Sarah Puckett

Teaching Approach:

I start from a belief that we are all inherently musicians and we all inherently love to learn. We might not all love to learn within the bounds of the traditional educational system, but this does not mean there is a problem with the ways we each learn. Lessons should not be a burden or something to dread, but a place to grow and play, in all senses of the word.

I help students build a strong, functional and easeful technique, connection to artistry, mastery of essential theory skills, stage presence, and poise while caring for the whole student.

I combine my experience working in classical music academia, performing in solo and collaborative recitals and professional and community productions, music directing, and experience with standard teaching methods with my in depth study, practice, and training in somatic, psychological, and energy practices (including Alexander Technique, Yoga, Qigong, and body-centered psychotherapy). I have mapped the body, become intimately familiar with how energy and emotions interact with–and really are not at all separate from–the body, and deeply examined how these physical, emotional, and energetic processes interact with our ability to express ourselves through music, as well as how music can shape our physical, emotional, and energetic processes.

I believe in a mindfulness-based, trauma-informed, and systems-aware approach to teaching. I have worked with and particularly enjoy teaching people with the highly sensitive (HSP) trait, neurodivergent people, people who identify as having a disability, and people who identify as having trauma. I have taught students with autism and severe social difficulties, cerebral palsy, rheumatoid arthritis, and PTSD, including birth trauma.


Sarah has performed as a pianist across the U.S., Europe and Mexico, including at the Teatro Angela Peralta and Bellas Artes in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, the Musikakademie der Stadt Basel in Switzerland, Bowling Green State University, The College of William and Mary, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Boston University, University of Connecticut, and Bennington College. In May 2016, she was soloist in Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra’s presentation of Saint-Saëns’ “Carnival of the Animals,” of which the Virginia Gazette wrote: “Sarah Puckett…lent dimension and color to the characterizations” and “ably assisted” the orchestra. She was awarded the second prize in the 2012 Conrad Art Song Competition with Courtney Wallace, soprano, a Mellon grant to perform works by living composers at soundSCAPE Composition and Performance Exchange in Pavia, Italy, and the Gladys Iseman Clark scholarship in applied music which recognizes excellence in performance. Sarah has an M.M. in Piano Performance from Bowling Green State University and a B.A. in English and Music from The College of William and Mary. Her piano teachers were Christine Niehaus, Thomas Rosenkranz, and Robert Shannon.

Sarah has taught piano for over 15 years both in community music schools and privately. In addition to teaching, she has been a sought-after collaborative pianist and vocal coach in several universities and young artist programs. She also taught music theory at Interlochen Center for the Arts. A native of Williamsburg, Virginia, she has lived in Georgia, Ohio, Connecticut, and Switzerland, and is very happy to now call western Massachusetts home.

Sarah Puckett