The Academy has been a dream, born out of years of research in the study of teaching and playing the piano. The dream stems from my beginning years in piano lessons and my struggles as I realized that much was missing from my initial training when I entered college. There was a whole world of music beyond what I was getting in private lessons. I took time to find myself as a pianist when I entered the academic study of music and also as I took time aside to travel the United States with a touring musical group. In my travels I was immersed in the creative aspect of writing and arranging music, as well as performing, and I strive to instill these indispensable skills to my students. It has been my personal goal to find the highest-quality teaching method and provide a place that the community can come to learn and share the joy of music with their peers. My pursuit of finding “the perfect” method brought me to Eugene where I had the opportunity to study with some of the finest professors. It was here that I was introduced to the Harmony Road Music method. After being trained in the method I can say, with confidence, that I have found the most complete method of teaching beginning music, for all ages, in Harmony Road. It engages the studentʼs ear and develops their innate sense of creativity, while making them proficient readers - therefore becoming a complete musician. Along with teaching the fundamentals of music it is also my goal to foster the aspiring young pianist in their pursuit of technical mastery, lyrical touch and knowledge of the history and vast repertoire written for the piano. Thanks to the support of my mentors, both during my graduate and undergraduate studies, I have found the confidence to make my dream a reality... and here I present to you the Eugene Piano Academy!
Susane Reis, Director
Margaret Gowen has been active as a teacher and freelance musician in the Eugene and Springfield area for many years. She received her Bachelor's degree in music education from the University of Oregon, where she also studied piano performance and piano pedagogy with Dr. Dean Kramer and Dr. Claire Wachter.
Margaret has always enjoyed working with children and feels that the best teachers enjoy their students as much as the subject matter. She also believes that active listening, creativity, and the the love of music are just as important to a student's musical training as note reading and technique.
Wing Lau is an adjunct music faculty at theUniversity of Oregon, where she has previously been awarded two Graduate Teaching Fellowships, one in piano and the other in music theory. Wing has over 12 years of piano teaching experience. Her students range from beginners to college piano majors. She is experienced in teaching piano technique, classic and jazz piano repertoire, as well as keyboard harmony.
Aside from teaching, Wing is also an active performer in Eugene. She has appeared in masterclasses with Emanuel Ax and Midori Gotō, and in concerts with Oregon Bach Collegium. She holds a Doctorate in Music Theory, with her secondary focus in piano performance, from the University of Oregon. Wing received her Masters degree in Piano Performance from the Indiana University at Bloomington. Her piano teachers include Dean Kramer, Claire Wachter, Evelyne Brancart, and André De Groote. Her article, “Composing Declamation: Notated Meter Changes in Brahms’s Lieder” has recently been published in Music Theory Online (June 2015).
Jamie Yang has been playing piano since age 8 and has been actively involved in music and performing arts ever since. Jamie received her Bachelor’s of Science in Music and Arts Management from the University of Oregon in 2015, where she studied piano under the guidance of Dr. Dean Kramer, Dr. Claire Wachter, and Dr. David Riley. Miss Jamie has been a certified Harmony Road instructor since 2013 and had the opportunity to train with the Harmony Road Course founder, Jan Keyser.
At the heart of Jamie’s teaching philosophy is her belief that music is a vehicle for which students can, through proper instruction, channel and convey their creative thoughts and emotions. She helps facilitate this endeavor by providing a well-rounded approach to music education in a fun and relaxed environment. It is her hope that by teaching music, her students will, in turn, share the joy they’ve found with others.
Tao Li is a composer and pianist in the Eugene area. She started playing at age 4 and began composing by age 11.
Tao graduated from the Central Conservatory of Music, in Beijing, China, where she graduated with honors. She received her master's degree from DePaul University, Chicago, where she was awared with various scholarships and recognitions. Tao is currently a doctoral candidate in composition at the University of Oregon, where she is also an active pianist, performing the works of her fellow composer's as well as performing in the Oregon Bach Festival.
While pursuing her degrees in composition, Tao has also trained as a pianist with some of China's best teachers, including Zhu Yafen, known for his for his famous student, Langlang. Tao has been active as a pianist in various concerts and music festivals across the nation. At 16, she began her teaching career and has wroked with students at ever age and level. She received much of her experience teach at Beijing's largest private piano school, Jiangjie.
Tao's passion and patience for her students, and the music they play, shows in her experience as a teacher. She believes that all students should understand all aspects of music, through understanding music theory, and takes pride in her ability to quickly improve piano technique while also fostering the love of music.
Miss Katrina received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Oregon in 2014, and is currently pursuing both her Masters in Music Education and her K-12 public school teaching license. Katrina has been an active young educator in conjunction with her studies at the University: she taught early childhood music at the EWEB Child Development Center for the last two years of her undergraduate degree, worked as the Choral Music Education Graduate Teaching Fellow during the 2014-2015 academic school year, and is an active volunteer with Shasta Middle School choirs. Katrina is a professional choral singer and studies under the direction of Professor Laura Wayte and Dr. Sharon Paul.
A recently certified Harmony Road instructor, Katrina is very excited to return to this music methodology; she was a Harmony Road student herself when she was a child in her hometown in Portland, Oregon!
In her spare time, Katrina feeds her passion for music as the President of the Collegiate Chapter of NAfME (National Association for Music Education), singing in local choral projects, and taking drum lessons!