1632 First Avenue, Suite # 329
New York, NY, 10028
By Appointment Only
Piano Lessons in Manhattan
“… talented teachers make students love the music…” — A. Artobolevskaya
Our piano teachers in Manhattan NY are willing to share their joy and appreciation of the great musical works with students.
Katrin Arefy is the artistic director and head teacher at Manhattan Piano Academy in Manhattan, New York. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from the Gnessin School of Music in Moscow. Katrin also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts in Painting from Azad University in Tehran.
Katrin is the author of A Thousand Stories for a Little Pianist and the series My First Piano Book. She has translated Anna Artobolevskaya’s First Meet with the Music and Heinrich Neuhaus’ The Art of Piano Playing from Russian to Farsi. She has lectured on the Russian method and specifically Artobolevskya’s method abroad and at various universities in the US including the University of Oregon and Ohio University School of Music. Most recently Katrin delivered a well-received presentation at the Music Teachers Association Of California Conference in San Diego.
Her very first students are now professional pianists having graduated from leading music universities in Austria and Armenia.
Katrin won the Influential Businesswoman Awards in 2020, and has been named Most Inspirational Woman in Music Education (Northern California) by Acquisition International.
She was accepted to Juilliard pre-college where she studied piano with Jane Carlson. While studying with Carlson, she performed numerous times at Juilliard school, Carnegie Weill hall every year, and toured Italy with Carlson. She received a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from Oberlin Conservatory where she studied with Peter Takacs while earning Dean’s Award scholarship throughout the entire school years.
Since graduating from Oberlin, she has been focusing in teaching students, and has been fully enjoying her teaching experience and see the students improve. Nicole has more than ten years of teaching experience.
Nicole’s gentle approach, combined with her patience and years of experience makes her a desirable teacher in Manhattan NY, especially for younger students.
Christopher Richardson has received top prizes in numerous national and international piano competitions, including First Prize at the 2021 LA International Liszt Competition Budapest Division as well as First Prize and Best Chopin Prize at the 2016 Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Competition. He most recently has won Second Prize at the 2022 Virginia Waring International Piano Competition Concerto Division and Third Prize at the 2022 Young Artist MTNA Competition. Throughout his career, he has performed in several notable venues across the United States, including the Liszt Museum in Budapest, the 2000-seat Music Tent in Aspen, Weill Hall Carnegie Hall, Finney Chapel, McCallum Theater, and Benaroya Hall. He has also performed with numerous orchestras, including the Minnesota Orchestra twice. Additionally, he has appeared on NPR’s “From the Top,” TV program PIE on KCTS 9, and King FM 98.1. In 2015, he presented at the TEDYouth@Redmond Conference in Washington, and in 2019 he released his debut album, titled Wizard of Oz.
Christopher is an active music educator, having served as faculty at the Golden Key Piano School in Berkeley since 2019. His students have received top marks on Royal Conservatory of Music examinations, and have performed in various concerts and fundraisers. They describe him as a very patient and encouraging teacher with great attention to technique and musicality.
Christopher graduated with honors at the University of California Berkeley, earning Bachelor’s degrees in Molecular/Cell Biology, Economics, and Music. During this time, he also served as the blog writer of the Steinway Society of the Bay Area, where he gave his thoughts on various aspects of classical music and performance. Christopher earned his Masters in Music at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music under renowned pianist and conductor Jeffrey Kahane. His previous major teachers include Mack McCray, Duane Hulbert, Craig Sheppard, Frederick Weldy, William Wellborn, and Robert Schwartz. Christopher is currently attending the MBA program at Cornell University.
Hyungbin is a busy musician passionate about both teaching and composing. He obtained his Bachelor of Music degree at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, and Master of Music degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is currently studying under a PhD course in composition and theory at UC Davis, where he is in charge of musicianship and piano lectures as a teaching assistant.
As a teacher Hyungbin believes that learning music should be an enjoyable and creative experience, and thus his teaching is focused on “enjoying and feeling” rather than merely “understanding” the music. Through Hyungbin’s teaching, the students will be able to mature to become sophisticated musicians, excelling in both the sense and sensibility of the music they are making.
As a composer Hyungbin has composed works for various genres including solo piano, chamber music, orchestra, and choral music and they have been played in many countries including the United States, South Korea, Japan, Austria, and Italy. His music is energetic and dynamic, but possesses warmth and sensitivity at the same time.
