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.

Joyce Lee holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and recently graduated with her MM from the IU Jacobs School of Music under the tutelage of Jean Louis-Haguenauer. 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. She has also taught through the MusicLink Foundation, which provides discounted piano lessons to low-income families.

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.

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.


James Featherstone is a graduate student at IU Jacobs School of Music in the Master of Music degree program where he studies with Edward Auer. James holds a Bachelor of Music from JSoM, during which he studied with Karen Shaw, as well as the Associate and Licentiate Diplomas from the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto.  

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.

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.

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.


Pianist Akira Kaku is currently a doctoral candidate at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He has 10 years of professional experience as a private piano instructor in Michigan, Texas, and now Bloomington. His prior degrees include a Master's Degree in Piano Pedagogy and Performance from the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor's Degree in Piano Performance from Bowling Green State University (OH). 


Ubeeng Kueq is a doctoral student at IU, where he also completed his master’s degree and performer diploma. Ubeeng began working with a wide range of students of varying ages and levels in Salt Lake City during his undergraduate years at the University of Utah. He is an enthusiastic teacher who particularly enjoys exploring various techniques of piano playing and interpretations of music through theory-based ideas. 


Ryo Kaneko earned both his Master and Bachelor of music in piano performance from Rice University. Currently, he is finishing his DM in piano performance at the Jacobs School of Music. He performed world premieres of works by living composers. To seek new, difficult challenges is his philosophy of music. 


Irene Long, Pianist/Accompanist, is currently pursuing a Graduate degree in Piano Performance at Jacobs School of Music. With six years of teaching experience across diverse age groups and proficiency levels, she is a passionate and inspiring educator with a strong musical performance background. 


Chenchun Ma is pursuing a doctoral degree at IU under the tutelage of Émile Naoumoff. She received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Juilliard School. She was a piano instructor of the P.A.L.S. program in Aspen, and a teaching artist for Instrument Petting Zoo in The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. 


Eunjin Oh, a South Korean pianist, holding a Bachelor's degree from Seoul National University, she is currently furthering her expertise through a Master's program at IU Jacobs School of Music. From her college year onward, she skillfully combined her college education studies with teaching, nurturing students with both knowledge and passion for music. 


Molly Patrickis an organist from Minneapolis, Minnesota. She holds a bachelor’s degree in organ performance from Brigham Young University – Idaho, where she was a student of Dr. Daniel Kerr. Molly is pursuing a Master of Music degree in Organ Performance at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. She studies with Dr. Janette Fishell. 

ConnorReinman is pursuing a PhD in Music Theory at Indiana University, where he has taught classes throughout the undergraduate curriculum since 2019. He is deeply invested in pedagogy and researches form, harmony, and counterpoint in the music of the late Romantic era, focusing on the transition from that era into modernism in the music of Mahler and Strauss. 


Andrew Sohnwas born in Western Australia and immigrated to the US in 2004. In 2013, Andrew graduated from the University of South Carolina with a BM in Piano Performance. He then earned his MM at the Eastman School of Music. He is currently pursuing a DM at Indiana University and is scheduled to graduate this December. 


Rachel Sohn is currently a Doctoral student at the Jacobs School of Music. She studies under the instruction of Evelyne Brancart, with whom she previously earned her MM degree. She was formerly under the tutelage of Alexander Kobrin at the Eastman School of Music, where she received her BM degree. 


Min-Shu Tsai was born in Taiwan and started her piano study at age six. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from National Taiwan Normal University. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree at the IU Jacobs School of Music under the tutelage of Professor Spencer Myer. 


Tzu-Wei Wang is currently pursuing a Performance Diploma in piano performance at IU. She earned her bachelor’s degree in piano performance from National Taiwan Normal University, and her master’s degree from Indiana University, while she was an associate instructor for piano during her studies. 

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 5Lessons begin
August 25Last day of lessons
Fall semester
August 26Lessons begin
December 21Last day of lessons

The Young Pianists summer term will start Sunday, May 5, 2024, 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, take a break, then pick lessons up again post-break. Students must finish the 6-week term no later than Sunday, August 25, 2024. 

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

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: $258

 60-minute private lessons

  • Instruction: 6 lessons per semester
  • Tuition: $258

Lessons will take place in Merrill Hall or Music Practice Building.

  • Theory classes will return in the Fall 2024 semester

Theory Classes will take place in the Simon Music Center or online, depending on demand.

  • Young Beginners group classes will return in the Fall 2024 semester

Important dates

  • Financial Aid: Need-based financial aid is not available in the summer

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
  • Desired lesson format (either 2 half-hour lessons per week, or one hour-long lesson per week) 
  • 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 and must be made prior to the beginning of the program. Participants who have not paid tuition will be unable to participate.

Register for Summer 2024

Once you have completed the previous steps, please submit the Participant Agreement Form

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