B.M., Brigham Young University
M.M.,University of Texas at Austin
If my fist name is too hard to pronounce you can call me by my English name, Cindy. I was born into a restaurant family in Tamsui, Taipei, Taiwan. We loved to cook and talk about food. Growing up, my family loved foreign countries and their cultures, along with the fine arts, including dance, music, and art.
As a child, my parents loved to sing and dance in the home, but no one in my family had ever studied music. When I was eight-years old, I heard my neighbor Mrs. Lai's children playing the piano. I begged my parents to let me study with her. When I graduated high school, I moved to the United States of America to study Piano Performance and Pedagogy at Brigham Young University (Bachelor of Music). I studied piano with Mona Smith and Robert B. Smith and piano pedagogy with Paul Pollei. I met my husband Jason when he was a missionary for the LDS church serving in Taiwan, and coincidently, we ended up going to BYU Provo together. We later moved to Austin, TX, for graduate school where I studied Piano Pedagogy and Literature at The University of Texas at Austin (Master of Music). I studied piano with Nancy Garrett and Betty Mallard and pedagogy with Sophia Gilmson. Today, Jason and I have three children who all play the piano, and our oldest, Helen, is currently studying piano performance at the Cleveland Institute of Music.
When I was pursuing both music degrees, I had taught at schools for three years. After graduating with my master degree, I taught another year in the community school for Austin Independent School District. Then I opened my private studio for five years. In 1998 I decided to spend my time as a stay at home mom and raise my children, so I closed my studio, and coached my own children for eight years.
What influenced my teaching the most was not my own schooling but those years I stayed at home to help coach my own children to compete in serious competitions. They make me aware that children has far greater potential than I could imagine they have and should be cultivated—more creatively. At the same time, I also learned to have greater patience toward them during their practice to gain deeper music understanding. Lastly, I learn a lot about music competitions and auditions, which can be fun and positive experience whether they win or lose. In the end, those experiences helped my children to be better musicians. Now that my children are old enough to practice on their own, I reopened my studio in 2009, and have been teaching ever since.
I am a member of Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) and Texas Music Teachers Association (TMTA). For the local chapter, I started as a contributor for yearbook & Advertising Committee, helping with editing and publishing the yearbook, then later served as co-chair of that committee. Later I became the Event Committee Member, presiding over organizing festivals. I helped reorganize a festival to include more chamber options (Piano Ensemble Chamber Music Festival), helped launch new contest events (The Steinway Piano Gallery Concert Competition and Ella Louise Burba Piano Contest), helped to start a new scholarship (Ella Louise Burba Senior Piano Scholarship), and helped develop and chair Austin Youth Music Ambassadors program, which is an outreach concert for Austin. Those experience made me aware of many different music events, including festivals, contests, and recitals. Later, I was the Student Event Chair for Austin District Music Teachers Association (ADMTA): the chair schedules all student events with any venue where ADMTA events may be held and serve as the contact person with that venue, such as works on calendars for the whole year, fill next year's volunteer position for events, review possible updates need for yearbook/website, update internal manual, present budget for the next year, present motions to student events committee and/or the executive board, report to the executive board and supervise each event. After that, I was also involved as the web representative, which included building a new website, moving the yearbook online, and designing smoother and more user-friendly appearance. Because I was working on the website, I also helped with social media. During the four and half years volunteering at ADMTA, I received the 2014-2015 Volunteer of the Year Award.
I also play the organ and piano at the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Bee Cave, Texas.