(626) 708-0122

Piano & Keyboard

Our Piano staff all have at least a masters degree in piano performance or pedagogy. Our associate piano staff have bachelor degrees or minor in piano. The Certificate of Merit program which is held by the Music Teachers Association of California shapes much of our standard curriculum, providing a steady diet of standard repertoire, music theory, scales and chord progressions, sight reading, playing by ear (aural training) as part of their weekly lesson. While this program is not for everyone, it is an option that is presented to most grade school students who choose to study with us.

At the heart we focus on a student’s enjoyment and appreciation of music and private study allows each student to go at their pace and once the basics are mastered, may choose the type of repertoire they play.

Our teaching staff have backgrounds in classical, jazz, pop music fields, and even video game composition. We accept students from the age of 3 years old who show an ability to follow instructions and sit with concentration for a period of at least 15 minutes.

Solo performance opportunities include at least 2 recitals per year, in house master classes, numerous citywide, statewide, national and international festivals. Standardized examination opportunities include participation in Certificate of Merit exams, ABRSM programs, Royal Conservatory programs.

Ensemble studies and performance opportunities include participation in jazz ensembles, worship bands, and learning to accompany soloists.

Recommended Lesson Books:
age 3 FJH My First Piano Adventure
age 4 FJH Piano Adventures
age 5 and up: Alfred, KJOS Bastien Piano Basics
age 10 and up FJH Accelerated Piano Adventures
age 16 and up: FJH Piano Adventures for Adults, Alfred

Our Piano Instructors

Jiaxin (piano)
Jiaxin He (piano) 
Received her Bachelors of Music in Music Education at the Xinghai Conservatory of Music in Guangzhou, China. She was invited to perform in the highly selective Outstanding Student Graduation Concert of 2013. In 2015, Jiaxin received her Masters of Music in Piano Performance at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst on full Scholarship. She has extensive experience working with students of a variety of ages and backgrounds, both in China and the US. While in China, Jiaxin operated her own private studio, with students ranging from preschool ages to adult. During her time at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, she worked with advanced undergraduates to further their technique and mastery of performance. Jiaxin enjoys working with students of all ages, and uses their personal interests and passions to draw connections in music. Fluent Cantonese and Mandarin.  Member MTAC 

Tuesday-Thursday 1:30pm-8:30pm, Friday 2:00pm-5:30pm, Saturday 9am-5pm
DavidOrr (piano)
David Orr (piano) 
A New England native, David received a Bachelor of Arts in both Piano Performance and Theory from the University of New Hampshire, and holds a Masters of Music in Composition from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He has studied and performed internationally with concert pianists from the top music schools in the country, including New England Conservatory and Juilliard. He has also received awards from several prestigious piano competitions, including the American Fine Arts Festival (held in Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall). In addition to performance, David is an active composer for film, television, and video games, with dozens of clients including HBO and Activison. His video game music has been performed internationally, with a 2015 performance at the Dutch Game Music concert in the Netherlands. With extensive academic training in the art of composition, he also regularly composes concert music. He completed his first symphony The Alchemist in 2014, which was recorded by the The University of Massachusetts, Amherst Symphony Orchestra. David brings his diverse musical experience to his lessons, providing students with a well-rounded education in performance, theory, and analysis. Having taught in a variety of private and group settings -- from preschool lessons to university lectures -- He draws from all of these environments to provide a comfortable, relevant, and engaging environment for his students. You can find out more about David and his work at www.davidorr.net. Member MTAC 

Monday-Tuesday 1:30pm-8:30pm, Friday 2:00pm-4:30pm, Saturday 9am-5pm
Gary Blumer (piano, composition)
Gary Blumer (piano, composition) 
Holds a masters degree in Composition from Wayne State University, he's been performing at the piano for over 35 years in jazz, classical and pop genres. Band leader, freelance pianist, composer/arranger and educator - having taught at WSU for 13 years - are all areas in which Gary has many years of experience. www.myspace.com/garyblumerjazzpiano 

Member MTAC 

Tuesday, Thursday 1:30pm-8:30pm, Saturday 9am-6pm (Arcadia);
Monday, Wednesday 11am-8:30pm (Burbank)

Bilinda Lou (piano)
Bilinda Lou (piano) 
Started playing the piano at the age of five, Bilinda has studied piano, attending the Macao Conservatory in China as a piano performance pre-college student. She then went to Wright State University in Ohio where she received her Bachelors in Music in piano performance and then to the University of Colorado, Boulder where she finished her masters degree also in piano performance. Besides piano, Bilinda also studied orchestral percussion throughout college and has performed in Vienna, Salzburg, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, and China. Bilinda enjoys teaching students from beginning to advanced level with musical training of technique, musicianship, theory, and sight-reading. Fluent in Cantonese, Mandarin, and English.  

