"Students are different - some are motivated by "task masters," others by flowery praise for the smallest improvement. Sarah has an intuitive sense of what students need, and brings a great balance of encouraging support and pushing you to do the basic exercises - scales, long tones, tonguing. I want to play beautifully, but left on my own, I'd avoid the hard work. If the "proof is in the pudding," my most frequent audience - my spouse - says it's really sounding like music!"
--Lynne Eickholt-South Carolina , 2020
"Sarah and I have been working together for over one year. She is not only a remarkable and gifted musician, but a remarkable teacher as well. She met me where I was, a relative newbie in the latter part of my life. She is very sensitive to the individual aspects and attributes of each of her students and in a gentle and kind manner not typical of most musicians, is able to use her understanding to be an even more effective teacher. She analyzes a student’s technique in the same fashion and her lessons are tailored to each student She is outstandingly patient. Yet, she is a disciplined musician and instills this in her students. As frustrating as learning an instrument can be sometimes, I almost always leave my lesson feeling uplifted, ready to practice and looking forward to the next time."
--Ruth Saltzman-Brookline, MA 2020
"Sarah is an excellent online teacher. She understands how virtual world works and what we can and can’t do online. She is very good at keeping us moving forward with our playing, even online. I learn a lot from her in every class and highly recommend her online classes."
--Anne Stevens- Vermont 2020
"Sarah made me enjoy doing exercises! Her tips on structure, articulation, and strategy make the exercises more rational, and dare I say fun? In the past I rarely cracked the exercise book, but now that’s how I start every practice session. I think my playing has improved as a result."
--Margaret Carver-Plymouth, Ma 2020
"I am so grateful to Sarah for creating this very motivating warm-up & technique class! It feels like a musical lifeline, easing the isolation of not being able to play in person. The daily discipline of the class schedule really boosts my practice routine; the daily dose of Sarah's lively and helpful input is a great add-on to private lessons; and maybe best of all is the sense of a small community that is evolving among us in the class. Thank you, Sarah!"
--Mary Ellen Ladd, Sudbury, MA 2020
“For more than ten years, I have known Sarah Cantor as a private instructor, an ensemble coach, a leader of music workshops, and a recorder virtuoso. In private lessons and in group settings, Sarah’s skillful and inspired coaching has enriched my musical life and those of many other students."
--Richard Schmeidler 2012
“Sarah has a balanced approach that allows you to experiment and learn as you go. A low-pressure attitude that allows you to discover new ways of playing for yourself, but also with good guidance and necessary corrections. Under her tutelage I found I was able to solve a problem playing in the upper register that I had never been able to overcome in the past. I’d recommend her to anyone who is interested in becoming more proficient on the recorder.”
--Brian Warnock, Jamaica Plain, MA 2002
“Sarah is a patient, enthusiastic teacher. Her classes and ensembles contain a nice mixture of instruction/drills and opportunities to play beautiful music. She is very articulate, having the ability to not only demonstrate how something should be played but to also describe it in meaningful terms. Sarah challenges her students and provides an environment in which to learn and have fun in the process.”
—Barbara Allen, Cambridge, MA 2005
"Sarah Cantor has a professional teaching style that’s also disarmingly familiar. She is supportive and complementary while holding her students to a high standard. She is able to focus student learning techniques while still making room for whatever motivates students creatively to make music. Sarah has a wealth of experience and knowledge, a sense of humor, and compassion. I am A 65 year-old beginner private student, and part of a daily Zoom warm-up class. We are at varied skill levels and Sarah is able to keep us all engaged. We have become a community. I have moved forward learning this instrument with more commitment and energy than I knew I had. Playing the recorder adds structure and joy to my day. If you’re on the fence: jump."
--Mandy Young -Concord, MA 2020
"Sarah is a wonderful teacher, full of information and advice for technique and musicality, with lots of helpful tips and pointers for ways to practice. She’s always friendly and upbeat — but doesn’t let you get away with sloppiness and shortcuts. I’m learning a lot from her — and unlearning some bad habits.
Pandemic-era online lessons work very well. It’s an obvious problem that two or more people can’t play together, but Sarah overcomes it nimbly by recording herself in real time so that you can play along with the recordings. I'm also enjoying her morning warmup and technique group classes, which add a bit of structure and routine that I for one can use, as well as being great learning opportunities in their own right."
--Michael Lauer-Harvard, MA 2020
“Sarah is an accomplished and ambitious performer, but, unlike some talented musicians, she is also an outstanding teacher. She treats beginning players with the same dignity, respect, attention, and enthusiasm she gives to those more advanced. From personal experience in Sarah’s ensembles, I know that Sarah’s musical insights span the spectrum of early music as well as early instruments: recorders of all kinds, flutes, plucked and bowed strings, harpsichord, voice."
— Wendy Goble 2012
“Sarah derives satisfaction not only from creating beautiful music, but also from helping her students work through technical or musical problems at their own levels. I have never seen Sarah bored or frustrated or anything less than fully engaged in working with an individual or an ensemble. She understands the dynamics of groups that comprise diverse personalities, ages, and levels of experience, and ensures that everyone is learning and involved in the process of music-making. Through her infectious warmth and good humor, her patience and persistence, her attention to details of technique and musicality, her recognition of the strengths and weaknesses and individuality of each player, she challenges us to stretch beyond what we thought we could achieve, and leaves us encouraged, enriched, inspired, and humming happily.”
--Daniel Ozick, Newton, MA 1998
“I always enjoy participating in sessions Sarah Cantor coaches for several local recorder societies. Her repertoire is always appealing, and Sarah brings out the best in players with her attention to technique and musicality. Her style is good-humored and patient, but at the same time she sets the bar high. I’ve also studied privately with Sarah and my playing has benefited, especially from working with her on phrasing and style, in both Renaissance and Baroque music.”
—Jennifer Smith, Lexington, MA 2005
“I started taking recorder lessons with Sarah about two years ago as a total beginner. Sarah grouped several new players into an ensemble about a year ago, and we can all now play soprano, alto, tenor and bass recorders. Sarah is a wonderful teacher — very encouraging and patient. She strikes a great balance of getting you playing beautiful music right away while teaching the more technical aspects of recorder playing along the way.”
—Sarah Rainwater Ward, Cambridge, MA 2006