Teaching Achievement

Dr. Chai teaching FAIM student Miranda

Currently as the president of FaceArt Institute of Music and piano faculty at UC Berkeley, Dr. Jenny Q Chai has earned her reputation internationally as a piano pedagogue. She has been teaching piano for the last 23 years in the U.S. China, France and U.K. starting with teaching her mother’s students.
After finishing her seven years long doctoral degree focusing on music education at Manhattan School of Music in New York, where she worked as a lecturer teaching one on one piano lessons, group piano lessons and piano masterclasses, Dr. Chai founded the music institute FaceArt Institute of Music (FAIM) with Juilliard graduate Polish pianist Piotr Tomasz in Shanghai in 2011. FAIM is supported by the world renown music professors including the chair of music department at Stanford University, piano and composition professors from Curtis Institute of Music, Juilliard School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, NYU, UC Berkeley and more.
After finishing her seven years long doctoral degree focusing on music education at Manhattan School of Music in New York, where she worked as a lecturer teaching one on one piano lessons, group piano lessons and piano masterclasses, Dr. Chai founded the music institute FaceArt Institute of Music (FAIM) with Juilliard graduate Polish pianist Piotr Tomasz in Shanghai in 2011. FAIM is supported by the world renown music professors including the chair of music department at Stanford University, piano and composition professors from Curtis Institute of Music, Juilliard School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, NYU, UC Berkeley and more.
FAIM has a long term team of international faculty, graduated from Juilliard, Cleveland Institute of Music, Curtis Institute of Music and London Royal Academy of Music and Beijing Central Music Conservatory, such as its co-founder Peter Tomasz, piano faculty James Brawn, Oliver Salonga and composition/theory faculty Jacob Charles. Together, we have focus on piano and composition majors including electronic music composition, with a strong supporting curriculum of music theory, music literature and music history.
After 9 years of hard work, FAIM students have won over 150 international and national competitions, and have performed in top concert halls such as Carnegie Hall, Salzburg Mozarteum, Vienna Muskiverin, Rome Auditorium Parco della Musica, Shanghai Symphony Hall, Shanghai Oriental Arts Center and more. With 100% success rate of sending their students to the best music conservatories and schools, such as the Juilliard School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Boston Conservatory, UC Berkeley, John Hopkins University, NYU, Boston University, Interlochen Arts High School and Walnut Hill Arts High School, FAIM has achieved a sounding recognition for its music study abroad preparation program. Many of the students received high scholarships as much as 1 million RMB and high merits such as the highest score of Juilliard Pre-college Piano Entrance Audition with the student Jessie Gong who was 10 years old at that time.

Dr. Chai’s teaching style has a wholistic approach, integrating music theory and form, music literature, extended piano techniques from contemporary music, story telling and imagination/personality development , combined with meticulous and rigorous training on fundamental techniques focusing on all aspects of the physical body, from standing and sitting position to how every muscle and joint moves. 

Although with high intensity, Dr. Chai always prioritizes having fun while learning. With years of knowledge in psychology, her lessons are tailored to individual student as well as their personalized interest and goals, to engage and cultivate the passion for music and piano learning, in the same time bringing out the highest musical and technical potentials in each student.

On top of her work with FAIM, Dr. Chai has been invited to many music festivals internationally, including Chetham’s International Summer School in Manchester, U.K. where her teaching received raving feedbacks from her students. She has been a jury member for many national and international competitions. In 2019, Dr. Chai gave a TEDx talk on When Technology Meets Classical Music. In 2020, Dr. Chai released 8 episodes of her online piano teaching series called Kungfu Piano in China, which were received with great enthusiasm.

Dr. Chai’s teaching style has a wholistic approach, integrating music theory and form, music literature, extended piano techniques from contemporary music, story telling and imagination/personality development , combined with meticulous and rigorous training on fundamental techniques focusing on all aspects of the physical body, from standing and sitting position to how every muscle and joint moves. 

Although with high intensity, Dr. Chai always prioritizes having fun while learning. With years of knowledge in psychology, her lessons are tailored to individual student as well as their personalized interest and goals, to engage and cultivate the passion for music and piano learning, in the same time bringing out the highest musical and technical potentials in each student.

On top of her work with FAIM, Dr. Chai has been invited to many music festivals internationally, including Chetham’s International Summer School in Manchester, U.K. where her teaching received raving feedbacks from her students. She has been a jury member for many national and international competitions. In 2019, Dr. Chai gave a TEDx talk on When Technology Meets Classical Music. In 2020, Dr. Chai released 8 episodes of her online piano teaching series called Kungfu Piano in China, which were received with great enthusiasm.

