My love of music began at a very early age. Even while working toward my degrees for piano, competing nationally, and touring and performing internationally, I have been lucky enough to be involved in teaching everywhere I go. I have taught at several community music schools, at the collegiate level, preparatory programs, and conservatory schools. I have a bachelor's degree in piano performance with a certificate in pedagogy, as well as a masters and a doctorate in piano performance and pedagogy. I believe that those who perform well have an obligation to teach well, and I love teaching all ages and levels, both privately and group.
I love making a personal connection with each student, meeting them where they are, and helping them achieve their musical goals and aspirations. For me, it is the highest privilege to guide students as they begin to recognize the depth of this amazing art form. Music allows us to express a part of humanity that is otherwise silent. Music is a universal language of expression that reaches beyond words. Every person can experience this connection through the piano, and I believe it thoroughly enriches our lives.
Dr Sonya was the best teacher we could have imagined for our seven year old! She knew just how to bring out the best in him, matching unfailing good humor and gentleness with real pedagogical chops and, of course, mastery of the instrument. He grew so much, as a pianist and a student of the world, in his time with her. Paul loved her so much that he composed his first piece at their last lesson before she moved to California–a goodbye piece in her honor!
My daughter was hesitant about starting piano and studied with Sonya Schumann for a year. By the end of the year, not only had my daughter received a strong foundation in piano, but she had development a real love for piano. Sonya has a true gift for combining technical excellence with fun and joy. Sonya has a wonderful way of communicating with children and teaching children. We’re so grateful that our daughter had the opportunity to study with Sonya.
Our nine year old son studied with Sonya for two years. She turned out to be the perfect match for him. She was always very friendly, full of humor and generous. Not only did he learn a lot, but Sonya also provided inspiration and instilled in him a sense of real joy for the music, which made him look forward to each lesson. As Felix puts it: ‘Best teacher ever!'
Dr. Schumann was an excellent teacher, and mentor to my son. Through her teaching, my son was able to improve his skills tremendously in a short period of time. He now loves to play the piano because of her. She is friendly, cooperative, patient, and one of a kind! We are so thankful to have taken lessons from her.
In music education, it is essential to establish students' individual goals and tailor instruction to meet those goals. I adhere to the philosophy that educators need to meet students where they are and lead them to where their goals lie. For students who need extra strengthening in skills essential to their music, this means creating and implementing a plan to conquer their deficiencies. For students with performance opportunities around the corner, this may mean extra lessons. For students with disabilities, this means crafting goals, settings, and accommodations specific to them. For students who prefer a community, group classes are available for beginner students at varying ages including adult.
As a performer, I have toured on several continents, performing for audiences young and old. Some of my most recent performances have been at the Kennedy Center, the Ridotto Concert Series, performing with the Handel Choir of Baltimore, and performing with the Peninsula Symphony. I have been a faculty member of Madonna University, Levine Music, and Schoolcraft College. I currently teach at Fullerton College.
I have a Bachelor of Music from the University of South Carolina, and a Masters and Doctorate in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Michigan.
Pay per lesson/Saturday times
30 min - $45
45 min - $60
60 min - $75
Pay per month (20% discount)
30 - $36 per lesson
45 - $48 per lesson
60 - $60 per lesson
Full month is due up front at the last lesson of the month
For new students only
3 lesson package (45/60) - $130/160 *valid only within a 2 month period of start date
5 lesson package (45/60) - $220/275 *valid only within a 3 month period of start date
Morning lesson discounts (33% discount, only applicable to per month and new student packages)
30 - $30 per lesson
45 - $40 per lesson
60 - $50 per lesson
3 lesson package (45/60) - $120/150 *valid only within a 2 month period of start date
5 lesson package (45/60) - $200/250 *valid only within a 3 month period of start date
I have been teaching for over 15 years, but my musical journey began long before that. I started lessons at a very early age. I was lucky to have a teacher who was also a performer, and I learned from a young age that there are many ways to share the joy of music. Even while working toward my degrees for music, competing, touring, and performing internationally, I have been lucky enough to be involved in teaching everywhere I go. I have taught at several community music schools, at the collegiate level, preparatory programs, and conservatory schools. I have a bachelor’s degree in piano performance with a certificate in pedagogy, as well as a masters and a doctorate in piano performance and pedagogy. I believe that those who perform well have an obligation to teach well, and I love teaching all ages and levels, both privately and group.
I have worked with students at all ages, from beginners through advanced collegiate. I feel that it is essential to tailor lessons to the student's personal goals - there is no one-size-fits-all. I believe education should meet students where you are, and we strive together to journey to where your goals lie. For students who need extra strengthening in theory skills, that means creating and implementing a plan to conquer those hurdles. For students who have big performance opportunities around the corner, this might mean extra attention and more dedicated lesson time. For students with disabilities, this means we craft goals, settings and accommodations specific to you. For students that excel in a community setting, that could mean group classes or team lessons.
When you are shopping for a piano teacher, look beyond pricing, and think about the long term relationship you are forming with this person. They are your bridge to the musical world. The best teachers are the teachers with whom you share a deep connection, those who will think about you, even when you are not in the lesson. You want a teacher that will be able to take you through many stages of development, not just the first few tentative steps. Talk with teachers about trial periods, so you can get a sense of what you are embarking on together.
Before you get to your first meeting with a teacher, spend some time defining your goals for yourself. Is your goal vague, or narrow? Think about how long of a commitment you're hoping to make. Is this a new hobby you're trying out for a month, a continuation of a steady journey, or a lifelong dream that you intend to see through? What kinds of milestones are you hoping to set?