Donna grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii and began her studies at the piano at the age of 6. She earned many distinctions and won various competitions including the Morning Music Scholarship, Sterling Award, and was a soloist with the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra. Donna was also selected to study abroad in Russia at the Gnessin Academy of Music with Professor Yuri Petrov.
During her time at New York University, she received the Eugene List Award for top piano performance, the only one awarded to a pianist that year.
Donna continued her studies at Columbia University, Teachers College and earned her Masters in Music and Music Education. She learned valuable teaching philosophies during this time that she still incorporates into each lesson.
I believe children learn best when they become partners in their own learning. For some younger children, that may mean something as small as incorporating a tune they really enjoy into the lesson. Small moments such as this – where they take the lead – will build up self-confidence, enjoyment, and accountability. As a teacher, I see myself as a guide, prompting them for suggestions, engaging them with new song ideas, supporting their needs, and challenging them when needed. I find that once a student feels heard, they are much more receptive to the “hard” skills and fundamentals such as techniques, sight-reading, ear-training!
Donna teaches private Piano Lessons.