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Piano Lessons that Inspire

Serving all of San Diego County from beginner to highly advanced, young children to adults.

Contact us now to schedule your free consultation and find out how we can help you fulfill your musical goals!

ABOUT SDPA

Achieve Limitless Potential

Led by Yamaha Artist, international competition winner, and concert pianist, Chetan Tierra, San Diego Piano Academy is proud to bring you the highest level of artistry and over 30 years teaching experience.

We teach with an emphasis on classical music; however other styles of music can be explored, from jazz, pop, film scores, compositions and improvisation. We have teachers who excel in each genre!

Our faculty are not just highly qualified; they are at the top of their field of speciality. We are international performers, composers, and collaborators.

Our students have won top prizes in local and international competitions and regularly go on to study at renowned conservatories.

If you're just starting out, we specialize in helping you grow the right way by setting a flawless foundation from the start.

We're excited to help you achieve your goals!

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About
What we do better

SDPA TUITION INCLUDES 

  • Each student is matched with a highly trained teacher that is best suited toward their individual goals.

  • All aspects of music training including technique, musicianship, music theory, ear training, and sight reading.

  • Monthly performance opportunities, including formal recitals, studio classes and masterclasses

  • Faculty concert series

  • Massive library of video tutorials and online courses to help students progress 3-5 times faster. 

  • Preparation for testing, auditions, and competitions

  • Honors Program

  • Recording services

  • If you are an advanced pianist or an aspiring professional, we can help you achieve the highest levels of success

  • If you are a beginner or an intermediate, we specialize in helping you grow the right way by setting a flawless foundation from the start

  • We teach students how to practice and learn for themselves so that they can carry their gift of music throughout life.

  • We teach accountability, responsibility, discipline and other important life tools that go beyond just music. Our teachers are great role models for success.

  • We strive to make music enjoyable for each student so they can have a lifetime of musical love.

Reviews

TESTIMONIALS

"I have taken lessons from a variety of teachers and there is just no comparison.  If you want to learn to play the piano, really learn to play well, then this is the place.  These are not your typical music teachers, they are professionals who really care about their students and learning to play correctly and well." - Howard W.

FACULTY

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We have a diverse faculty of highly trained professional pianists who are top of the line performers but have also dedicated their lives to teaching. Our teachers have studied at some of the most prestigious conservatories in the United States and Europe and have won many competitions and awards. Each teacher offers excellence in various disciplines including classical, jazz, pop, composition, and improvisation and excels with different types of students from the motivated beginner to the aspiring professional.

All teachers primary instrument and training is on the piano, and each teacher priorities in giving all students the proper foundation for success.

We make sure to pair each student with the teacher that best suits their goals.

Click here to read more about each individual teacher and watch their performances.

 

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NEWS

Students:

  • 2023 Sonata Contest. Yoyo: 1st Prize Level 11, Luna: 1st Prize Level 10, Maya: 1st prize Level 3B

  • 2024 Concerto Competition: Luna: Division II 2nd place, Khai Division III 2nd place, Yoyo Division III 3rd place

  • 2024 Chopin Competition: Khai 1st prize, Luna Honorable Mention

  • 2024 Read! Imagine! Create!: Lochlan 1st prize for performance art

  • Encinitas competition: Luna 1st prize

  • Certificate of Merit State Honors: Angel, Arianna, Supriya, Jane

  • ABRSM Distinction: Arianna

Faculty:

News

STUDENT  PERFORMANCES

Click the photo to access our library of student performances. Videos showcase beginner, intermediate, advanced and adult students.

