Carolyn Ota
New York, NY
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Carolyn Ota

Carolyn O.

New York, NY
Profile-background-check Background Check
This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Levels taught:
This is your time to sit with an experienced and kind teacher who enjoys making learning fun. You will learn how to have optimal posture, hand and finger agility and begin to play and read music.
I’ll be looking to incorporate your favorite songs to make your lessons deeper.

About Carolyn O.

Coming from a large extended family in Hawaii, I was surrounded by luau music, kachi-kachi dancing, Japanese bon dances, handsome local guys singing and playing their guitars and my aunties strumming their ukes and singing old songs. I reveled in walking alone in Nature or playing piano and singing in empty, stained-glassed churches - just wailing in the dark and colored light!

I studied: piano, organ, oboe, clarinet, violin, voice, and guitar. I started as a teenager to make a small living playing for various churches, choirs, weddings, and funerals. As a young adult, I sang in jazz trios and pop bands, and continued playing as a church organist/choir accompanist, and began teaching private piano lessons to students of all ages.

Upon arriving in New York City, I entered into a journey of playing at a Washington Heights gospel church, living in a building filled with musicians, studying Sanskrit and mantra chanting, and sound and light healing. And, I sang! And wrote my own songs.

By blending traditional teaching methods and everything I've learned, I create meaningful experiences for students by:
- being patient, flexible, and creative in approach
- using visual, aural, and tactile teaching tools

*** Lesson Goals ***
After 3 to 6 Months of Lessons, you can use the important music fundamentals you've learned to create music you love.
After about a year, you are able to share your music with your family and friends - and maybe even perform as a service to your community!

*** My Studio Equipment ***
Upright piano, synthesizers, guitars, ukulele, percussion instruments, cool learning tools and charts

*** Travel Equipment ***
I can carry my own guitar, ukulele, teaching aids, manuscript paper, pen/pencils, and handouts.

*** My Specialties ***
Playing instruments thoughtfully, with feel, especially with vocals.
Taking basic techniques & music theory to expand, create one's vision.
Creating music to nourish the body and soul.
Making lesson times fun and meaningful.
Singing from an authentic, heart-centered voice.


Write a Review
25 Reviews
Profile-location-online Online

Carolyn is a wonderful teacher! Our 9-year-old daughter has been taking ukulele lessons (online) with her for a few weeks now. She came to LOVE her lessons, and has already made a lot of progress. Carolyn is an accomplished musician and singer (beautiful voice!!), yet she has no problem taking a beginner's perspective and explaining things in a clear, simple, kid-friendly way. She is fun and easy-going, and also incredibly patient. Overall, great experience!

Posted Feb 1, 2021
Profile-location-online Online

My teenage daughter has been taking piano lessons with Carolyn for several months now, and has thoroughly enjoyed her experience. Carolyn is flexible and willing to adapt her teaching style to the way that works best for you. She is also kind, encouraging, and open to teaching my daughter the piano pieces that most interest her.

Posted Jan 25, 2021
Abbie Roles
Profile-location-online Online

Carolyn is very patient kind and caring and easy going and also fun I would recemend here and do other lessons she has:)

Posted Jan 14, 2021
Profile-location-online Online

I had a great time learning to play Van Halen’s “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” on the ukulele. Carolyn’s classes covered everything from re-stringing with a lower octave G-string to using butterfly effects, hammers and string pulls on the finger work. It was just what I was looking for.

Posted Nov 20, 2020
Jen Smith
Profile-location-online Online

Carolyn did a great job of introducing our 8-year-old to signing. She was energetic, patient and fun and made sure to pick music our daughter liked and customized lessons to her interest and level.

Posted Sep 29, 2020
Mia L.
Profile-location-online Online

My daughter has been asking me for ukulele classes for a while and we found Carolyn online, really liked her profile and we just had the first class yesterday. My daughter had a fun and informative class with a nice follow up practice to do on her own. Carolyn was great, \able to connect with my 7 yr old and made her feel comfortable. She even asked me if we were going to be able to meet her in person one day!

Posted Sep 1, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

When our lessons started, I have low expectations of myself. I never realised I could have enjoyed it as much. Much of the enjoyment could be attributed to Teacher Carolyn's guidance, and tips. I appreciated that she was kind and positive all throughout.

Posted Aug 27, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

Had a great first lesson! I wasn't sure what to expect from an online music lesson, but Carolyn is a great teacher and I could hear the difference after a single lesson.

Posted Jul 6, 2020
Milena Gomes
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio


Posted Jun 28, 2020
Natalia S.
Profile-location-online Online

Best teacher ever!

Posted Jun 6, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

She was really considerate and nice! Would recommend to someone looking to start playing guitar :)

Posted May 25, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

Awesome teacher! Integrated with breathing, relaxing, body awareness, and all the fundamentals to bring out the voice. Relaxed and fun lessons.

Posted May 18, 2020
Nathan (11), Katy (10), Charlie (8) T.
Profile-location-online Online

Carolyn is phenomenal! I have 3 kids, one of them special needs, and she was able to take the info I provided about each of them, create a specialized experience for each of them, and meet them where they were at. All this after their FIRST LESSON. I was way impressed and can't wait to see how they develop under her direction!

Posted May 4, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

shes the best with kids shes really nice

Posted Mar 27, 2020
Savanna S.
Profile-location-online Online

Carolyn is a fantastic teacher - great with children!

Posted Mar 20, 2020
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Carolyn is great! She brings an amazing chill energy and makes it feel more like time hanging out with a friend than a lesson. Definitely recommend her, I think kids would love her as well.

Posted Jun 20, 2019
Profile-location-home Student's Home

First lesson with Carolyn in the books! She is a wonderful teacher - positive, encouraging and while thoughtful with her lesson plan, is happy to take the lesson in a direction of your choosing!

Very much looking forward to my future lessons with her!

Posted Apr 14, 2019
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Carolyn is terrific! I decided to finally learn to play the piano and learn music theory at 50! I am having an incredible learning experience with Carolyn. She is patient and is always one step ahead anticipating my challenges and helping me learn and improve.

Posted Jul 17, 2018
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Carolyn has a very positive attitude. My daughter looks forward to her singing lessons.

Posted May 29, 2018
Rachel M.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Very nice and welcoming, I learned a lot a few sessions and enjoyed them.

Posted Apr 10, 2017
Sophie D.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

One day, I decided to learn ukulele by myself but I became quickly stuck. I found Carolyn on this website and then went to her place to take my first lesson. Carolyn is super sweet; very welcoming, smiling, fun to work with. She is very positive and gives great feedbacks all the time! I learnt a lot during our session!! At some point, we sat at her piano to talk about notes and keys: it was very interesting to switch to another instrument. In addition, her place has very harmonious vibes: when I left I felt so much better!!! I definitely recommend Carolyn for music lessons! And I look forward to our next ukulele lesson!

Posted Aug 3, 2016

Carolyn turned out to be the perfect piano instructor for my teenage niece who is a slow learner. Carolyn is enthusiastic, supportive, patient, and fun. My niece especially loves getting to sing together with Carolyn as an added bonus!

Posted Aug 8, 2011


My 11 year old absolutely adores Carolyn--she can't wait for her weekly singing lessons!

Posted Apr 15, 2011

Inspired Student

I would like to thank you patience and love for the piano. These qualities are what help me learn and appreciate the piano. Thank you!

Posted Oct 21, 2010


I am so happy to have you been my granddaughter teacher I am confident en your knowledge and I hope you kip up for ever

Posted Aug 18, 2010

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