Michelle Li received her Bachelor of Humanities and Arts with emphases in piano performance and psychology and Certificate in Piano Pedagogy from Carnegie Mellon University, earning university honors. She graduated summa cum laude from Georgia State University, earning a Master of Music degree in piano pedagogy. While at Carnegie Mellon University, she studied under Hanna Wu Li and performed in master classes with Sergey Schepkin and Enrique Graf. Michelle studied under Dr. Geoffrey Haydon while at Georgia State, and studied under Dr. Sergio Gallo for pedagogy.
A native of New Jersey, Michelle's childhood piano education was shaped by the great teachers in the Princeton area. She studied principally with Andrea Huang and Yining Wang, with additional teaching from Ingrid Clarfield and Phyllis Lehrer.
Though teaching is her passion now, Michelle is no stranger to the concert stage. Michelle made her Carnegie Hall debut at the age of 14 after winning the Cecilian Club Young Artists competition, and has performed around the US and Europe.
Michelle has nineteen years of teaching experience under her belt. She began teaching in high school after taking pedagogy lessons, and has maintained a private studio ever since. She has taught in both group and private classes at the Carnegie Mellon Preparatory School and taught undergraduate group piano classes at Georgia State University, helping to refine pedagogical methods. Her students have won awards for both performance and composition, and earned the highest distinctions at festivals and graded exams.
Michelle's teaching philosophy, much like her undergraduate degree, is interdisciplinary. She believes that good pianists are also good overall musicians, and places emphasis on all the core principles of musicianship, including eurhythmics, theory, and history. She also believes in constantly challenging the self by learning new things, with the hope that the knowledge will expand understanding at the piano. It is not uncommon to find Michelle in a lesson talking about physics, anatomy, psychology, English literature, writing, history, or even video games.
Michelle has finished most exams for the Dalcroze Eurhythmics Certificate at the Marta Sanchez Dalcroze Training Center at Carnegie Mellon University, and looks forward to receiving it by the end of 2019.
Michelle lives in Decatur, Georgia, with her husband, two sons, and the two most amazing studio cats in the world, Pooka and Gremlin. Her home piano is a Baldwin R.