Clara Yang is currently Associate Professor of Piano at UNC-Chapel Hill. Her students have won awards from regional, national, and international competitions, and they have performed in major venues and series such as Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, Palais Corbelli (Vienna, Austria) and Carolina Performing Arts. Below are comments about her teaching from colleagues and UNC-CH students.
"I admired and appreciated what I saw of your masterclass. You were wonderfully patient and helpful and encouraging with that first student, and the difference was immediate and greater than one could possibly have expected."
–Daniel Leech-Wilkinson, Professor of Music, Head of Department of Music, King's College London
"This is my final semester with Dr. Yang. After four years of teaching, I can easily say that she has been the most impactful professor of my college experience, teaching my far beyond expectation and course subject. It takes a very special person to successfully teach individual music lessons, and Dr. Yang demonstrates all necessary traits as well as a desire for constant improvement. She is able to connect with students outside of the classroom, establishing a trust with her students –necessary as learning an instrument can often be a stressful and sensitive practice . In terms of her teaching style, she is positive and honest without being overly complementary. She pushes you and has no problem telling you what you need to improve, but she does so in a way that makes you take ownership for your playing. She suggests improvements while also allowing her students to explore their own ideas about a piece, something I particularly appreciate.
She is truly dedicated to seeing her students succeed. I gave my first recital this semester, and knowing how nervous I was, Dr. Yang dedicated extra lesson time to make sure I was ready, as well as numerous conversations about managing nerves and the purposes of sharing music. Seeing her before and during my recital eliminated my nerves, and I was able to achieve something that I didn't think I could. Dr. Yang is able to bring talent out of you that you didn't know you had, and creates an extremely curious and friendly environment in which to do so."
"Dr. Yang is by far one of the most influential professors I've had at UNC. Having studied with her for four years, I've felt that I have grown tremendously as a musician. Lessons are productive, mentally engaging, and simply fun. She brings insightful and effective feedback, incorporating multiple aspects from techniques for practicing technically difficult sections, relating theory and structure to style and muscality, to even abstract philosophical discussions about the value of music and the emotions it can evoke. Her teaching style is encouraging, friendly, and relatable--inspiring, yet rarely intimidating. In giving suggestions and criticism, she is always clear and never demeaning or dismissive. Dr. Yang is a fantastic teacher and has been a huge factor in my success and enjoyment studying at UNC."
"Clara Yang is not only a very passionate and natural teacher, but a great leader. She always inspired me to do my very best, but she never discouraged me for shortcomings. In my short time with her so far, I have learned very much; not only about playing the piano but also character building lessons in diligence, hard work and perseverance."
"Dr. Yang is a fantastic professor! I have so enjoyed working with her this semester. She devotes so much time and energy to each student and as a result produces excellent results. For example, I gave my first recital this semester. Dr. Yang made sure that I had practiced in the performance space and that we had coached in the performance space. In every lesson, it was evident that she had thought about our previous lesson in detail because she would bring up specific points/problems from the last lesson and give me her thoughts, advice, and suggestions. She was extremely helpful in the summer music festival application process, despite her busy performance and teaching schedule this spring. Dr. Yang is a wonderful, dedicated teacher and I am excited to continue working with her!"
"Dr. Yang is hands down the best piano teacher I have had. She is excellent at both being critical and encouraging about your work. She's a teacher you want to do well for just because you respect her so much.
"You have been such an amazing teacher, friend, and inspiration these past two years. Words can't express how thankful I am!"
"I just want to thank you for being an amazing teacher the last few years. I would not be where I am as a pianist now without your guidance and persistence."
"Thank you so much for everything you've done this semester! I really feel like I've grown so much as a performer and musician and I really can't thank you enough!"
"This year, I auditioned for and got an MIT Emerson Music Fellowship which funded my private lessons at U. Mass. Boston. As part of the fellowship, I recently gave a solo recital featuring Bartok's Sonata BB 88, Scriabin 9, and Beethoven Op.111. I will also give a recital of Beethoven "les Adieux" for my graduate house in a couple of weeks.
I have to thank you for everything you taught me in my final semester at UNC. Focusing on producing a good sound and especially attuning my ears for it has been invaluable in adjusting to new pianos and halls. I am constantly complimented on my piano touch by the faculty here. The painstaking work on the first movement of Prokofiev 7 definitely changed my mindset in learning and practicing difficult music and made this year's ambitious program possible."
"Dr. Yang was always super enthusiastic and fun to have as a teacher. I learned a lot and she has completely changed the way that I approach my daily piano practice. She's amazing!"
"Dr. Yang is an amazing pianist and piano teacher."
"Dr. Yang is my favorite professor at Carolina. She clearly cares about her students and does everything she can to help them succeed. She does an excellent job teaching her students how to develop their playing style and is extremely good at explaining difficult concepts. I would recommend her to all students of all levels."
"Dr. Yang has been a phenomenal teacher this semester. She is extremely warm and approachable, while still maintaining high expectatios for her students."
"Dr. Yang really cares that her students learn and make progress relative to their own abilities."
"Dr. Yang was incredibly helpful and supportive. She challenged me to learn while still always being understanding and reasonable."
"Dr. Yang has been incredibly helpful in every way possible. She has helped me improve exponentially and was patient with me when I wasn't patient with myself. She is an invested, passionate and wonderful teacher."
"I can't tell you how much I appreciate Dr. Yang as a teacher, she has taught me an incredible amount about music and is very caring toward all of her students."