall development in a child’s life. Music brings joy, relief, emotional release, creativity and so much more. To not have the opportunity to enjoy such a remarkable subject to its fullest, especially since it’s scientifically known to enhance cognitive development, is quite unfortunate. It is one of the few subjects out there that stimulate both left and right hemispheres of the brain simultaneously, thus challenging our students in both their analytic and creative thinking. The sole fact that this one subject incorporates multiple subjects; literacy, numeracy, science, languages, history, geography as well as everyday life skills such as responsibility, hard work, ownership and practice, are all more reasons to promote a well-funded, all rounded music education for our youth.
Sara is determined to make a difference within this pageant. She wants to tell the world that every child deserves a comprehensive sequential music education, especially because of the unfortunate reality of how the arts are not prioritized in today’s school systems. Music is a universal language, enjoyed and studied by many. It is an integrated curriculum, with multiple subjects and concepts being taught. It gives individuals freedom to be creative, an escape from the stressful reality or helps people focus and concentrate on tasks. By applying her knowledge, passion, integrity and hard work, Sara is determined to make Canada, the most beautiful diverse multicultural nation proud on the Miss Universe Stage.