Hsing-ay's Artistic Practicing 4-Step Method:
lead with listening,
use mind-body connection to sharpen technical control,
study the score to access the creative mode,
and develop an artistic vision.

Piano Intensives


Why I Love Teaching Adults

Mental Practicing

There are infinite ways to get information about how to play notes.
But if you are ALSO looking
to learn how to listen,
to find the right questions,
to dig deep into technique and artistic expression,
to have a champion who celebrates both your progress and your creative risks,
to make sense of your practice strategy,
to create social learning opportunities,

then let's explore working together.
I will guide you as a distinctive person towards applicable knowledge, a practice of conscious listening, and personal expression.

Events Sign-Up

Chamber Music Masterclass - Saturday March 23, 2024, 2:30pm, Klavierhaus NYC

How I use my Conscious Listening process to teach collaborative listening...

"Find Your Flow"  Piano Intensive Hybrid Online and at Klavierhaus NYC

How I use my Conscious Listening process to teach finding the flow...


"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

Service Types...
FOR PIANISTS / PIANO TEACHERS: Lessons and Mentorship | Masterclasses | Group Intensives | Self-paced Courses

FOR ALL INSTRUMENTS: Chamber Music | Analysis and Ear Training | Improv and Harmonization |Stage Presence | Musical Breathwork for Performers | Performance Preparation | Business Advice

FOR INSTITUTIONS: Residencies | Cultural Entrepeneurship Seminars | Communications Make-Over Series | Piano Technique | The Practice of Listening

FOR LISTENERS: consulting or coaching.
Gift certificates:  Email Name/Email of buyer and recipient to TheNutmegStudio@gmail.com.
Valid 1 year from date of payment. 

Learn More...

The Artistic Practicing™ Process

Listen to Expanding Concepts and Score Analysis + Integrate Mind-Body Connection + Create Personal Expression
Extraordinary playing is ordinary notes played in context and with intention.

How is my process optimized for a continuum of lifelong learning?
*I believe great music-making starts with great listening. I will listen to you and I will show you how to hear different qualities of sound. Practice Conscious Listening!

*Your life experiences, temperament, sensibilities, imagination, can all contribute to your musical expression.

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

*I incorporate mind-body connection to improve movement intelligence and help you find the "kinestetic sweet spot", and emotional intelligence to explore musical character.

*My own integrated piano methods are "research and development" centered. Expanding on 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 also incorporate 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, to practice listening, and to make musical connections,
then relax and let me guide you to more effortless and creative pathways! 


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 Background

Hsing-ay Hsu accidentally became a passionate teacher to adults at the age of 14, when a stranger overheard her practicing, appreciated her ability to explain concepts, and asked her to give lessons. Since her stage debut at age 4, Steinway Artist Hsing-ay Hsu (“Sing-I Shoo”) has performed at such venues as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center NYC, and infuses her experience as an international prizewinner, concert producer, adjudicator, in her work as teacher/educator/owner of Nutmeg Studio NYC. She also hosts a YouTube channel and Conscious Listening workshops to engage lifelong learners and music-lovers.

Until recently, Ms. Hsu was the Artistic Director for Pendulum New Music Series at the University of Colorado in Boulder, where she supervised over 500 student and professional premieres and was named "Pathmaker" by the Denver Post. She has taught piano for numerous universities including the University of Colorado in Boulder and Ohio University, and has lectured for University of Denver Enrichment, the Denver Art Museum, the Friends of Chamber Music Denver salon series, the MTNA national conference, and the DAMTA Lecture Series. She created the Conscious Listening method to give audiences and pianists a broader perspective on the art of performance. An educator, adjudicator, teacher of prize-winning students, and CSMTA’s College Faculty Chair, her teaching honors include the NFMC Ouida Keck Award.

Born in Beijing, Hsu studied piano with her parents and her uncle Fei-Ping Hsu, and later with Herbert Stessin at Juilliard and Claude Frank at Yale. She also trained in the fellowship programs at the Tanglewood Music Center, Ravinia Festival’s Steans Institute, the Aldeburgh Britten-Pears Programme (UK), the Aspen Music Festival, and abroad.

Ms. Hsu resides in New York City with her husband, composer and Young Concert Artists president Daniel Kellogg, and one daughter. Her favorite pastimes are dance and improv theater. 

Check out Ms. Hsu’s most recent virtual seminar: Orchestral Colors of the Piano, a 6-week tonal analysis intensive for intermediate - advance lifelong learners and music teachers.

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 Topic Series / 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
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


Artistic Practicing Process

Practicing Feelings

The Miracle of Breath

Hear That? Teaching Harmonic Sensitivity

Cultural Differences in Teaching: China and the USA


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.


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


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

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.

Pricing and Scholarships

Free: Discovery Zoom or Phone Call (10minutes), Blog articles, YouTube video library

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

Private Sessions:
What financial and time resources are you willing to invest in yourself? There is a range of pricing options, depending  on the type of 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.
*Progress requires a regular rhythm of lessons. If you are not ready to commit, then a coaching is possible.

Educator Scholarship:
If your earnings are limited because you pursue a passion for empowering others, please write to me about your mission, how I can help you, and what your financial restraints are. I may invite you to share supporting documents.

Chamber Music Coachings:
Please inquire. Scholarships available through https://acmp.net/grants/home-coaching/#Apply

My Teaching Philosophy For Pre-College Students - Coaching/Masterclass Only

Please note,  while I love to help pre-college students find their passion, I do this through coachings and masterclasses and usually do not give weekly lessons to this age group.

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.  

An ideal student is one who is constantly in dialogue with the teacher, to invest in their learning process with imagination and risk-taking, and find their personal expression, as opposed to simply consuming knowledge. 

For all coachings, in-home or in-studio, a parent or guardian must be remain at the location.

Zoom Lesson Set-up - Click here

Connect  with me and with our warm community of inquisitive, self-motivated, open-minded adults who love making musical connections and evolving their musicianship!