Enjoy this amazing piano piece by one of our esteemed teachers Bilinda Lou performing Schumann Vienna Carnival, op 26 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lkD8uhpzKw&feature=youtu.be

Member MTAC 

Monday 1:30-3,7-8:30pm, Wednesday 6:30pm-7pm, Saturday 2:30pm-3pm

Cagdas Soylar (piano)
Cagdas Soylar (piano) 
Cagdas, born in Izmir, Turkey, moved to the capital city of Ankara, at the age of 11 by herself to enroll in the H.U Ankara State Conservatory where she studied the piano for 10 years. After completing her bachelor’s degree in piano performance, she worked as an accompanist at the same conservatory and taught piano at the universities and many private institutions for several years in Turkey. After being awarded “The Geraldine Pickerell Gordon Music Fund Scholarship” toward her graduate studies in piano performance, Soylar traveled to the United States and began studying with Dr. Reena Natenberg at Pittsburg State University in 2009.
In 2009, Soylar was awarded 2nd place in the Collegiate State Artist Competition–Graduate Division. In 2010, she was selected as a soloist by the State Symphony Orchestra and performed in the 2010-2011 season. In the same year, she was nominated for the Pittsburg Area Student Employee of the year by the First Christian Church, where she worked as a pianist for 3 years. In 2011, she was awarded “Excellence in Professional Service” by the Pittsburg State University Department of Music.
Soylar completed her graduate studies with the “Outstanding Student Award” and was granted membership in one of the most prominent national music honor societies in the U.S. created by the Alumni of the Northwestern University School of Music in Chicago, IL in 1918, because of her superior attainment in music and the ‘’personal qualifications pertaining to an outstanding exponent of the arts.” Since then, she has performed as a solo pianist and a collaborative pianist in many countries in Europe, Canada, and China, including China’s National Center for the Performing Arts Hall in Bejing, one of the most prestigious concert halls in the world.
In 2013, she began her doctoral studies in piano performance, studying with Dr. Paolo Susanni at the conservatory in Izmir, Turkey and completed it in 2017. In 2016, she also completed her second master’s at Azusa Pacific University in Keyboard Collaborative Arts, studying with Dr. Joel Clifft. Currently, she is working on her Artist Certificate program in piano performance at APU studying with Dr. Eugene Alcalay, one of the famous Steinway artists. She has been working as an accompanist at APU since 2014 and at First Thai Presbyterian Church in Covina as a pianist since 2015.

Monday-Thursday 1:30pm-8:30pm, Friday 2:00pm-5:30pm, Saturday 9am-5pm

TylerRiveraStein (piano,voice)
Tyler Rivera Stein (piano, voice) 
Tyler is an award winning multimedia producer and music educator. His arrangements for Nick Luckenbaugh’s “Royal Fables,” earned a New York Innovative Theater Award in 2014. After graduating from New York University with a Bachelor’s of Vocal Performance Cum Laude, Tyler began performing professionally as a member of Actor’s Equity Association. In 2012, he was in consideration for Frankie Valli for the Chicago production of "Jersey Boys." His passion for film composing and education brought him to the West Coast after working as a hook singer for Hip Hop label, King’s Vision Entertainment and Michael Gilboe of Broadway Bullet. Since then, he has served over 100 students as a voice and piano teacher, piano accompanist, stage and film director and specializes in working with youth students making their transitions into adult voices. Tyler teaches classical, rock, funk, pop piano, vocal jazz, pop, musical theater and vocal percussion styles. In 2015, he helped develop special needs arts programming with Arts4LA’s Activate Arts Leadership program, sponsored by the LA County Arts Commission. His work with adult with Autism at Inclusion Films produced the first film musical by and for the population, set to premiere on the COX cable networks in September set to his original music. A member of the Society of Composers and Lyricists, Tyler’s film music has accompanied films at the Catalina Island Film Festival, Las Vegas Black Film Festival, and Ft. Worth Indie; in 2016, his music was nominated for best score at the Maverick Movie Awards.

