The rewards for learning to play an instrument are endless. It is a process which stimulates mental and physical awareness, encourages discipline, and instills sense of accomplishment.
For anyone at any age, we at Seattle Piano Academy teach our students far beyond the "basics" of music. Our creative and progressive approaches help build a strong foundation for a lifelong enjoyment of music.
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTORS
Jinhwa Chon, after having worked with students of all ages and levels for over a decade, founded Seattle Piano Academy in 2003 with the goal of providing a unique teaching environment where all students may have a chance to experience a fundamental understanding of piano playing at all stages of learning. Jinhwa encourages students to come with an open mind and a willingness to explore music far beyond learning to read notes, developing the skills to listen for subtle nuances in sound while developing an awareness of their entire body as they play. Jinhwa teaches students to decipher the subtlest differences in sound as they become aware of the physical sensations involved in producing that sound. She strives to help students acquire the necessary tools they need to appreciate music making for life.
From the first lesson, students need learning tools that synthesize the physical aspects of playing the piano with the technical and mental challenges of making the sound "sing." In her doctoral dissertation, Jinhwa presented a fresh look at the fundamental pillars of teaching piano: fluidity and continuity of sound utilizing proper posture. Learning to play classical piano is a life long journey requiring patience, dedication, and, above all, awareness of the challenges, both physical as well as mental. With her passion for teaching piano, Jinhwa encourages and hopes to develop in all students an understanding of the beauty of sound, instilling natural approaches to playing the piano.
Jinhwa holds her Bachelor of Music, Master of Music, and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in piano performance from Eastman School of Music, Indiana University and the University of Washington, respectively. Jinhwa has studied with Craig Sheppard and Bela Siki at the University of Washington. Her teachers also include Nellie Tholen (Lewis & Clark), Rebecca Penneys (Eastman School of Music), Martin Canin (The Julliard School), and Enrica-Cavallo Gulli (Indiana University).
Member, MTNA, Seattle Chapter
Member, National Guild of Piano Teachers
Lisa Furukawa has been teaching piano since 1991. Before moving to Seattle, she was a lead piano instructor at Szymanski Studios as well as a Japanese language and music teacher at the Hawbridge Charter School in North Carolina. She is a professional singer/songwriter and an internationally recognized recording artist. From Scottish Ceilidhs in the highlands to large scale Anime and Sci-Fi Conventions, she has performed original music and arrangements of traditional folk, classical, pop, and electronic music at various cultural events and media conventions at nearly all of the 50 states and in Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.
Lisa received her BA in Music (piano) and Asian Studies (Japanese) from UNC-Chapel Hill where she studied with Michael Zenge and later with Francis Whang. She is trained in the Taubman technique for injury prevention. Some of her other teachers have been Allen Anderson (composition), Donald Oehler (chamber music), Sharon Szymanski (voice), and Terry Thompson (piano at St. Mary's College). She has performed in master classes for Paul Schenly, Claude Frank, Nelita True, Rebecca Penneys and many others. She is a member of the Music Teachers National Association and the Piano Guild, and has helped prepare interested students for scholarship auditions and competitions. Lisa is originally from Tokyo, Japan, where she began her piano training at the age of 2 with the Suzuki method. With her training as a classical pianist, she helps younger beginning students enjoy the process of developing their ear training and memorization skills with a well-rounded foundation for reading music and performing.
Lisa strives to help students enjoy the process of learning and to become responsible, self-motivated learners. She encourages students to keep an open mind, to take on new challenges, to set clear goals, and to work on a variety of music. She carries her open minded love of music into her teaching and hopes each student will discover and expand their understanding of music that they are passionate about.
Amanda Harris, a native of western Washington, is currently working on her Doctorate in piano performance at the University of Washington. Previously, she has studied at Northwestern University (BM in piano performance, BA in German), and Michigan State University (MM in Piano Performance, and MM Piano Pedagogy). She has even spent time in Germany, where she studied abroad for a year at the University of Tubingen.
Her teachers have included Patricia Michaelian (University of Washington), George Vatchnadze (Michigan State University), Dr. Marcia Bostis (Northwestern University), and Wei Tsin Fu (in Tubingen, Germany). Her passion for teaching started while studying at Michigan State University, taking pedagogy classes and finding opportunities to teach both privately, and in a group setting. Harris is also an active accompanist in the greater Seattle area.
Tomoko Maki, born in Tokyo, Japan, is a solo piano performer, collaborative musician, and teacher. She holds her Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from Kunitachi College of Music and her Master of Music degree in piano performance from Central Washington University. In addition to having attended Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris, France, Tomoko is currently a Doctoral candidate at the University of Washington under Prof. Robin McCabe. She has performed in master classes for Dmitri Alexeev, Stephen Drury, and Malcolm Bilson at the UW School of Music, where she has been a recipient of Helen Crowe Snelling Music Award and Ruth Sutton Watters Endowed Scholarship.
Tomoko is passionate about teaching both children and adults. The two main focuses of her piano teaching are developing good practicing habits and providing a positive learning experience.
Monica Chiyoung Yoon, a Korean pianist, started playing the piano at the age of four. While attending Busan Arts High School, Monica made her debut with the Busan Symphony Orchestra, performing Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto. Thereafter, Monica studied at the Korean National University of Arts (KNUA), the first of its kind established by the Korean government, with a full scholarship. After graduating summa cum laude, Monica pursued her Master of Music in Piano Performance at New York University (NYU), where she studied with Prof. Eduardus Halim. She is currently a doctoral student at the University of Washington where she is studying with Prof. Robin McCabe and is a recipient of Claire and Gustav Raaum Piano Scholarship and Hollingsworth scholarship.
In February of 2012, Monica was named a winner at the annual concerto competition of University of Washington’s School of Music. Monica has been a winner at several international competitions as well, including the Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition in New York City in 2009 and the recent American Protégé International Piano competition in New York City for which she will perform at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in November, 2012.
In her interaction with students, Monica focuses on cultivating their potential and developing skills and aptitude necessary for tension-free piano performance. She encourages students to find their own goals and helps them seek ways to achieve them. She is always willing to demonstrate various practice methods to help students improve their understanding of overcoming the challenges in learning to play the piano.
FORMER INSTRUCTORS : Please click here for a list of former teachers.
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