Richard An | Composer And Pianist

Richard An | Composer And Pianist

5.0 (1)
1 employee
5 years in business

About this pro

Hi! My name is Richard An, and I'm a composer and pianist.

My dual interests in composition and piano allow me to take a rounded approach to both fields, in which piano students receive a training in theory fundamentals, and composition students receive practical approaches to writing for performers. I believe that students' passion to play piano must come organically through discovering playing music they can connect to, rather than going through a generalized book of exercises. Therefore, I take an individualized approach to each student, learning their personalities and tastes while expanding their musical worldview.

I have taught individual lessons for piano, ear training, theory and composition for two years for students of different musical levels at the University of Southern California, which gave me the flexibility to explain concepts to students of different levels.

I graduated with a Bachelor's degree (BM Composition) from the University of Southern California in Spring 2017, and will begin my Master's degree (MFA Composition) at the California Institute of the Arts in Fall 2017. I was awarded "most valuable performer" at the USC Thornton Honors Convocation 2016, an honor given to nominated performer dedicated to performing new student works. I have performed regularly in Thornton Edge's 2016-17 season. 

You can check out my website [] for more information about me, and you can see my additional jobs and services here [].

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Panorama City, CA 91402
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1 Review


  • Luke Wen

    Richard is a professional and experienced tutor. I have taken aural skills, music theory, and composition classes with him for two years. I not only learnt the classic music, but also got many suggestions in pop music from the course since I have a songwriting minor. Richard also plays Taiko, a Japanese drum, and has excellent sense of rhythm. Highly recommend those who really want to learn music to take class with him cuz you can always draw what you need from his class.


What is your typical process for working with a new student?

The 30 minutes are free, and are typically used to find out a student's age, level of skill, interests, personality, and chemistry with my teaching style. These first 30 minutes are free just so that students (and parents) can understand my approach to teaching; not too much actual instruction happens in the first 30 minutes, explaining this practice.

Then, once a student's general level and interests are discovered, I go through extensive repertoire research to find music that the students individually enjoy, and on occasion, I write music for them myself.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

I have a Bachelor's Degree in Music (BM Composition, USC Thornton School of Music, '17) and am entering my Master's Degree (MFA Composition, CalArts, '19) in Fall 2017.

I have taken piano lessons since the age of 3 through my childhood with Dr. Jung Won Jin, leading upto my undergraduate degree, and there I have taken three semesters of piano lessons with Christine Hye-su Kim and Joshua Tan.

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

I usually charge $20/hr plus a flat $10 fee if travelling to students, no fee if students travel to me. My lessons are a minimum of 30 minutes, and can be in 15 minute increments thereafter.

For convenience:

30m: $10
45m: $15
1hr: $20
1hr15m: $25
1hr30m: $30
1hr45m: $35
2hr: $40

I typically do not recommend students take lessons longer than two hours, yet both that and the pricing can be negotiated if necessary.

I can take payments through cash or personal check, and through PayPal and Venmo.

How did you get started teaching?

I started teaching theory and aural skills in 2016 at the behest of USC composition professor Dr. Veronika Krausas, who entrusted me with her Theory students so that they could catch on difficult concepts or get ahead of the class.

What types of students have you worked with?

I have primarily worked with college aged students, but my experience taking piano lessons for 13 years of my life have instilled in me an approach to teaching younger students.

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

I just graduated from a difficult and rigorous undergrad at USC cum laude (GPA 3.5+), while working a part time work study job, teaching students privately, recording concerts, and working on my score cleaning/editing clients! Those four years have been incredibly intense and rewarding, and I have learned so much from so many people that I hope to take with me as I move forward in my career.

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

My advice for hiring anyone: Make sure that both the student and the parent enjoy working with the teacher! No one likes working with a grumpy, ill-mannered teacher, which can damage a student's interest in music early on in their life. The rest (skill, pay, etc) goes without saying, but the aforementioned fact is an important one.

My advice for hiring me: I am a younger teacher with an admittedly narrow field of experience; I am great for teaching young students who are just beginning, as I believe I can instill an intense love for music in many students. Older, more advanced students should look elsewhere for more advanced piano teachers.

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

Very young students (5-8) should talk to their parents about piano lessons and why they want to learn music. This is a decisions for the family to make, and at such a young age, is an important one for multiple people to consider. Make sure to think about your goals for your child (to be happy? to make a career out of music? to play classical music? to compose?)

Young students (8-12) have begun cultivating a taste of music and may even have a favorite genre or artist, and therefore can begin talking and developing an indivdualized interest in music with their teacher. Make sure to think about why YOU like music, and why YOU want to take piano lessons!

Older students (13-18) likely have developed musical preferences, and communicating with students at this level become clear and mutual. Make sure you are engaged with your learning of music; it's not enough to put your heart into it, make sure your brain is in there too!