ST. PAUL PIANO LESSONS

KEIKO TAKAHASHI

Available: 3:00-9:00 PM Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. 10:00-3:00 Saturday.

Keiko Takahashi began playing the piano at age 6, in her school located in the north of Japan. Her first piano teacher taught her until 4th grade. She had two more teachers through middle school and high school. In 1966 she entered the University of Yamagata; College of Education and Music. She was educated by professor Hiroshi Kanai, a concert pianist and instructor. After graduating, Keiko became a high school music teacher at Yomohama for three years. She then went on to work with the Yamaha music school for two years. From 1975 until 1997 Keiko ran her own private lesson piano studio. In 2000 she came to the USA as a Christian missionary. In addition to her work as a missionary, she was asked to be the church pianist and to also give young people music education. From 2003 until 2016 she taught at her church. Keiko loves piano ensembles, piano duos, and piano accompaniment. She is very welcoming of teaching all ages, from young children to adults. 



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Molly Hawkinson

Available: 3:00-7:00 Tuesdays

Molly began piano lessons when she was seven and also loved to play by ear. After learning her favorite rock bands entire album on piano she started guitar at 16. She has private, formal, and experiential education. This includes over twelve years of private music study, university courses in music & dance, and a bachelors degree in Studio Arts from the University of Minnesota. She has studied dance privately for the past 15 years, completed a summer intensive program in Jazz Piano at Berklee College of Music, attended a year long live-in/work study position at the Esalen Institute, and holds a TEFL certificate from Hamline University. She is continually developing herself personally and professionally, both as an artist and teacher.

Molly has worked with youth as an educator in a variety of capacities over the past ten years. While living in Monterey California, she initially started teaching piano to a friend’s daughter in 2011 and has been teaching actively since at youth centers, studios, schools, and private homes for the past 8 years. She works especially well with young children, beginners, and adults whose dream has always been to learn piano, or are coming back to it after a long time. She writes songs on both guitar and piano and can help people who want to put a second instrument part to their song, or switch the song from guitar to piano, or vice versa.

Teaching Style

I want to help people be able to play the songs that they love! Creative self expression and creative freedom are two things I value tremendously and are important elements that I bring to my teaching. The creative process is also a healing process and by giving ourselves permission to fully express ourselves we become more present, alive and inspired. I encourage my students to use improvisation, write their own songs, think critically, express themselves, and practice creative freedom. At the same time I give them a solid structure and foundation in technique and music theory. In this philosophy lies a tremendous amount of freedom that I have observed to build students’ self-esteem and instill confidence. My approach combines classical technique mixed with a contemporary learning style that is applicable to modern day music making. Whether you want to learn to read notes, or just play your favorite song, I can teach both! I love all styles of music and can teach across genres.


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Chi Zhang

Available: 3:00-6:00 PM Friday. 10:00-2:00 PM Saturday.

Quinn (Chi) Zhang, earned his master degree in piano performance at California State University, Northridge, and graduate performance diploma from Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Currently he is a candidate of DMA (Doctor of Music Arts) at University of Minnesota. His teachers include Lintao Li, Ying Yin, Minduo Li, John Perry, Michael Lewin, and Kyung Kim.

During his undergraduate study in China, Chi got national scholarship from the education department of China, the first prize in piano competition of art colleges in Shandong, and the first prize in Changjiang piano competition in Shandong. Since he came to study at the US in 2013, Chi had attended many music festivals, such as John Perry Academy in California, Amalfi coast music festival and Perugia music festival in Italy, Banff piano masterclass in Canada, etc. Besides performance, Chi also enjoys teaching. He values both the techniques and artistry of playing the piano. Besides music, Chi is also a big fan of math, science, sports, and movies.