The Young Pianists Program has offered high-quality piano and theory instruction to students from Monroe County and South Central Indiana since 1986. We admit all students age five through high school who want to learn piano or improve their playing. While we prepare the most gifted and accomplished young pianists for future conservatory-level study, we also nurture the creative and instrumental abilities of many students who want to play just for the love of it.
Our devoted teachers instruct with enthusiasm and expertise, while striving to deepen the understanding and passion of each child for this marvelous musical art. All our students gain in focus, self-confidence, discipline and poise in public, and retain a love of music for the rest of their lives.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Han Sol Jeong is currently pursuing a Performer Diploma in Piano Performance with André Watts at Indiana University. He also received his Master of Music there, graduating in 2020. Han Sol has been an Associate Instructor in Music Theory at Indiana University since 2020 and has taught various classes covering written theory and aural skills.
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.
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 kadenlarsonpiano.com for bookings, concert schedule, and more.
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.
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.
Rong Sui started her professional piano study at the pre-college of Central Conservatory in China at age 10, and earned a BM from the University of Michigan in piano performance. As an active performer, collaborator and teacher, Rong holds a MM, and is currently pursuing a Performer Diploma in piano at the Jacobs School of Music.
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.
*No openings currently
If you have any questions about the program that are not answered on this page, please email Dr. Elizabeth Yao (email@example.com).
Schedule & Location
Spring semester schedule: Monday, January 10–Saturday, May 7, 2022
Summer term begins
Summer term ends
All lessons and Young Beginners group classes will take place in the Music Addition, Merrill Hall, or the Music Practice Building. Theory classes will take place in the Simon Music Center. Please see our location page for a map and parking information.
60-minute lessons (6) - $235
30-minute lessons (12) - $235
Please Note: 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.
All private lesson times are by arrangement with the students’ private teacher. In case of insufficient openings, students will be placed on a waitlist. Late registrations may be accepted depending on faculty availability. Newly enrolling students should contact Dr. Elizabeth Yao (firstname.lastname@example.org) regarding teacher availability before registering.
All participants shall abide by the Indiana University guidance as outlined at iu.edu/covid.
Most students’ lessons will be held face-to-face, but some may be online (via Zoom). Consult with the student’s teacher and with directors.
How to apply
Newly enrolled students should contact Dr. Elizabeth Yao (email@example.com) regarding teacher availability before registering.
Application process/scheduling: To apply, please complete the online registration form. No auditions are required for enrollment. Registration is rolling. Late registrations may be accepted depending on faculty availability. All private lessons are arranged with the students’ private teacher. In case of insufficient openings, students will be placed on a waiting list. Upon submission, the registrant will be contacted by a Young Pianists representative.
Payment: Accepting payment via credit card or check. Please do not send checks or any other forms of payment to the Office of Jacobs Academy.