WHY STUDY WITH ME?

There are infinite ways to improve your playing. The question is, what will work best for YOU, at what pacing, and with what framework? I will guide you as a distinctive person, on an unforgettable journey towards applicable knowledge, self-expression, and creativity.

Why I Love Teaching Adults

Masterclass

Zoom

Intensive


Welcome to my studio!
Join a warm community of inquisitive, self-motivated, open-minded adults who love
making musical connections and exploring life!

"Artistic Practicing Process"
Expanding Concepts + Mind-Body Connection + Personal Expression
Extraordinary playing = ordinary notes played in context and with intention

How is my approach optimized for lifelong learners?
*I believe great music-making starts with great listening. I will listen to you and I will challenge you to hear more.

*Every student has an
individual learning style, and I love helping you figure out what works best for YOU.

*We incorporate
mind-body connection to improve movement intelligence, and character development to improve emotional intelligence.

*My studio is "research and development" centered. Beyond my experiences as an award-winning performer, I consistently and passionately devote daily time to gathering and processing teaching ideas for you. My teaching tools are always being expanded and enhanced.

*With a lifetime of academic education including degrees at Juilliard and Yale, specialty studies, communications studies, and 14 years of teaching at the University of Colorado at Boulder, I am also fluent in diverse pedagogical modalities including mindful/somatic movements, lifestyle/practice habits, my Musical Breathwork, and improving mindsets to make sense of the practicing process.

If you are ready to invest in yourself,
relax and let me guide you to more effective and creative ways!

theNutmegStudio@gmail.com

"I would not be the person I am, going to the places I am going, if it were not for you. You have taught me about dedication, humility, curiosity, strength...balance, and believing that the impossible might just be possible. I took your lessons of relaxation and applied them to my entire life, and my love for life augmented so much more because of it." - Jessie

Lessons and Mentorship | Masterclasses | Intensives | Workshops | Analysis and Ear Training | Improv and Harmonization
+Professionals training/ Residencies : Communications Make-Overs | Musical Breathwork for Performers | Performance Preparation | Business Advice

What Personal Relationships Look Like



Hsing-ay shares a deep friendship with her students, who overcome diverse obstacles to define and achieve personal success. Her focus group is adult learners who are ready to turn their life experiences into intelligent and courageous explorations of musical expressions. With creativity (and not competition) as the ultimate goal, many have also garnered honors including the 2018 Lakewood Symphony Concerto Competition, 2018 Schmitt Piano Competition, 2018 Rocky Mountain Composition Competition, 2017 Schmitt Music Steinway Concerto Competition, 2017 Broomfield Symphony Competition, 2016 & 2015 Rising Stars Festival, 2016 & 2015 Schmitt Solo Piano Competition, 2014 CSMTA Concerto Competition, the 2014 International Odyssiad Competition, the 2012 and the 2011 MTNA State Competition junior division 1st prize, the 2012 and the 2011 Metro State University of Denver Concerto Competition, the 2003 Rene Fisher Piano Competition (CT) 1st prize, and other awards.


"I would not be the person I am, going to the places I am going, if it were not for you. You have taught me about dedication, humility, curiosity, strength...balance, and believing that the impossible might just be possible. I took your lessons of relaxation and applied them to my entire life, and my love for life augmented so much more because of it." - Jessie

"I want to express deep gratitude for your teaching music, grace, beauty, planning, strategy, note-taking, behavioral decorum, proper concert wardrobe, and many, many more things, tangible and intangible, that I cannot list here. Thank you for your friendship and guidance that I hope will continue in the years to come." - Marianna


More testimonials under "In Other Words".



Focused Topics/ Seminars


What makes my integrated approach transformational?

