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
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
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
Melody Xiang (piano) Melody (Yongjin) Xiang, a pianist, comes from China. Fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin. She studied piano when she was 3 years old. She received a bachelor’s degree in Shenzhen University. During her time in university, she won the first Prize in Youth group in the sponsored by the Thailand Bangkok Opera Art Center of Southeast Asia Second Prize in 18th Hong Kong Aisa Piano Open Competition. In 2017, she went to Longy school of music of Bard college in Boston for advanced studies. During her time in Longy, she received the Graduate Fellowship Scholarship and worked with students who were non-piano majors to help pass the piano exam. In 2019, she received her M.M. in Piano Performance at Longy. Now she is an active member of the MTAC. Melody has gained much knowledge in piano technique, and can draw from a combination of these backgrounds in her own teaching. She feels a need to share this great and musical sensibility with students of all ages.
Jeffrey Tay (piano, guitar, voice) Jeffery Tay is a singer-songwriter, Independent Artist, Producer. Jeffery started learning classical piano a at the age of 10, and shortly after began learning the ukulele and guitar. He majored in vocal studies and holds a bachelor degree from Xinghai Conservatory of Music where he was awarded “outstanding graduate student.” After graduation, he signed a contract with a Chinese label to be a singer and songwriter and released two original albums between 2013-2015. Soon after, he released 4 original singles as an independent artist, producing his own music videos, one which was pitched by MTV Chinese Channel and aired for more than one year. In 2018 Jeffery moved to Los Angeles and graduated from Musician Institute with a Certificate in Independent Artistry. He holds awards as Top 4 in “The Guangzhou Foreign Language Singer Competition” (2009); Champion of “Budweiser of China Campus singer competition”; Top 10 in Hong Kong TVB “International Chinese New Talent Singing Championship” shows (2012); Top 4 in MTV China channel ‘Aloft Star’ (2015); Top 4 in Guangdong TV ‘Live casting idols of China’ (2016) Fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese.
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
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
Saturday 12:00pm-5:00pm, Sunday 2:00-5:00. Currently not accepting new students.
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 & Thursday 1:30pm-8:30pm, Tuesdays 4:00pm-8:30, Saturday 9am-5pm. Currently not accepting new students.
Jonathan Lacayo (voice, piano, children) Jonathan, a lyric tenor and San Diego native, studied vocal performance (B.A.) under Dr. John Craig Johnson and vocal coach Ines Irawati at Point Loma Nazarene University. Before finishing his studies, Jonathan had become an accomplished teacher. At the age 18 he began directing his church choir and by the following year had become the Director of Worship Ministries (Centro Cristiano La Palabra.) In the middle of his junior year of college he had been offered a teaching position at the Recreational Music Center in San Diego. There he created a Vocal Arts Summer program and helped create school curriculums through their school site programs, establishing a vocal curriculum at the Saint Charles Borromeo Catholic Academy. Furthermore, Jonathan has sung with Diego Opera’s university partnership program Opera Exposed! and outreach program Opera on Track under the direction of Dr. Nicholas Reveles. Jonathan has had the privilege of being invited to sing throughout the United States and internationally in Mexico. He made his U.S. Debut with Long Beach Opera, March 2016, in the role of “Wissam” in of Heather Raffo & Tobin Stokes’ Fallujah, an opera inspired by the story of U.S. Marine Christian Ellis in the Iraq War. He reprised the role in his debut with New York City Opera November 2016. Jonathan made his international debut with Opera de Tijuana in the role of “Joe” in Gershwin’s Blue Monday October 2015. Other roles include Long Beach Opera as “Man 1” in Robert Xavier’s west coast premier of Frida (2017); Opera Theatre of the Rockies: “Radames” in Verdi’s Aida (2017/scene), “Goro” in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly (2017/scene), “Pylade” in Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride (2017/scene); Lensky in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin (2015/Act 1), Don Jose in Bizet’s Carmen (2015/scene); San Diego Opera’s Opera on Track as “Don Ramiro” in Rossini’s Cenerentola 2016/Act 1); Point Loma Opera Theatre: “Parpignol” in Puccini’s La Boheme (2015), “Prince Charment” in Massenet’s Cendrillon (2014), “Beppe” in Donizetti’s Rita (2014), “Giuseppe” in Loesser’s Most Happy Fella (2013), “Aeneas” in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (2012) understudy for “Camile” in Lehar’s Die Lustige Witwe (2012) and “Don Anchise” in Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera (2011). Fluent in Spanish.
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-8:00pm, Wednesday 1:30-8:30
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
Currently not taking new students.
Registration Private Music Classes
one on one or two on one private lesson with teacher