A Documentary on one of FaceArt Institute of Music’s students, and her journey from Shanghai to New York to study music

Selected Private and FAIM Students Highlight

Aileen Li was admitted into the Precollege Division in 2005 with scholarships, graduating in 2009. She obtained her Bachelor of Music from the Steinhardt School at New York University with a full scholarship and completed her Master of Music degree at the Manhattan School of Music.
Aileen is a prize winner in competitions such as the American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition, the Cincinnati World Piano Competition, Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition, among many others. She has also performed at various venues including Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Tenri Cultural Institute, Promise Theater in Flushing, NYU’s Blackbox Theater, Merkin Concert Hall at the Kaufman Cultural Center, Cami Hall, the Donald Public Library, and Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou China.

Testimonial from Aileen on studying with Dr. Chai

I had my first lesson with Jenny back in 2005, and quickly came to realize that something special would grow out of this initial encounter. Sure enough, over the years, she became more than just a teacher, but also a mentor, role model, and friend. She is vastly knowledgeable, fun, immensely caring, nurturing, and inspiring.

Testimonial from Aileen on studying with Dr. Chai

I had my first lesson with Jenny back in 2005, and quickly came to realize that something special would grow out of this initial encounter. Sure enough, over the years, she became more than just a teacher, but also a mentor, role model, and friend. She is vastly knowledgeable, fun, immensely caring, nurturing, and inspiring.
As an artist and teacher, Jenny has incredible talent. She always brought an infectiously bubbling energy and passion to every lesson, and regardless of what repertoire we were working on, she could always bring it to life with her vivid explanations and demonstrations. I remember always leaving my lessons feeling inspired and enlightened.
As a mentor and friend, Jenny was always generous with her time, whether it was to discuss music or just life in general, always listening patiently and offering sincere advice. In many ways, Jenny helped shape not only who I was as an artist in my musicality and artistry, but also as a person.
Jessie Xueyan Gong

Admission Major: Piano (Per- college)
Admission School: The Juilliard School of Music
10-year-old student Jessie Gong was accepted with the highest score by the Juilliard School of Music in 2018
Guest on reality show 《留学吧!少年》

Email from The Juilliard School

The 11-year-old kid Jessie Gong not only was accepted by The Juilliard School pre-college, but also entered the second round audition at the Curtis Institute of Music. She has competed with all students that under 21 years old all over world in the first round. In such a fierce competition, it is really not easy to enter the second round audition.

Email from The Juilliard School

The 11-year-old kid Jessie Gong not only was accepted by The Juilliard School pre-college, but also entered the second round audition at the Curtis Institute of Music. She has competed with all students that under 21 years old all over world in the first round. In such a fierce competition, it is really not easy to enter the second round audition.

Jarry Minkun Chen

Admission Major: Piano
Admission School: Interlochen Arts Academy High School(Scholarship: 1million RMB)
Manhattan School of Music B.A. at FaceArt Institute of Music

In 2016, Jarry has been admitted to Interlochen Arts Academy, the best boarding music and art high school in the United States, and received nearly 1 million scholarships. Now, under the help of Dr. Chai, he was admitted by the Manhattan School of Music, which is Dr. Chai’s alma mater

Like many children who learn piano, Jarry practices piano every day. In order to get in the best music schools in the U.S., he traveled from Jiangxi to Shanghai to study at FaceArt every week for 2 years since he was 11 by himself. Jarry is a child from Xinyu, a small city in Jiangxi Province. Both of his parents work at factories. But they still support their son, and enrolled in FaceArt’s Study Abroad Program. To save expenses, Jarry took over night trains to Shanghai from Jiangxi every week for two years, not missing one lesson. He is always the first student arrive the school in the morning and the first student that begin to practice. When other children enjoy the cool in the hot summer, he practiced sweating in the piano room. When other children were watching TV in the warmth room in the winter, he was practicing. He cherishes such opportunity, and that is the hard-earned money of their parents. The child’s sensibility makes parents feel proud. His parents never put too much pressure on him, they just wholeheartedly trust him.  

When Jarry was 13, he achieved his dream, receiving almost 1 million RMB of financial support from Interlochen Arts Academy. Now, he is following the footsteps of Dr. Chai and majoring piano in the prestigious Manhattan School of Music in the United States.