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  • What type of students do you teach?
    We teach a wide range of motivated students from beginner to advanced, from young children to adults. Because we offer a very high level of education, with a rock solid foundation in mind, the student must understand that a certain level of discipline and consistency is expected in their personal practice. We pride ourselves in helping each student become a true musician with lasting abilities, no matter what their goal is.
  • What is a good age to start private lessons?
    We’ve found that in most cases a student is ready to learn piano from around the ages of 4-6 years old and up. There are exceptions to this of course. If you can answer yes to all the following points, your child is likely ready to start. Can sit still and take instruction for 30 minutes Have developed enough coordination to wiggle their fingers independently Be able to place all 5 fingers on 5 separate white piano keys comfortably. Be motivated to learn and ready for regular, daily practice. Be able to recognize different shapes and symbols If your answer was no to any of the above points, it's best to wait a few months and then reaccess.
  • Do you teach adult students?
    Yes! We have many adults students in our school of varying abilities. We also host adult only events in both formal and informal environments so the student can foster a sense of community while on their musical journey.
  • What styles of music do you teach?
    We teach with an emphasis on classical music as this provides the best foundation for a growing musician. However, many other styles of music can be explored, from jazz, pop, film scores, composition and improvisation. We have a teacher that excels in each genre, and we will make sure to set you up with the right teacher to fit your goals. A high level of classical training is certainly our specialty though and most of our teachers excel in this genre.
  • What is your teaching approach and method?
    Because each student is unique with different strengths and goals in mind, a personalized approach must be taken with each. With that in mind however, for all students, we approach learning piano with a rock solid foundation in mind. To instill this foundation a certain level of patience and discipline is needed to achieve the quickest and best long term results. Students will be given a clear sense of what good practice habits are, and we incorporate theory, technique, and other holistic elements that provide a well rounded and balanced music education. We don’t believe in being mean or demeaning to a student to get the best out of them, rather, we believe in building a student's confidence along the way. We do this by having clear expectations and helping them achieve their goals in a positive and nurturing environment. To learn more about our approach to achieve your specific goals, reach out to us for a discovery call, and we’d be happy to walk you through what the best approach would be to reach your goals.
  • What levels do you teach?
    We teach all levels of music from beginner to highly advanced, from young children to adults.
  • How qualified are your instructors?
    Our teachers are not just highly qualified but are also at the very top of their field in their specialty. This is what sets us apart, providing not just professional piano training, but instead providing each student with an artist at the top of their craft. We also complete a thorough background check of each teacher to ensure the safety of our students.
  • Do I need to have a piano at home?
    Yes! While at the beginning a student can start lessons on a weighted, full size keyboard, it is important that along the way the student be willing to invest in a proper acoustic instrument.
  • Where are your lessons?
    Most of our teachers will come to you to teach in your home, but we also have a few locations around San Diego where teachers teach out of their home studios.
  • What locations do you serve?
    We serve all of San Diego County.
  • Do you have performance opportunities?
    Yes! With 4 recital weekends planned monthly in the spring and 4 in the fall, that gives the student up to 8 or more chances to perform each year. Each recital weekend will consist of several recitals being held of varying kinds including advanced formal recital, intermediate recitals, beginner recitals, studio classes, adult only recitals and masterclasses. It depends on the student and their readiness to perform that determines how many of these recitals they take part in. Some students perform at each recital while others prefer to perform just a couple times throughout the year.
  • Do you offer testing and other certifications?
    Yes! This is something to bring up during your discovery call and at your initial lesson consult. We believe that some students can excel and stay motivated with these types of goals in mind. For others, we believe that it can actually serve to hold the student back from reaching their full potential. We will help you decide if it is the best course of action for you to take on your journey towards reaching your musical goals.
  • Why is learning the correct way or having a good foundation important?
    Having a good foundation is everything to a growing musician, and unfortunately it is very rare to find a good quality teacher who can truly provide this. By instilling a truly great foundation, a student can sound good from the start and at each level along the way. It also provides the quickest long term results as there won't be a need to constantly clean up issues that arise when a student accelerates to higher levels than they are truly capable of achieving well. It is much easier to take the time to keep a flawless foundation as the student progresses than it is to clean up these issues with a student already playing more advanced music poorly.
  • How can you help me if I have learned incorrectly?
    Each student may have different issues that need to be addressed if they have had poor training for up to a year or more. Because of this, they're not a one size fits all approach to cleaning this up. We are very good at quickly analyzing a student's strengths and weaknesses however and can give a clear and detailed plan for each. One of the most common issues we see is that a student has been allowed to progress quickly from piece to piece without focusing on having a great internal sense of rhythm. This student struggles to play things in a steady way and can be difficult to listen to. The best approach to clean this up, and for many other potential foundational issues, is to backtrack slightly to easier music. It can be difficult at first but once this is corrected, moving forward becomes much more effortless, and we’ve seen students skyrocket. It’s 1 step back to take many leaps forward.
  • How do I know if I'm getting quality instruction currently?
    Unfortunately, truly good quality instruction is rarely given, even from teachers that claim to offer it. There are a few key things to keep in mind however when assessing your own playing that will let you know if you’re on the right track. 1. Do you regularly use a metronome when practicing and can you keep a steady tempo as you play? - This tends to be the biggest issue with incoming students that have had several years of lessons. It is also one of the most difficult aspects to learn initially. If you haven’t been taught what ‘even’ playing is and to use the metronome at slower speeds with a strong attention to detail, you have probably been led astray. This can be corrected, but often times a little bit of backtracking is required. 2. Are you building your musicianship in a holistic way with theory, technique and music? - A good quality music education should include some technical exercises while using the metronome at varying speeds, a growing understanding of music theory and how it relates to these exercises as well as the music being learned, and a gradual progression of music to learn that stretches the musicians abilities in an attainable yet challenging way. 3. Are you clear on exactly how to practice in between lessons for the best results? - This in many ways is the most important part of your musical education. Many teachers give some information about this but rarely the student is given a crystal clear path to achieve these results. For instance, when you practice, you might be trying to highlight the melody of a piece while keeping the accompaniment quieter and that is what you are told to practice for. But, have you been given very specific tools to make achieving this easy? This is just one example but hopefully the idea is clear that there is a deeper level of practicing knowledge that can be achieved.
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