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 in piano pedagogy. While at Carnegie Mellon University, she studied under Hanna Wu Li. Michelle studied under Dr. Geoffrey Haydon for performance while at Georgia State and, for pedagogy, studied under Dr. Sergio Gallo.
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, 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.
She has twenty-one 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 and shape future editions of group piano lesson textbooks. Her students have won awards for both performance and composition and have 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, improvisation, composition, 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 (especially 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 her certification and testing for her license soon.
When not at the piano, Michelle can be found tending her orchids, reading an infinite stack of books, or behind the viewfinder of a camera.
Michelle lives in Decatur, Georgia, with her husband, two children, her cats Gremlin and Portia, and her dog Puddles. Her home piano is a Baldwin R.