I help people fall in love with practicing by
1)strategizing achievable steps in a set time frame (MANAGEMENT)
2)designing/sculpting your sound with the next evolution of technique, including finger strengthening, dance-inspired kinesthetic awareness, and Musical Breathwork™ (TONE/DELIVERY)
3)clarifying your dreams and helping you respond effectively to perceived or actual limits (MINDSET)
4)recognizing /accepting/refocusing emotions: both your personal emotions and the emotions of the music (EQ)
5)and creating a shared ABUNDANCE of practical solutions and artistic possibilities (PASSION/SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT).


We always begin our relationship by assessing where you want to go and what's in your way.

For beginners, a comprehensive plan may best help you to establish a practice structure and measure your progress. This also builds competence and confidence.
For intermediate/advanced players, the lesson is about determining and fine-tuning what you need most, and finding the courage to tackle bigger challenges.
For professional track performers, we often strategize around an upcoming competition or project-driven goals, and clarify your career vision. Big picture coachings include consulting on your career mission, style, and business models.


Specific skills I have helped my clients achieve:
communications skills / speaking to an audience / stage presence
competition strategy
composition
emotional intelligence, improv, keyboard skills/ vocal & choral accompaniment
mental practicing
practice room strategies, prioritizing skills, managing performance anxiety, pedagogy skills,
physical intelligence - dance inspired concepts of motion,
score study skills, theory/analysis, aural training, time management
basic business/financial advice for musicians - Quickbooks, small business consulting
mind-body connection
infusing creativity to personal interests


FOR TEACHERS

Artistic Practicing Process

Practicing Feelings

The Miracle of Breath

Hear That? Teaching Harmonic Sensitivity

Cultural Differences in Teaching: China and the USA


FOR PERFORMERS

The Nutmeg Studio Approach: Seminars for Advanced Pianists (series)
A series of 14 rotating topics, ideally paired with masterclass for application demonstration. (sample brochure below.)

1. Foundations: “3 step listening”, “3 levels of understanding”, “Elements of the Music”2. The Miracle of the Breath 3. Stepping outside the comfort zone (how to absorb new information)4. Strategic Timeline (from week to week)5. 3-2-1 Action: Performance Strategy6. Fluid Technique7. Harmonic Colors & Energy Levels8. Building Blocks (Structure) & Pacing9. Preventing Injury (dynamic stretch, breath, static stretch)10. Practice Applications (making the most of every hour)11. Memorizing12. Methods of Voicing13. Overview of Contemporary Piano Music14. Listen & ReviewNutmeg spice: a symbol of vivacity and enthusiasm

Beyond Your Fingertips: Imprinting Emotional Well-Being (series)

How do we as complex human beings fulfill our emotional and psychological needs in the midst of artistic pressures? These five workshops address difficult questions through multiple lenses with applicable exercises and interactive participation. 1.Mental Practicing- group practice workshop2.Practicing Feeling- using emotional awareness to maximize effective practice3.Rising Above Performance Anxiety- customizing your own approach4.Cultural Values in Teaching Styles: American and Chinese Perspectives5.Finding Our Values- discovering personal values to drive your career. Finding where what you love intersects with what you’re good at.

Communications Make-Overs for Young Artists (series)

Have you ever wondered how some people always light up the room wherever they are? Do you want the audience, even the first-timers, to connect with you? Would you like to be confident in making a lasting impression? Can you be honest with your teacher and parents about your struggles? Teachers and parents, how might we use our precious one-on-one time to encourage our young professionals to succeed in the real world? Come interact in this one-of-a-kind discussion. Receive invaluable ideas and tips on communication skills for building a lasting career. Let's discuss how our communication skills can help us find the right partners and friends in our life journey.


FOR BEGINNERS

Adult Beginners Technical Progression

6 Stages, length of study depends on previous skill level

Seminars for Music Appreciation
Inside the Orchestra: From a Composer's View (series)
Guided Music Listening- What Do You Hear? (series)

How do musicians listen to concert music? How do diverse instruments combine to create spectacular music and the rich tapestry of orchestral color? Steinway Artist and university faculty Hsing-ay Hsu developed her Conscious Listening™ method to guide audience listening for each composer’s unique language. With discussions and keyboard demos, interact with new friends and listen like a pro for the dynamic interplay of musical elements. These seminars are designed for the inquisitive music-lover or active performer.

