Young Pianists

Program faculty

Elizabeth Yao is director of the Young Pianists Program and the Summer Piano Academy, as well as coordinator of the secondary piano program and instructor of pedagogy at the IU Jacobs School of Music. She received her Doctor of Music degree at Indiana University under the tutelage of André Watts.

Karen Taylor

Dr. Karen Taylor is the Founder/Director emerita of the IU Young Pianists Program and the Summer Piano Academy. She has given recitals in the U.S. and Europe, and has presented 125+ master classes, lectures and workshops. Her teaching honors include an IMTA Teacher of the Year citation and numerous grants for study abroad.

Hyeseon Jin was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea. She earned B.M degree at Seoul National University and M.M, P.D at Indiana University where she is currently pursuing D.M while serving as an Associate Instructor at IU, Secretary of MTNA Collegiate Chapter at IU, and Executive Assistant of Young Pianists Program at IU.

Mítia D’Acol is a third-year PhD student in Music Theory from Brazil. Mítia studied music education and musicology at the University of São Paulo before coming to IU, where he completed a MM in Music Theory in 2019. He has been teaching music theory and aural skills at IU for five years.

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.

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. 

Pei-Tsun Chiang, Taiwanese, is currently pursuing a Performer Diploma under the instruction of André Watts. She holds a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from National Taiwan Normal University, and master’s degree from the Jacobs School of Music.

Woo Joo Choi, who is a Korean pianist, is now doing her Artist Diploma at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University. She has a lot of teaching experience with students of various ages ranging from age 4 to adult. Woo Joo is especially fond of children and has a bright and extroverted personality.

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.

Trinity Fan

Trinity Fan is a B.M. student under Edward Auer and is currently Vice President of IU MTNA. She has taught students from ages 5-17 for over 5 years and she strives to develop her students into creative, independent thinkers, and accommodates her students to each of their individualistic needs in their lessons.

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.

Daeun Han

Daeun Han, a pianist from South Korea, is currently pursuing her Artist Diploma in Piano Performance at IU. She earned her B.M degree at Seoul National University and P.D and M.M at IU. She is a pianist of String Academy at IU and has been teaching students in the Dominican Republic in DTLL.

Jacqueline Hsiao, a native of Taiwan, earned her Bachelor of Music in piano performance from the Eastman School of Music, and a Master of Music from IU Bloomington. She places a strong emphasis on establishing healthy habits early on for a secure foundation in her students' long term musical development.

Valentina Huang

Valentina Qishan Huang is an active performer on and off-campus as a pianist and organist. Besides being an award-winning performer, she also enjoys teaching. She likes to witness how a student grows on this music journey. She wants to lift up her students’ interest in learning the piano through an encouraging and enjoyable teaching style.

Joyce Lee holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and is currently pursuing a MM from the IU Jacobs School of Music. She is passionate about accessibility in music education and community outreach through performance, and has enjoyed teaching in her hometown of Reston, Virginia since the age of 15.

Rui Xi

Rui Xi, born in China, is currently pursuing her Performer Diploma in Piano at Jacobs School of Music, in the studio of Gregory Sioles. After she received her bachelor’s degree from Xi’an conservatory of music, she came to U.S. to continue her master’s degree under the tutelage of Professor Edward Auer at IU and graduated in 2021 May. She has been teaching piano since she was in college.

Ruoyang Xiang is a current DM candidate at the IU Jacobs School of Music under the tutelage of Menahem Pressler. She received her Bachelor of Music from the Boston Conservatory, where she studied with Jonathan Bass, and Master degree from the Jacobs School of Music.

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.

If you have any questions about the program that are not answered on this page, please email Dr. Elizabeth Yao (

Schedule and location

Summer semester
May 7Lessons begin
August 20Classes End

The Young Pianists summer term will start Sunday, May 7, 2023, and will accept applications on a rolling basis. By mutual agreement of parent and teachers, students may start the 6-week term at any point up until mid-July; or may take a few weeks of lessons in May, take a break, then pick lessons up again post-break. Students must finish the 6-week term no later than Sunday, August 20, 2023. If a continuing student’s regular teacher is unavailable during the summer, please contact Dr. Elizabeth Yao; she will attempt to arrange a substitute instructor for the summer term.

Lessons will take place in the Music Addition, Merrill Hall, or Music Practice Building. Please see our location page for a map and parking information.  

Program offerings

Important notes: 1) All private lesson times are by arrangement with the students’ private teacher. 2) Click here to view our our private lesson syllabus and cancellation/makeup policies.

For younger children & beginners

  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Instruction: 12 lessons per semester
  • Tuition: $234

 60-minute private lessons

  • Instruction: 10 lessons per semester
  • Tuition: $234


Important dates

  • For summer, registration is accepted on a rolling basis until July 2, 2023

Newly enrolling students

Parents should contact Dr. Elizabeth Yao at regarding teacher availability before registering. Please include the following information:

  • Child's name and age
  • Prior piano experience
  • Does the student have access to an instrument to practice? (e.g., acoustic piano, electric keyboard)
  • Lesson availability
  • Any other information about your child's personality and learning style that may be considered pertinent for finding an instructor that will be a good fit

Please visit the following link to view the Young Pianists FAQ to find answers to many commonly asked questions.

Late registrations are accepted pending teacher availability. In the event of insufficient openings, students will be place on a waitlist. 

Payment guidance

  • Merit and financial aid: To request a Financial Aid application, please contact For those awaiting merit or financial aid decisions, please register in full (e.g., specify the class selection) and select the option to delay payment. Late registrations may be accepted at the discretion of the director.
  • Payment: Accepting payment via check or credit card. Payment must be remitted to IU Conferences at The Non-Refundable Registration Fee of $15 is not included in the price of tuition. This must be paid at the time of application to be considered registered.

Register for summer

Once you have completed the previous steps, please submit the Participant Agreement Form and the Young Pianists Cancellation/Makeup Lesson Policy


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