Ketevan studied music theory and piano at the Zakaria Paliashvili Batumi State Musical Institution in Georgia. She went on to teach all skill levels at Kobuleti school in Georgia where she was nominated Teacher of the Year multiple times. Afetr moving to Cyprus she started teaching at Duet Art Academy where she had prepared numerous students for the Royal Academy Examination. Ketevan has experience performing in a trio as well as over 30 years teaching private piano lessons. She has been a valued teacher at Manhattan Piano Academy since 2013.
Chenyi Cao is an accomplished musician with extraordinary teaching talent. Her ability to connect with the students while cultivating and following the students curiosity in class makes her an ideal teacher for our school. Chenyi had taught piano over 8 years and worked with over one hundred students of different ages and levels during her studies in the U.S. Cao’s students perform actively in the recitals, musical festivals, and won numerous awards from competitions.
Chenyi Cao is originally from Shanghai, China, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in music performance from Shanghai Normal University. In 2008, Cao came to the United States for further musical studies. She studied piano performance with Dmitry Rachmanov in California State University – Northridge, and received her Master’s Degree in 2011. Cao then began a Doctor of Musical Arts program at the University of North Texas in Piano Performance with renowned pianist and pedagogue Joseph Banowetz and earned her DMA in 2017. Cao’s honors include: Margaret Marion Grubb Memorial Piano Scholarship, Charles F. Paul Memorial Piano Scholarship, Arts Council Music Scholarship Endowment, Jakob and Bronislaw Gimpel Scholarship, and Outstanding Graduate Student of Keyboard.
Originally from Iran, Babak Mahbaei is a talented pianist, composer, and music instructor. He began his musical education at age eight with violin lessons and then added piano lessons. He studied music under the supervision of Professors Asli Giray Akyunak and Marc Heeg in north Cyprus and graduated from Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) with a music degree in 2012. He also earned a certificate in jazz guitar from Komitas Conservatory in Armenia in 2006.
After moving to the United States, Babak studied classical and jazz piano with Deborah Cleaver and David Goldblatt for several years. He has collaborated with many bands and musical groups, and enjoys sharing his musical experiences with others and encouraging them to learn more about this art.
Babak’s positive attitude and energetic personality make his lessons fun for students, and his diverse musical background, passion for music, and enthusiasm for teaching make him a great addition to our roster of teachers.
We are thrilled to welcome Babak Mahbaei to the Manhattan Piano Academy, where he will begin teaching in November 2021.
JunZhao Deng, (Ryan) received his master’s degree in piano performance from Kent State University, and his bachelor’s degree in music education from Xinghai Conservatory of Music.
JunZhao has performed in various locations in the USA and in China, including at Kent State University’s open house and the Poly Real Estate Group Company in China. He has also performed in masterclasses with great pianists such as Cahill Smith, faculty at Lee University. JunZhao has also competed in prestigious piano competitions in China such as the Hong Kong Piano Association International Piano Competition and the DeYiShuangQing Piano Competition. He was a finalist in both competitions, and the winner of the Guangzhou Golden Award in 2006 and 2008.
JunZhao has been teaching privately for 10 years. His favorite part of teaching is watching his students grow as a musician. He has experience teaching in China and in the USA, teaching at various prestigious institutions. JunZhao’s lively personality and vast of teaching experience and music knowledge makes him one of our top teachers at Manhattan Piano Academy.
Morgan Chan is a California native accomplished pianist, composer, and music producer. Morgan began his musical career with piano lessons at the age of five, and pursued piano performance throughout his early years in education. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Music at UC Berkeley, studying piano performance with Dr. Betty Woo. As a teacher Morgan is very familiar with The Royal Conservatory of Music examination system. Morgan’s patience, meticulousness and serious personality makes him a great addition to our school’s team of accomplished teachers.
Morgan began teaching private piano lessons in early 2020, and has since developed a passion for sharing his love for music, making piano lessons a fun and memorable experience for students. We are pleased to welcome Morgan on board starting April 2022.
Blake Jeongwon Park is an accomplished, award-winning pianist and experienced piano teacher who received her master of music degree in piano from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
A member of the Virtuoso performance program and Sonare-TA Chamber Music, Blake performs frequently in San Francisco and South Korea. Recipient of first prize in the Honam Art Music Competition, Blake won awards for her freshman performance at JFAS, and for both her freshman and high honor graduation performances at Jeonju University in South Korea. She has performed at several notable venues such as the International Courchevel Music Alps Summer Camp and the Sori Fine Arts Center, and has participated in several master classes.