Foundations of Understanding - Open Level
“3 step listening”, “3 levels of understanding”, “Elements of the Music”.

"Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt." ~Shakespeare


FOR COLLEGE LEVEL ENRICHMENT

Tonal Analysis for Performers - College Level Course

Would you like to enhance your performance by understanding and communicating the harmonic language? We will review listening & analysis skills on a wide range of styles, in order to improve aspects of performance, such as phrasing, timing, and memory. Our repertoire will include orchestral, chamber, and solo works. This is an advanced level course, open to all instruments. Working knowledge of basic theory is required. Session1Introduction-Weekly Listening Acuity: CadencesPreparation using Tonal AnalysisCase StudySession 2:Weekly Listening Acuity: Cadences"Finding Structure by using cadences"“Listening for Leading Tones”“Modulations to get lost in”“Pacing of change” Session 3:Weekly Listening Acuity: Cadences“Patterns”“Pivot Chords” "Ambiguity""Phrasing without Relying on Timing"Session 4:Weekly Listening Acuity: Cadences“Chord Qualities” “Orchestral Colors”“Complex Chords” “Significant vs. Passing”“Inferred Tonal Centers”

Additional Topics:

Chamber Music Skills/MasterclassAural Training through Great Repertoire
The Miracle of Breath - Kinesthetic Embodiment of Performance Analysis

My Teaching Philosophy

A piano lesson is multi-dimensional. It is building technique, studying the score, listening attentively, mental practicing, connecting physically and emotionally, breathing intuitively, applying theory and ear training, experimenting, communicating, improvising, and most importantly, learning to learn independently.
I create a safe place for your exploration, imagination, and enthusiasm to thrive, so that you can

1)find comprehensive reflection and self understanding
2)define your success
3)and strategize to project your unique musical voice.
Five Elements Video

My Teaching Philosophy For Pre-College Students

I believe that the best musical results come from developing a child/teen as a whole person, including emotionally and physically through the music. This requires the full buy-in of the parents to support advanced techniques like mental practicing, emotional connection, video review, all of which are essential parts of daily practice time.

My method also requires the ownership of the pre-college student to be in dialogue with me, to invest in their learning process with imagination and risk-taking, and give their personal expression in everything they plan, as opposed to simply consuming my knowledge. For all lessons, in-home or in-studio, a parent or guardian must be remain at the location.

Coaching vs. Lesson Commitment

A coaching is focused on the music or issue that "a client" brings a la carte. It can be useful as a full-length trial lesson, or if you already have a teacher and are looking for extra help for a specific project, or if you are a piano teacher or professional pianist looking to expand creative ideas on an occasional basis.

A lesson is focused on the teacher-student relationship and mutual trust. It carries on the long-term responsibility for the holistic development of "a student", including approach/practice/well-being/time-line/joy. You agree to proactively include me in all decisions regarding competitions, auditions, programs, consultations with other musicians, that involve playing the piano in any way, so that we can evaluate everything as a team in one cohesive strategy. If this is not what you want, please do not sign on to a lesson package.

To Zoom or Not to Zoom, 3 Meeting Options


Pricing

Free: Discovery Zoom or Phone Call (10minutes), Blog articles, weekly YouTube videos

Group Sessions:
Masterclasses, summer adult camp, and intensives are available at different times of the year. Please join the mailing list.

Private Sessions:

It would be helpful for you to have an investment budget in mind. While financial thrift is not the goal here, there is a range of pricing options, pending amount of live vs. videotape interaction and frequency of lessons, from $50 - 160 per session, with most students opting for something in between.
*Payments are due at time of scheduling by Zelle or Paypal. Studio Policies apply.