San Francisco Bay Area Piano Teachers
Cooper Grant is a 23-year-old musician and composer living in Berkeley. He plays and teaches piano and percussion for all ages and skill levels. He has played, taught and performed a variety of genres, from classical to jazz, folk, R&B, pop, and gospel. He has taught privately, through Henderson and Golden Key Schools of music, as well as through various programs like the Chico Theater Ensemble and Chico Country Day/Blue Oak Elementary Schools.
Cooper's pedagogical approach is to connect the student with their love for music, emphasizing musicality and ear training. By developing a strong practice routine, the student is able to cultivate the technique required to express themselves musically, forming a relationship between improvement and the joy of playing.
Yunhe Cai began her classical piano study at the age of four and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Music Theory and Composition in China. She then went on to receive her Master of Fine Arts degree in Music Production and Sound Design at Academy of Art University in San Francisco,
Yunhe received a level 10 grade piano certification from the China Musician Association when she was 12. She taught group music classes for kids age 3-6 for 4 years in China and obtained the Excellent Music Teacher certificate from the China Conservatory of Extracurricular.
Yunhe has been teaching private piano lessons in the bay area for more than 4 years. Some of her students have achieved good grades in the ABRSM exam. As a music teacher, Yunhe Cai is always patient, creative, innovative and confident. She is deeply committed to a very high standard and excellent quality of musical education. The results of her outstanding background as a student, teacher and composer can be seen in her work as a teacher.
Anna Aistova (graduated from Rimsky Korsakov college of Music) was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia and began her musical studies at the age of 5. From 2007 to 2012 she sang in Mariinsky and Mikhaloivsky Theatre Choirs in the productions of Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, Bizet’s Carmen, Tchaikovsky’s Queen of Spades, Puccini’s «La boheme».
In 2012 she continued her studies at the Rimsky Korsakov College of Music, Saint Petersburg in the class of professor Tatiana Cherkasova, a holder of the title Honored Artist of Russia. During this time she received several prizes including Diploma of International Vocal Competition «New Opera World» ,Moscow 2015; Laureate of International Vocal Competition «CRESCENDO INTERNATIONAL MUSIC COMPETITION» USA, New York. In 2014 she performed in Saint-Petersburg Philharmonic Hall as a soloist with Saint-Petersburg Folk orchestra.
Anna has taught private lessons, covering vocal, piano, solfeggio and music theory. She has experience in working with children, combining piano and vocal technique to develop general musicality. She also works with adult students.
Larry’s lessons are meant to be fun. He teaches the basic skills so you can play Jazz, Rock and Roll, Popular Music, Blues, Country, Boogie Woogie and how to accompany Singers and Instrumentalist and to be part of an Ensemble. He also teaches Music Theory, Songwriting and Music Composition.
Larry has played piano with Todd Rundgren and has been been the pianist for such Musicals as “Grease”, “Beauty and The Beast” and “Annie Get Your Gun”.
Larry studied music privately with his wonderful teachers and gained his experience touring, recording and currently creating Sound Design and Music for live Theatre in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Warren has been teaching piano since he was 21 years old. He has been studying piano and its music for over 20 years. He's also played the violin for over 10 years and enjoys teaching.
He attended the University of California, Riverside studying under Kim Amin. During his time there he learned more about music from Caitlin St. John and Dr. Edward Bruner. Warren enjoys the music of Bach, Vivaldi, Beethoven, Schumann Brahms, Scriabin and more.
What he expects out of students are to strive for excellence. His teaching style is to be free in communicating how one feels, how to be an excellent thinker in music and to love music.
Cheng Chen began studying classical piano at the age of eight and has been studying and playing piano for more than 18 years. She received a Level 8 Grade Piano Certification from the China Musician Association.
Cheng attended Indiana University-Bloomington and graduated with a Bachelor of Art in Linguistics, minoring in Early Music at Jacobs School of Music. She developed her interest in harpsichord performing, a keyboard instrument that was largely used during the Baroque period in Western music history. While Cheng’s primary interest is the Baroque period, her early interests were Classical and Romantic periods. Her primary inspirations are Bach, Händel, Beethoven, Schubert and Chopin. During her course of study, Cheng performed several piano and harpsichord solo recitals, along with ensembles of chamber music.
When it comes to teaching, Cheng encourages her students to not only become proficient on instrument but also develop an understanding of basic music theory in order to become better performers. Since Cheng herself is a musician valuing creativity, she encourages her students to be free and creative during the study of music. She firmly believes music study should be fun and that music itself is a way for all human beings to express feelings, emotions and love.
