Teaching Piano

I have a beautiful piano studio in my home, which boasts two grand pianos: a fine 1910 Steinway and a Wurlitzer from the 1950s. I teach on weekdays and on weekends during the day.

Please see my Studio Policy.


From William Liao (student, Bloomington, IN):
"I discovered very early on in my piano career that piano instructors often land in one of two extremes: those who prefer to spend the majority of instruction on technique and theory (often leaving piano feeling like a mechanistic affair), and those who prefer to spend the majority of instruction on feeling and interpretation. All of these things are equally important skills, but oddly I’ve found that to grow in all of these areas early on in my career required multiple instructors. Being a complex, multifaceted craft, I suppose this was understandable.
     "Then there was Lilin, whom I had the privilege of studying with for 2 years, and who offered to me what can best be described as a holistic approach. Her extensive studies that led up to receiving her doctoral degree undoubtedly equipped her with the knowledge and ability to effectively teach both technique and theory. But she didn’t let these two skills, though important, dominate the domain of her teachings. For every item of technique and theory, she never failed to bring to my attention one of the most fundamental components of any type of music: emotion. It was never technique for the sake of technique, or theory for the sake of theory — everything had a meaning, a purpose. She taught me how to transfer my body weight to create a wide range of beautiful sonorities; she showed me different ways of manipulating my fingers to create different styles and feelings. These are just two of the many indispensable skills that Lilin taught me to enrich my journey with piano music.
     "You could say that Lilin was a combination of the two extremes, but I’m not sure that’s entirely true. Given her highly integrative approach of all of the things I mentioned earlier, it would be extremely inaccurate to say that Lilin is simply a teacher of skills — rather, she is a teacher of the piano."

From Lisa Kraemer (mother, Beaverton, OR):
"My 9-year-old son is learning so much very quickly. Lilin's complete focus on my child and her interest in him learning properly are refreshing. The pace of each lesson is ideal. Lilin slows down and speeds up to keep on pace with my son's abilities. She shares so much and keeps him highly motivated. He looks forward to lessons and thoroughly enjoys learning music. Lilin has been a very positive part of his learning."

From Matthew Glenn (Portland, OR):
"I began taking lessons from Lilin after I felt I was missing something that I couldn't put my finger on. After two lessons I understood what it was: I had been lacking some technique and some fundamentals of music, both of which Lilin focuses on in her teaching. After working with her for a few weeks, I was able to progress quickly in my sight-reading of music. In addition, the subtle connections she draws between tonality and technique make the pieces much easier to play. Her studio is great, with two grand pianos and many windows to a beautiful green area at the back of the house. I highly recommend her."

From Kayoko Hunter (mother, Portland, OR):
"We have been absolutely delighted with the progress our daughter Nina has made with Dr. Chen. The focus on excellent technique, with an ear to musicality, is apparent at each intensive lesson. While Dr. Chen's lessons are intense, they are also fun and non-threatening. I envy my daughter's exposure to sight-reading from an early age! How blessed we are to have found someone committed to the technique and the art of music. Brava!"

From Halo Kellough (age 11, Vancouver, WA):
"She inspires me to enjoy and continue playing piano. I learned more from her in one lesson than I did from other teachers in twenty lessons. She is nice."

From Belinda Kellough, Halo’s mom.
“From this Piano Mom’s perspective, Lilin Chen embodies the instant harmony of nurturing. By that I mean that my son and I felt truly cared about. She connected with us, our relationship to each other, our relationship to our goals, our relationship to music, and our need for clear guidance and meaningful instruction presented in a way that we can truly understand and learn from. She gives not only the strong truth of what the basics are, but also has a rich awareness of why the basics are what they are, which she shares with a gentle invitation to learn them for yourself. I can see how she puts into her teaching all of her training and experience and who she has become. I can only imagine how much time it has taken for her to study and distill her knowledge and wisdom, not only of music but even of education itself, in order to teach so effectively. I feel very grateful to have found an instructor who will save me and my son so much time, money, energy, and frustration by being so clear and aware. She teaches with joy and with gratitude. She is focused on teaching her student for the entire lesson – which is very honoring and in contrast to other teachers I have experienced. She is responsive and flexible to my child’s needs and level. She communicates so beautifully, so delightfully, in a way that’s simple and easy to understand. She is inspiring. Somehow, through who she is and her gentle way she has given my son a willingness to believe in his ability to play this amazing instrument, to read music, and even learn to how to interpret and use his own voice! Piano and practicing the piano are no longer a battleground for me and my son. She has put creativity and playfulness back into the meaning of playing the instrument. I knew it was good for him to play, but now because of Lilin, he knows, too. I feel very grateful that we met Lilin, because understanding and creating music is one of the best gifts I think I will ever be able to give to my son. And all I have to do is show up and have fun watching the miracle of her teaching. She makes it worth it!”