It is every piano teacher's hope that students will continue to play and enjoy the piano in some fashion for their whole lives, yet many students stop taking lessons in high school or stop playing after high school. What can we do to continue to sparkle their interest and encourage life-long love for piano during this highly formative period in their lives? How about those students who start to dream to have career in music? What can we do to help them better prepared for post-secondary music study?
Dr. Sookkyung Cho, Associate Professor of Piano at Grand Valley, is an active member at Piano Teachers Forum of Grand Rapids. Since she started her tenure at GVSU in Fall 2015, she has built a thriving studio with both college students at GV and high school students, and her students have won Grand Rapids Youth Symphony Concerto Competition, St. Cecilia Music Center's Concerto Competition, Honorable Mention at the state level of MMTA SAT as well as numerous local competitions and awards. Her students have also been accepted to prestigious music programs, such as Master of Music at University of Michigan as well as Orford Music Festival in Canada. Before coming to GV, she taught piano and chamber music at New England Conservatory Preparatory School as well as theory at Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University. A seasoned adjudicator, she has judged Osaka International Music Competition China Regional Preliminary Round, University of Michigan Concerto Competition, Walnut Hill School for the Arts Honors Chamber Music auditions, MMTA Concerto Competition, MMTA SAT state final, and many others. Her love for reaching younger piano students has led her to hold GV Virtual Piano Camp in summer 2020 during the pandemic, start Chamber Music Coaching program at St. Cecilia, and teach at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp and GVSU String Leadership Camp. She holds her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance from The Juilliard School as a full scholarship recipient, Master of Music from Peabody, and Bachelor of Music from Juilliard, where she was honored with the prestigious John Erskine Graduation Prize for "an exceptional level of scholastic and artistic achievement." As a performer, she has performed at such notable venues as Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall of Lincoln Center, Chicago Cultural Center, Sarasota Opera House, Baltimore Museum of the Arts, Xi'an Conservatory in China, Montreal Conservatory in Quebec, Canada, among others. A strong believer in the performer-teacher model, she continues to keep a vibrant performance schedule, which you can check out (along with her videos and other projects) at her website www.sookkyungcho.com
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