Shealeen Louise (piano) has a wide variety of musical style experience: as a classically trained pianist, a worship leader and as a recording artist.
Born and raised in Albuquerque, Shealeen first fell in love with the piano at the age of 8, when she found herself captivated by an old upright piano at her grandparent’s house. She trained under Juilliard grad Tonja Voorhees and a variety of jazz, blues and theory teachers. She is currently taking Berklee College of Music courses online, and is working towards a bachelor’s degree in songwriting.
She and her sister, Elle Puckett (guitar), formed a group called Poema in 2008, which was signed to Tooth & Nail Records, where they released three albums and were named in AP Magazine as one of the 100 bands you need to know in 2012. On the day of its release, their debut album, Remembering You, was the #3 selling album on iTunes singer/songwriter charts, a proud moment for the sisters. “So much hard work went into it, and so many stories were told through it,” she says. “It took two-and-a-half years for everything to finally fall into place for the release, so it was a huge moment for me when it was finally available!”
When it comes to teaching, Shealeen thrives on being an “encourager,” and loves to see her students fall in love with piano. “I will never let my students believe that what they are trying to accomplish is too hard,” she says. “I believe my ideal student would say that I am gracious, encouraging and thoroughly determined to see them be the best they can be.”
Q&A with Shealeen
Where do you look for creative inspiration?
I’m inspired by so many things, when I see an older couple walking hand in hand, I want to write a song about their story. When it’s dreary and rainy outside, I want to learn a new Nocturne. When I see a beautiful flower, I want to paint it. I am always trying to be creative in some way.
What is your favorite music?
I was raised listening to all the bands my parents liked. We listened to bands ranging from dcTalk to U2, and Amy Grant to Johnny Cash. Now that I’m older, my musical taste has become even broader; there are very few genres I dislike (or at least can’t appreciate in some way). A few of my favorite artists/bands include: Patsy Cline, Switchfoot, Chopin, John Mayer, Patty Griffin, Brad Paisley, Nickel Creek and Johnny Cash.
What is your favorite all time movie and why?
The Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit. (I couldn’t pick just one!!) I’m a LOTR/Tolkien super fan. I never get tired of watching those movies! They have a little bit of everything: action, romance, drama, suspense, comedy, fantasy. It’s all there.
What is your favorite Bible verse?
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” -Ephesians 2:10
My band is called Poema, which is the original Greek word used in this verse, translating to “workmanship.” As someone who loves to create, it thrills me to know that God was the original artist, and that I am His workmanship and His masterpiece! I love to know that the original Artist made me an artist too, and that I create because He first created me.
Here’s Shealeen playing some Chopin at the age of 17. Pretty amazing if you ask us.