Blake has more than seven years teaching experience and has successfully worked with students of different ages and skill levels. She is a passionate, and patient teacher. She believes that her students’ high level of achievement arises from the trust among the teacher, the student, and the parents. Her students have been competition winners at the Hyundai Music Competition and the Piano Adventure Competition.
Golden Key Piano School is pleased to have Blake as one of the strong teachers in our team since September 2019.
Sookie Zhong started to play the piano at the age of four and got her bachelor’s degree in Music from Wesleyan College. During her time at Wesleyan College, she studied with Dr. Chenny Gan. She also gained several studio teaching experiences during her undergraduate. Her enthusiasm for teaching and music was favored by her students.
Before coming to the United States, Sookie studied with Yong Han, a former professor at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, and Bei Chen, who is an adjunct professor from Shenzhen University. In 2016 Sookie won the Golden Prize in the Hong Kong International Piano Invitation Competition. In 2018, she worked as a piano instructor at Shenzhen Rainbow Animation Research and Development Center, an organization that serves children with disabilities, especially Autism. During her time there, she accompanied these children with music and love, which also left her with an unforgettable memory.
Sookie’s teaching philosophy is to allow her students to enjoy music. She cares for her students’ feelings and hopes to create a comfortable learning environment for her students. During her lesson, she not only teaches her students piano techniques and music theories, but also lets her students explore various types of music and enhance their critical thinking abilities.
We are pleased to have Sookie join our teacher’s team at Manhattan Piano Academy.
Tinki Yu is an accomplished pianist. He decided to pursue music as a professional career since college, after years of his excellent accomplishments, which led him to earn The Sol Berkowitz Memorial Scholarship and The Maynard-Walker Organ Scholarship. In the final year of his Bachelor, he was able to become one of the accompanists for the voice department of the school and accompany for the production “Cosi Fan Tutte” for ACSM Opera Production. He also had performed in Church Center of the United Nations.
Tinki is also the host of the music program “Audiophile” every Friday night on radio WZRC 1480.
Tinki Yu received his Bachelor of Music Performance degree at the CUNY Queens College, Aaron Copland School of Music as a student of Morey Ritt. He is currently attending Manhattan School of Music under the study with Wael Farouk, to pursue his Master of Music Degree.
As a teacher, Tinki, is patient, playful and detail oriented which makes her a great choice for students of all ages and levels.
Alejandra Williams-Maneri is a passionate and dedicated pianist and educator. She has been studying piano for 19 years and is trained in both jazz and classical piano. Graduating with a degree in Jazz Piano Performance from Oberlin Conservatory, Alejandra was the recipient of the Conservatory Dean Scholarship and John F. Oberlin Scholarship Awards for the duration of her undergraduate experience. Since graduating from Oberlin, Alejandra has been working as a professional pianist in New York City while also pursuing her passion for teaching. Throughout her career, Alejandra has performed with music greats such as Avery Sharpe, Don Braden, Steve Johns, and Becca Stevens, and has been involved in multiple recording projects including those led by Grammy Award winning producer, Jay Ashby.
Alejandra has been teaching piano for 9 years, working with students ages 5 to 45, from beginner level to advanced. We are pleased to have Alejandra as a great addition to our teacher’s team at Manhattan Piano Academy Starting October 2022.
Maryam Arvanaghi has a Bachelors of Art degree in piano performance from Tehran Conservatory of Music under Maestro Mohammad Reza Shajarian supervision. She has about ten years of teaching experience both online and in-perosn. Although still a young and ambitious musician Maryam has both the experience and the patience to work with students of all ages.
Maryam also has been active in the field of Iranian music and started a project in collaboration with Iranian classical and traditional musicians to bring the sound of traditional instruments such as Taar, Kamancheh and others in association with Piano as a western classical instrument. Maryam has participated in many festivals and radio programs since 2012 in Europe, Turkey and Iran. In addition to playing Piano, Maryam has studied music theory, harmony, ear-training and counterpoint with Mohsen Elhamian, Marina Aghabakian, Mehran Rohani, Kiawasch Sahebnasagh and Sharif Lotfi. Maryam is currently teaching Piano to younger generations and music lovers.
We are pleased to have Maryam as part of our strong teacehr’s team at Manhattan Piano Academy starting March 2023.