Like many children who learn piano, Jarry practices piano every day. In order to get in the best music schools in the U.S., he traveled from Jiangxi to Shanghai to study at FaceArt every week for 2 years since he was 11 by himself. Jarry is a child from Xinyu, a small city in Jiangxi Province. Both of his parents work at factories. But they still support their son, and enrolled in FaceArt’s Study Abroad Program. To save expenses, Jarry took over night trains to Shanghai from Jiangxi every week for two years, not missing one lesson. He is always the first student arrive the school in the morning and the first student that begin to practice. When other children enjoy the cool in the hot summer, he practiced sweating in the piano room. When other children were watching TV in the warmth room in the winter, he was practicing. He cherishes such opportunity, and that is the hard-earned money of their parents. The child’s sensibility makes parents feel proud. His parents never put too much pressure on him, they just wholeheartedly trust him.  

When Jarry was 13, he achieved his dream, receiving almost 1 million RMB of financial support from Interlochen Arts Academy. Now, he is following the footsteps of Dr. Chai and majoring piano in the prestigious Manhattan School of Music in the United States.

Junji Chen with his mother

Admission major: Piano
Admission School: Boston conservatory of Music(Scholarship: 1million RMB )

A letter from Junji Chen:

In mid-March, I have been accepted by the Boston Conservatory of Music, and got nearly 1 million RMB of scholarship.

 

When I heard that the Boston Conservatory of Music audition will be held At FaceArt Institute of Music (FAIM) in Shanghai, I was so happy the audition is in China and I didn’t need to go to the United States for the audition and interview. (As we all know, we have to fly to the United States to audition and play in person for the famous music conservatories in the United States ); But I still worried if I could pass the audition? Can I really be accepted and get a scholarship?

When I heard that the Boston Conservatory of Music audition will be held At FaceArt Institute of Music (FAIM) in Shanghai, I was so happy the audition is in China and I didn’t need to go to the United States for the audition and interview. (As we all know, we have to fly to the United States to audition and play in person for the famous music conservatories in the United States ); But I still worried if I could pass the audition? Can I really be accepted and get a scholarship?

With the doubt, I arrived to Shanghai with my parents. Under the advice of FAIM teacher, we signed up for the audition. When we arrived at FAIM, I found that everything was well arranged. The director of the piano department at the Boston Conservatory of Music listened to my playing and gave an evaluation. On the day of the test, the head of the department personally interviewed and took the video back to the school for admission. I waited anxiously until the beginning of March. That day when I was informed that I was accepted by the Boston Conservatory of Music, I realized that FAIM’s training for me for the last couple of years was really solid. For me, a person who only studied piano as an amateur before I came to FAIM, I can even get such a high scholarship with a video audition, indicates FAIM has the best faculty and expertise in bringing students up with the highest speed!
I also attended the auditions at the American Academy of Music Union in China, but their interviews in China are not recognized by the admissions of the conservatories. I trust FaceArt Institute of Music, and so much thanks to Dr. Jenny Q Chai, and I thank all the teachers of FaceArt for their advice and hard work!
I hope FAIM’s study abroad program will help more and more talents to the world’s top music schools! I also wish that FAIM will become the leader in the field of Chinese music study abroad. FAIM has this strength!
Naodan Zhang

Admission Major: Piano
Admission School: Boston conservatory of Music(with scholarships)

Naodan Zhang is 18 years old. When everyone is preparing for the college entrance examination, she has already received the offer from the Boston Conservatory of Music with a generous scholarship.

Two years ago, Naodan came FaceArt Institute of Music. Although she had studied piano for more than ten years, she was still full of self-doubt and stopped open when she tried to play pieces through.

With the two years of intense Study Abroad Program training at FAIM, her progress had been amazing. She took three piano lessons, two music theory lessons and an English lesson every week for two years. In addition to these courses, she also had to practice piano every day, and attended the TOEFL course. The learning atmosphere of a school affects students’ learning attitude. Naodan is not a very self-conscious student, but the positive attitude of the teachers had been affecting her. She began to practice the piano proactively and studied English every day, and participated in FAIM’s month student recitals. She also participated in the Italian music festival and worked with an ensemble to play chamber music.

With the two years of intense Study Abroad Program training at FAIM, her progress had been amazing. She took three piano lessons, two music theory lessons and an English lesson every week for two years. In addition to these courses, she also had to practice piano every day, and attended the TOEFL course. The learning atmosphere of a school affects students’ learning attitude. Naodan is not a very self-conscious student, but the positive attitude of the teachers had been affecting her. She began to practice the piano proactively and studied English every day, and participated in FAIM’s month student recitals. She also participated in the Italian music festival and worked with an ensemble to play chamber music.