Pete Egan is a teacher, writer, producer, engineer and multi-instrumentalist with varying degrees of success attached to each title. He originally came from a town in upstate New York called Binghamton. At the age of 8, his parents signed him up to take piano lessons, mostly because sports weren't going too well. He went along with the idea and 25 years later is still playing today. As lessons went on, he became more interested in jazz and less interested in classical. In 2004 he began college at SUNY Fredonia (still upstate New York but about 200 miles to the West). He played in a handful of ensembles, made several unique recordings and graduated in 2008 with a degree in Sound Recording Technology along with a Concentration in Jazz Studies (a 'concentration' is about as meaningful as a 'minor' is - but it does have the distinction of showing people that you "concentrated" more on it).
After graduating, he made the trek to the West Coast. It was an experiment in discovery and self-reliance and ended up being one of the best decisions he ever made. It helped that the Bay Area has a vibrant music scene and it became a pretty consistent source of inspiration. The music scene always is changing, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse, but being a part of it certainly felt (and continues to feel) nice. Over the years, Pete has played in a rock/reggae hybrid group called Evergreen Dub, a strange indie/post-rock ensemble called Treehouse Orchestra and more recently Alligator West (swamp-rock), Flanobo (r&b/soul), Flow Control (reggae), the Noble Hustle (funky jazz), and Emily Afton (soul-crushing singer/songwriter stuff). He also has collaborated on electronic music with several different soundcloud artists and has also made an instrumental hip-hop album.
Pete Egan loves helping students learn piano, arranging, theory and especially improvisation. He likes the challenge of balancing discipline and fun. In general, he believes in struggling toward virtually unattainable goals. That way there's always something more to achieve.
Californian-born flutist Christy Kim enjoys an active career as an orchestral and chamber musician. From 2016-2018, she was a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago becoming the Flute Fellow in 2017-2018. During her time in the orchestra, Christy performed and taught flute throughout the city of Chicago. She has performed with the Chicago Symphony and the St. Louis Symphony joining them on their International Tour in 2017. She has performed under conductors Esa-Pekka Salonen, Riccardo Muti, David Robertson, Christoph Eschenbach and Leonard Slatkin. Her chamber music appearances include performing in the Kennedy Center's Conservatory Project. Christy has spent summers at the Aspen Music Festival, Music Academy of the West and National Repertory Orchestra. As a pianist, Christy performed the Mendelssohn Piano Concerto in G Minor with the Thousand Oaks Philharmonic in 2007. Future engagements for the 2018-2019 season include performing with the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
As a teacher of both flute and piano, Christy believes that freedom of expression is the ultimate goal of any musician. Students learn the mechanics of the instrument and fundamental building blocks of musicianship: Scales, tonal exercises and technical etudes in addition to theory, orchestral excerpts and solo repertoire. In addition, she draws awareness to the physical demands of playing an instrument, preventing injuries and ensuring longevity in our musical journeys. Her ultimate goal is to teach students how to become their own teacher by instilling a never ending sense of curiosity for music.
Christy holds a Master's Degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and received her Bachelor's Degree from the University of Southern California. Christy's principal flute teachers are Mark Sparks, Tim Day, Jim Walker and Susan Greenberg.
Travis Palmer is a very tasteful musician and well gifted educator. He started playing classic rock on guitar 13 years ago and has since gone to school for music, studying jazz guitar, classical piano and currently goes to school for jazz piano at San Jose State University. Additionally, he is also able to teach songwriting and both jazz and classical music theory.
Well versed in performing live, Travis has plenty of practical experience in music and has taught a wide range of ages, ranging from children in elementary school to retired adults. Travis seems to find the perfect balance of fun and strict practice routine to help his students get the most out of their practice.
Originally from Madrid, Spain, Maria Garcia-Plaza started to play the piano by ear at the age of 5. She attended the Conservatory of Music Arturo Soria in Madrid at the age of 7 and began her violin studies at the same time with Maestro Hermes Kriales.
Maria has been teaching piano since she was 18 years old and it is one of her passions. She loves working with kids, introducing them at an early age to the love of music through games, making the class fun and enjoyable.
Maria arrived in San Francisco in 2012 and taught piano at several schools around San Francisco and San Mateo (Community Music Center, Scherzo Music School, Thomas Edison Charter Academy). She also teaches private lessons to kids and adults with the ability to teach in Spanish.
At an early age she began performing and won 1st prize at the Polimusica Youth Awards at the age of 12. This allowed her to obtain a scholarship to perform with the JONDE (National Youth Orchestra of Spain) for two consecutive years. Since then she has played with several orchestras (Symphonic Orchestra of Madrid, Symphonic Orchestra of La Rioja, Camerata Musicalis), traveling through Spain, France, Italy and Germany.
