Jiwon Hwang

Instructor of Piano

My Background: Growing up in a church setting, I was very exposed and affected by music. My parents were members of the church choir so I was watching and singing along as they practiced for as long as I can remember. I began taking piano lessons at the age of 6 and have been playing piano now for over two decades. Whether it’s playing, composing, or listening, my life has always been close to music. As a former piano and music theory tutor, with several years of experience being a paid church piano accompanist, I’ve honed my musical teaching abilities. Having experience with children as an English instructor at Pagoda Junior Academy in South Korea; I’ve been able to better learn how to organize lessons, interact with various types of students and build relationships with the students. I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Classical Music Composition from Sungshin Women’s University in South Korea.


What I love about teaching: I believe that having an ability to teach others is a special ability. I’m very aware of how much a single positive learning experience can have an impact on someone’s life. I love the fact that I can foster and share the moment when a student awakens something. Communion through music is powerful and exciting. Being part of students’ musical growth genuinely makes me happy.


One way I help my students succeed and flourish: As a teacher, I want my students to feel that they are capable. I want to help them to believe in themselves. I believe that having a good experience; finding interest and curiosity, and the process of improving at something translates directly into all other aspects of student’s lives. I believe teaching is about more than just the subject material, it is about helping students find joy and confidence in learning. When you have fun, you do it more, when you do it more, you get better, and when you experience getting better, you feel confident!


Performance Experience: I started being a piano accompanist at the age of 12 at church and became a paid church piano accompanist after graduating high school. As a Junior in university, my piano piece “The Moss is Growing Under My Skin” was selected and played at the annual school composition concert called Hyangran(향란). For my college graduation concert, I composed a piece for piano & cello, and also performed as the piano player.



Hometown: Incheon, South Korea/ Seattle (first US city I lived in)

My Musical Influences: I enjoy playing all kinds of music. And I especially enjoy playing and listening to minimal music. I listen to Arvo Pärt, Giya Kancheli, Erik Satie, Schumann, Mozart and many more.

Favorite hobby or activity when not teaching or playing music:  I love crocheting and knitting. I also like reading novels and playing sports.

Favorite food: I l-o-v-e nigiri and chocolate. –I really do!


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