“Chance favors only the prepared mind”. Now the opportunity came. The Boston conservatory of music arranged admission at FaceArt in Shanghai, and Dr. Jonathan Bass, the head of the piano department, flew to Shanghai in charge of the audition. He also gave Naodan a one-on-one master class, and the professor was even more impressed with Naodan’s performance. Next, she received a letter of acceptance from the Boston Conservatory of Music and received a scholarship.
Now, it has been a few years since Naodan started her piano major degree at Boston Conservatory of Music. She has performed in many important venues and is highly regarded by her peers and her piano professor.
Kevin Li and Dr. Niccolo Athens

Admission Major: Composition
Admission School:
Royal Academy of Music(scholarship: 860,000 RMB)
The Juilliard School(scholarship: 800,000 RMB)
Oberlin College(scholarship: Rmb 800,000 RMB)
Rice University-Shepherd School of Music

9 universities

Key words: Offer and high scholarship “harvester” in many universities in Britain and the United States

From March 2017 to Now, Kevin has been studying composition courses with Dr. Niccolo Athens at FaceArt Institute of Music. We are so happy for Kevin is recognized by so many top schools in the world!
Eric Wu

Admission Major: Piano
Admission School: Interlochen Arts Academy(Scholarship: 500,000RMB)

Congratulations to Eric Wu, who was accepted by the Interlochen Arts Academy and received nearly 500,000 RMB of scholarships. Dr. Chai believes that he should receive a higher scholarship at his excellent level and intends to continue to apply, but Eric’s parents refused, hoping to give such opportunities to those who are more in need. Eric’s family exhibits the empathy and humanity which is in sync with the FaceArt Institute of Music culture. After two years, Eric has now developed into a virtuosic pianist with musical sensibilities.
Yuan and Dr. Solomon Mikowsky

Admission Major: Piano
Admission School: Manhattan School of Music
(Recipient of the “Principal Scholarship”)

Yuan Wang came to FAIM when he was 13 years old, when he decided to leave Shanghai Music Conservatory and focus on only studying with FaceArt faculty. After some technical makeovers, Yuan became an astonishingly brilliant pianist.
Yuan’s offer letter(left) Yuan and Dr. Jenny Q Chai (right)
Yuan with his current professor Alexander Moutouzkine

He received numerous competition awards including the first place in the “Modern Piano Open”modern romantic group, the “Asian Music Competition” Gold Award (cross-age group), the first prize in the“Liszt Memorial Award” in Hong Kong International Piano Competition, the Shanghai Starlight Program Outstanding Student Award, Shanghai Excellent Art Talent Award, the New York International Music Festival Piano Competition , the 2nd place (1st vacancy) of the 4th Licht-Irina International Piano Competition in Tokyo, Japan, the second prize of the Shanghai Spring International Music Festival “Strauss Cup” Award, and the first prize of the 73rd Steinway International Youth Piano Competition.

In recent years , the requirements for English in Western universities are getting higher and higher. It is particularly worth mentioning that Dr. Chai won an English admission quota of the Manhattan Conservatory of Music for Yuan, helping Yuan to enter the Manhattan Conservatory of Music successfully, to study under the reputed Professor Alexandre Moutouzkine. I believe that Yuan will become a concert pianist on the international stage.
Rain with his family and his professors

Admission Major: Composition
Admission School: Walnut Hill Art High School Interlochen Arts Academy

Rain came to FAIM with the was still a little boy, without much discipline or ideas in music. After several years of training and 2 years of intensive training at the FAIM Study Abroad Program, Rain was accepted by the two best music and arts high schools in the U.S.

Tiffany Zhang

Admission Major: Piano
Admission School: Pre-college of Manhattan School of Music
Smith College (accepted for her piano performance ability)

Being the very first FAIM Study Abroad Program student, Tiffany started her intensive training at FAIM when she was 9 years old. By age 11, she was accepted by the world renown music conservatory Manhattan School of Music Pre-college in New York, where she studied under Rubinstein Competition winner, Prof. Inesa Synkevich, professor of both college and pre-college devision, chair of MSM Precollege Division. Now Tiffany has entered her dream school Smith College, double majoring in Piano and Medicine.
Ian and Dr. Niccolo Athens at FaceArt Institute of Music
Admission School: Indiana University Jacobs School of Music (a scholarship for “Young Artists”, 60,000 RMB) Berklee College of Music, University of Michigan, Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University