Monday-Thursday 1:30pm-8:30pm, Friday 2:00pm-5:30pm, Saturday 9am-5pm

EstherY
Esther Yi (piano, Kindermusik) 
Has a Bachelor degree from California State University Northridge in Piano Pedagogy. She had been teaching piano for last 22 years, impacting 4 year olds to adults for over 2 decades. She was in Masters Program in Early Childhood Education at California State University Los Angeles. Hence, she has a great understanding of children mind and musical needs.  Fluent in Korean. Member MTAC, Kindermusik Educator 

Saturdays 9am-4:30pm
Yafei Lin (piano)
Yafei Lin (piano) 
is an experienced soloist and collaborative artist with performances in the United States, Taiwan, and on television. Most recently, Yafei worked as a collaborative pianist with numerous Los Angeles-based choirs, including SUUS Choir, Taiwanese Hai-Yun Choir, and Woodland Academy Choir. She serves as a staff accompanist at CSU Northridge, and regularly accompanies for student competitions and evaluations throughout the greater Los Angeles area. As an active member of the Music Teacher‘s Association of California (MTAC), Ms. Lin has developed a reputation as a music educator dedicated to excellence and student success, and her students have been recognized for their outstanding performances in the Certificate of Merit and ABRSM. A native of Taiwan, Yafei began studying piano at the age of seven and continued her education at Shih Chien University, where she studied piano and violin. She holds a Master’s Degree in piano performance from CSU Northridge, with piano studies under Dmitry Rachmanov, and was the recipient of the Etude Music Club Endowment and the Art Council Music Scholarship.

Member MTAC, Royal Conservatory 

Wednesday 6:30-8:30pm, Saturdays, additional availability upon request

Kristin Caliendo (flute,piano,voice)
Kristin Caliendo (flute, piano, voice, children's fundamentals) 
Earned her Doctorate of Musical Arts from Claremont Graduate University in 2016, Master’s of Music in flute performance from Arizona State University in 2005, and her Bachelor’s of Arts from Grand Canyon University in 2003 where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. The winner of the Bay View Music Festival concerto competition and two-time winner of the Maricopa Community College “Outstanding Performers Instrumental Competition,” Kristin is currently teaching at Neighborhood Music School and at her home in San Dimas, CA. She also performs with her husband, composer and guitarist Christopher Caliendo at a variety of local and national events. Kristin strives to provide her students with instruction and experience to develop musical proficiency in both music performance and knowledge in an encouraging, positive, and enjoyable atmosphere. 

Saturday 9:00am-1:00pm

Lori Richardson (flute, piano)
Lori Richardson (flute, piano) 
Earned a Bachelor of Music degree with and emphasis in Performance from California State University Fresno. Lori also studied with Leone Buyse, Jim Walker, and attended Summer Master Class Seminars with the renowned master flutist and teacher, Frances Blaisdell.  With over 20 years of performing and teaching experience Lori is passionate about passing on her love of music to her students through a nurturing environment that emphasizes tone production, technique building, ear training and artistry/musicianship.  She believes the study of music enhances every aspect of a young persons development, creativity, sense of accomplishment and future success. 

Board Member MTAC, Member National Flute Association 

Tuesday 1:30pm-6:00pm, Wednesday 1:30-6:30, Saturday 9:00am-3:00pm, Additional availability upon request


Thoams Fay (guitar, bass guitar, oboe, piano)
Thomas Fey (piano, oboe, guitar, bass guitar) 
Thomas Fay studied piano in a Franz Liszt style conservatory from ages three to nineteen. During this time he also studied oboe and voice in addition to performing guitar, bass, and other woodwinds in jazz, rock, and R&B groups. He received a BA in piano and oboe performance from The University of Mary in North Dakota and a MM in piano performance with an emphasis in music theory and history from University of Wisconsin, Madison where he studied with two-time Van Cliburn award winner Christopher Taylor.
Thomas has performed with an array of artists including Lenny Pickett, Henning Kraggerud, Lisa Henry, and Frank Mantooth. He enjoyed the position of Principal Oboist in The Bismarck Mandan Symphony Orchestra for three seasons. He was an alternate for The Minnesota Orchestra from 2006 to 2009, and performed with The National Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin. He has given piano recitals and held master classes in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa. He also composed for esteemed music firm Hest & Kramer and Carlson Marketing Group in Minneapolis, MN before moving to Los Angeles in 2010.
Thomas has been teaching piano, guitar, voice, bass, and woodwinds for twelve years. His teaching style is a successful blend of traditional methods and embracing innovation and individuality. He believes in a balance of structure and enjoyment in private instruction that is different for every student. He is passionate about the progress of all his students and the continued enjoyment, appreciation, and celebration of music. 

Tuesday, Friday 1:30pm-8:30pm, Saturday 9am-5pm

CONTACT US

  • Neighborhood Music School & Store
  • 若邻音乐园地
    (626) 708-0122
  • 25 S 1st Ave.
    Arcadia, CA 91006
  • Mon thru Thurs: 1:30PM-8:30PM
    Friday: 1:30PM-6:30PM
    Saturday: 9:00AM-5:00PM
    Sunday: 12pm-3:00pm