Maria is currently part of the Awesöme Orchestra based in Oakland. Her last performance was at Fox Oakland Theatre in 2016 with the band Green Day on its 20th anniversary, playing their album Dookie with Awesöme Orchestra.
Joshua began his musical studies at the age of five. He's performed actively in his career winning many local competitions and studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music under the distinguished teacher and leading pedagogue, John McCarthy. Joshua has extensive volunteer and work experience having traveled to Asia, Europe and Africa teaching Math and English in India as well as animal wildlife conservation work in South Africa and Mozambique. His expertise ranges from working as a Behavioral Therapist teaching kids with Autism and Intellectual disability to Youth at Risk Mentorship workshop programs as well as teaching senior citizens.
With over 25+ years of piano experience Joshua's empathic, sensitive and understanding approach to teaching allows for a diverse range of communication styles while emphasizing the fundamentals of piano technique, theory, practice methods, ear training, sight reading, composition, performance, improvisation and recording. His central focus is to develop the student's individual personality and expressive capacity while providing clear goals to achieve measurable results. He's deeply committed to delivering quality education and nourishing a lifelong love and enjoyment for the piano.
Recognized for her "big, lavish sound", flutist Michelle Chang enjoys an active career as a soloist and orchestral musician. She has performed in various venues around the world, from the Bayeux Cathedral in France to Carnegie Hall in New York. As a prize winner in various competitions including American Fine Arts Concerto Competition and U.S. Open Music Competition, Michelle is accustomed to a soloistic setting. This past year she was selected as a finalist in the San Francisco Conservatory's concerto competition. Michelle performed regularly in orchestra concerts at Davies Symphony Hall on behalf of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra for several seasons in collaboration with conductor Michael Tilson-Thomas. Additionally, Michelle has attended Areon Summer Flute Institute and Domaine Forget Summer Academy where she studied chamber music and appeared in solo masterclasses with Emmanuel Pahud and Denis Bouriakov. Other masterclass appearances include ones with Carol Wincenc, Jim Walker and Marina Piccinini.
A pedagogue of flute and piano, Michelle emphasizes the usage of music as a method of storytelling. Students learn the mechanics of the instrument and are given tools on how to practice, problem-solve and ultimately teach themselves. From here, students develop a freedom of expression that manifests itself into a unique narrative told through the language of music.
A graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Michelle studied with Tim Day, principal flutist of the S.F. Symphony. Previous teachers include Isabelle Chapuis and Kris Palmer.
Andrew Kunz began learning piano at the age of 6, quickly embracing the fundamentals of classical piano music before picking up the guitar at the age of 9. As he quickly progressed at piano and guitar at an uncanny pace thanks to his great teachers along with his good ear and enthusiasm for practicing, his musical pursuits began to diversify as he grew up. His focus expanded into learning music theory, ear-training, jazz, rock and composition alongside increasingly advanced classical repertoire on his respective instruments. In high school, his interest in new instruments grew to bass and drums and he became the drummer for his high school jazz band as a freshman. Before finishing high school he gained extensive performance experience on all four of his instruments in ensembles both in and outside of school, preparing him for a burgeoning music career in college and beyond.
Upon starting college in 2009, Andrew began pursuing two degrees at once - environmental studies and music- at University of California, Santa Cruz where he studied piano performance and ear-training with Maria Ezerova, Ph.D., a graduate of the Moscow Conservatory. As he focused on the piano repertoire of the greats including Bach, Haydn, Beethoven, Shubert and Debussy he also explored his love of jazz and modern music to new depths as the pianist for the UCSC small jazz combos and big band for several years. While in Santa Cruz he developed his voice as an artist, bandleader, composer, arranger and producer in his own groups and continues to hone these crafts today. Along with his foundation in western classical music his interests as a listener and performer currently include jazz, funk, soul, hip hop, rock and folk music to world music traditions such as west african music, classical North Indian music, balkan, afro-latin and caribbean music.
In addition to performing and teaching, last year his knowledge led him to a project working under the tutelage of a master of classical Hindustani music where he helped edit, format and publish an instructional text book for beginners on the fundamentals of classical North Indian vocal music tradition. Now 27 and based in Oakland, CA, Andrew is an active performing and recording artist, having toured extensively up the west coast of the U.S. and Canada and has played at some of his favorite bay area music venues including the Kuumbwa Jazz Center, Yoshi's, Great American Music Hall and the Independent.
While piano remains his primary instrument of focus, he maintains a high degree of proficiency playing and teaching guitar, bass and drums as well. His teaching style emphasizes cultivating and expanding upon each student's interests, strengths and learning patterns. Andrew focuses on making sure the student is engaged, challenged, having fun and always improving by providing a non-dogmatic, well-rounded approach to studying music. He looks forward to sharing his knowledge and joy of music with new students of all ages.