Celine You fell in love with the piano at a young age in her native country of South Korea. Her passion led her to Yonsei University, where she earned her Bachelor of Music. After steeping in a classical background, Ms. You decided to pursue American jazz and so relocated to Boston, where she graduated from Berklee College of Music with a degree in Piano Performance. Next, she moved to New York City to become the first South Korean to earn her Master’s degree in Jazz Performance from the Manhattan School of Music. Upon graduation, and after having performed at NYC clubs, Ms. You returned to South Korea to become Professor of Piano at JEI University, a position she held for 13 years. During this time Ms. You performed at many festivals, including Jarasum International Jazz Festival, Ulsan Jazz Festival, and Jeonju Sound Festival. She made many TV appearances, such as on EBS Space and with the KBS Symphony Orchestra. She released three albums as a leader: Lucky Dot, Glimpse, and Under the Appletree. In 2016, as her kids entered school, Ms. You relocated to Southern California, where she established her private teaching practice. She presently resides in the Bay Area where she continues to teach kids and adults of all ages and to perform with her piano trio.
Celine’s Teaching Philosophy
I believe that music should be like a river—a provider of life and energy that is available to us all. Over the course of my career I have helped students of all ages, from kindergarteners through senior citizens, discover the joy and purpose that comes from studying music. With regards to the piano, I believe that no age is too late, and that all can learn to make satisfying music, no matter their level of proficiency. As students explore music that is engaging to them, they will naturally spend time with their piano keyboard and experience the fruits of their efforts. Technique is built up slowly and naturally, so that over time students find themselves able to play more complex works. Although the page can provide the notes, the ear should always be the guide. As such, I encourage students to explore the sounds that they can make on their instrument, as this leads naturally toward an understanding of music theory and into composing. When students can internally hear the music they are playing, they will be able to express themselves with more sensitivity and musical nuance. It is my goal that all students develop a love of music that will inspire them to develop their musical personalities so that they can, in turn, share the river of music with others.