Young Pianists

Program faculty

Karen Taylor is founder and director of the IU Jacobs School of Music Young Pianists Program and its Summer Piano Academy (established in 1986). She has performed across the Midwest and in Europe, and presented more than 85 master classes and workshops, helping to form many distinguished students.

Nicha Stapanukul is an active performer, collaborator, teacher, and entrepreneur. She is currently an associate instructor while completing a D.M. in Piano Performance at the Jacobs School of Music. She is serving as vice president of the Music Teachers National Association Collegiate Chapter at IU for the 2020-21 academic year.

Marianne Ackerson, classical/jazz pianist, is a graduate of the Jacobs School of Music and the University for Music and Theatrical Arts in Vienna, Austria. She has taught piano in Vienna, the YPP, and in her private studio in Bloomington. She has played with distinction in classical and jazz venues throughout her professional life.

South Korean pianist Eunjin Bang has established herself as an award-winning musician. She earned a B.M. from Oberlin College and an M.M. and a Performer’s Diploma from Indiana University. She is currently pursuing a D.M. and an Artist Diploma at the Jacobs School of Music.

Cecilia Bass attended Vanderbilt University for her undergraduate studies and earned a Master of Music in Piano Performance degree from the Jacobs School of Music. She has enjoyed teaching for the Young Pianists Program since 2013 and currently works in the Jacobs Deans’ Office. 

Rachel Chen was born in New York City and was educated in Washington D.C., Taipei, and Los Angeles. She is pursuing a D.M. at the Jacobs School of Music and serves as president of the Music Teachers National Association Collegiate Chapter at IU. She earned B.M and M.M. degrees at the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor.

Peter Cho is pursuing a Ph.D. in music theory at the Jacobs School of Music. He holds a master’s in music theory from Jacobs and a B.M. in viola from Memorial University (Newfoundland). He has taught most of the curriculum’s undergraduate theory and aural skills classes at the Jacobs School and also teaches theory to Young Pianists students.

Karina Cohen earned a master’s degree from the University of Hartford and a Performance Diploma in Early Music from the Jacobs School of Music. Her training focuses on providing students with a solid musical foundation through a strong grounding in harmony, aural skills, style, and piano technique.

Fred Hammond (B.M., M.M., Juilliard) has been teaching for the Young Pianists Program for more than 20 years. In 1999, he and his wife, Marina Berretta Hammond, formed a piano duo, performing often in South America, Spain, and the U.S. They gave the South American premiere of Schnittke’s Concerto for Piano Four Hands with the acclaimed Simón Bolivar Orchestra.

Marina Berretta Hammond (M.M. Piano, Indiana University) has taught for Young Pianists for more than 20 years and has taught piano and chamber music at Rocky Ridge Music Center (Colorado) since 2004. With husband Fred Hammond, she has concertized in the U.S., Spain, and Latin America. Their CD of Latin American music for two pianos was produced by the IU Latin American Music Center.

Kylie Ho holds a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from Hong Kong and a master’s degree from the Jacobs School of Music. She has received professional pedagogical training and has been teaching piano, music theory, and aural skills in Hong Kong and the United States for seven years.

Jacqueline Hsiao, a native of Taiwan, is currently a Master of Music student with André Watts and an associate instructor in piano. She earned her undergraduate degree in piano performance from the Eastman School of Music in 2019.

A Utah native, pianist Kaden Larson is a doctoral student of Norman Krieger at the Jacobs School of Music. Larson is a passionate teacher, performer, and collaborative artist. Visit for bookings, concert schedule, and more.

Cuban pianist Fidel Leal enjoys helping his students reach their full musical potential. A prizewinner at several international competitions, he held positions at Havana’s University of Arts and National School of Music before moving to the U.S., where he is working toward a doctorate under the guidance of Jean-Louis Haguenauer.

Tiffany Pao is pursuing an M.S. in Music Education at the Jacobs School of Music. She previously earned an M.M. in Piano Performance from Washington University (St. Louis) and a B.A. in Music from Duke University. Her approach to teaching is engaging, motivational, and question oriented, and she especially enjoys working with elementary-age beginners in the Young Pianists Program. 

Andrew Sohn was born in Perth, Western Australia, and immigrated to the U.S. in 2004. He earned degrees from the University of South Carolina and the Eastman School of Music and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Music degree at the Jacobs School of Music.

Timothy Stephenson is an energetic and engaged teacher who has been on faculty with the Young Pianists Program for two years. He is currently serving as secretary for the Music Teachers National Association Collegiate Chapter at IU.

Gregory Wang is a prizewinner of multiple national and international piano competitions, and he enjoys translating this experience into his theory teaching. He combines years of experience teaching traditional counterpoint and harmony with a love for styles ranging from early music to jazz.

Tony Weinstein has been with the Young Pianists Program since 2004. For 10 years, he directed the theory program and has taught for the Summer Piano Academy, where he is now co-director for artistic affairs. He earned his Doctor of Music in Piano Performance at the Jacobs School of Music and teaches full time at DePauw University.

Elizabeth Yao is a doctoral piano candidate at the Jacobs School of Music, studying with André Watts. She enjoys creating connections and educational experiences in music through performing, teaching, and serving in administrative roles for the Jacobs School’s Summer Piano Academy and Project Jumpstart.

Chaojeng Yu is a doctoral student at the Jacobs School of Music, where he also earned a Master of Music in Piano Performance and a Performer’s Diploma. He is an associate instructor for piano as well as a member of the Young Pianists Program faculty. He earned his bachelor’s degree from National Taiwan Normal University.

 *No openings currently


  • Scheduling of lessons will be handled individually with each instructor.
  • Lessons are online only.
  • Non-refundable Registration Fee: $15, MUST be paid at the time of application to be considered registered.
  • Spring 2021 lesson plans:
    • One 60-minute private piano lessons per week: $568 (plus $15 non-refundable registration fee)
    • Two 30-minute private piano lessons per week (for younger children and beginners): $568 (plus $15 non-refundable registration fee)
  • All fees must be paid by January 19, 2021.
  • In the case of insufficient openings, students will be placed on a waitlist.
  • Newly enrolling students should contact Dr. Karen Taylor (, (812) 336-4465) regarding teacher availability before registering, and should pay only the $15 registration fee until they are assigned an instructor.

Theory Classes

Theory classes meet on Saturdays for one hour per week during the Fall and Spring semesters. Theory classes will be held online. The program reserves the right to cancel classes with insufficient enrollment.

Theory classes are open to all music students age 8-19, even if not studying piano through Young Pianists or if studying another instrument. Younger students are admitted by permission of the instructor. Students with several years of theory study are encouraged to take both the 11am and 12pm classes, which will focus on different skill sets.

  • Cost: $90 total per semester for 14 hours of instruction, one hour per week
  • Class Times (subject to change)
    • Saturdays, 11:00am Early Intermediate Written Theory and Aural Skills
    • Saturdays, 12:00pm Form and Analysis

New students: before registering online for theory, contact Dr. Tony Weinstein for a placement evaluation and information about the class levels offered at, (513) 226-2485.

Theory Class Discounts: Young Pianists offer substantial discounts to most families enrolling 2 or more children in Theory classes, as well as individual students taking two Theory classes concurrently. See the Table of Theory Class Discounts under “Courtesy Discounts” to see if you qualify.


Spring Registration Deadline: January 19, 2021

Tuition and Fees Deadline: January 19, 2021

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