“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” – Old Proverb

:: Teaching Philosophy

A teacher must know both the subject and the students in order to teach effectively. I set attainable goals for each class I teach and have my students do the required. I push my students along to develop their skills while also building self-confidence. I assure my students that they can succeed and give them the chance to try. I receive plenty of student feedback, and I determine what needs to be fixed. I do not assume that all students can be reached by the same teaching technique. I also don't teach the same classes exactly the same way from year to year. I try to find each student's areas of strength or improvement and provide positive feedback as well as constructive advice necessary for the the student's development.

I work with students to improve their knowledge base of music and their skills as a musician. Each student is assigned different pieces according to level, and often I demonstrate the piece at the piano. Demonstration involves being able to explain things clearly at the level of mechanics and intent. I explain stylistic differences, variety of articulations, how to interpret and analyze the piece, and dynamic and timing plans.

As the old proverb goes, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." I am trying to teach students "to fish" in making music. Students learn what to listen for in making music and how to apply their skills to other pieces they will learn in the future. I teach them how to internalize music from the smallest units to the longest phrases, and how to develop an awareness of body movement in technique. I explain and demonstrate sound projection, sound quality, layers of voicing, color creation, articulation, and other techniques.
I explain how to interpret and analyze pieces and how to use dynamic and timing plans appropriately. I also give instructions to students how to present themselves professionally in a public stage setting and provide performance opportunities for them to try out.

Music making is not just playing notes.  Musicians should disvover and convey the hidden meanings between the music notes. I try to cultivate students' imagination and to fortify characters in music with a variety of emotional levels also. I suggest connections to entitles, such as historical events, personal experiences, stories and scenes from composer's background. I encourage students to develop their own storyline for music that they play.

:: Students' Comments

“ Dr. Young-Hyun Cho is among the finest musicians that I have ever had the pleasure to work with. She has transformed the way I play piano and the way that I approach and interpret musical ideas.  In addition to being an excellent musician of the highest order, she takes personal interest in her students, inspires them and helps them to achieve a superior level of musicianship.  My lessons with Dr. Cho are among the most influential and educational experiences that I have ever had in my academic career and the lessons I have learned from her is something I will never forget.”

“ The professor was very knowledgeable about the material and very interested in the success of the students.”

“ The professor was always ready for a lesson and was encouraging, and still provided plenty of constructive criticism...”

“ Dr. Cho has opened my eyes to the different aspects of piano playing.  It is not simply playing notes in a tempo.  She brought out my love for piano by after deconstructing a piece and later putting the parts together to make beautiful music.”

“ Dr. Cho is very knowledgeable about her expertise.  She has taught me to really bring out musical moments in pieces. I am not just playing notes.”

“ Dr. Cho is a wonderful teacher who is able to explain concepts in a simple way that makes them understandable.  She has been very encouraging and supportive.”

“ Dr. Cho is very good at targeting specific problem areas and fixing them.  My ear has been improving significantly this semester.”

“ My piano technique has increased ten-fold since taking with Dr. Cho. She pushed me to be better and strive for excellence.”

“ Dr. Cho is always very involved in the lesson.  She is aware and is quickly able to identify errors made. This was efficient and very helpful for my learning.  I appreciated her always being active and aware in my lessons.”

– From anonymous University-wide student feedback