Hillary Santoso

Hillary S.

Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
I have taught piano for over 8 years, in collegiate and beginning classes and privately for students of all ages and various levels and backgrounds. I provide students with practice strategies and problem-solving skills, so they can experience progress and enjoyment from mastering challenges.  I want students to leave the lesson thinking: "I CAN do it!" I am always communicating and setting individual goals and expectations effectively. I promote proper technique to support healthy practice and greater expressive ability. All the while, I strive to develop a student's critical listening skills and self-awareness.
I aim to introduce students to a variety of the best piano literature so they can discover the excitement, beauty and enjoyment of playing classical music. I strive to peak my students' curiosity and their desire to learn with each new piece we study. Most importantly, I aim to model effective and positive practice strategies that encourage students to continue to be curious and explore learning and new piano pieces.

About Hillary S.

Hillary has captured prizes in numerous competitions. She was recipient of the “Judges’ Award” for the American Protégé International Concerto Competition and was subsequently invited to perform in Carnegie Hall for the Gala Winners’ Concert. She was also a finalist of the National YoungArts Foundation and International Washington D.C. Competition. She received second prize in the 14th Biennial Los Angeles International Liszt Competition and a cash award, which led to a performance in the 2017 American Liszt Society Festival.

She has starred as a soloist with numerous orchestras in the United States and Europe. Her most notable concerto performance was with the Glendale Youth Orchestra, which led to a debut at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, after an audition with the LA Phil Youth Orchestra Mentorship Partners.

Hillary has presented a solo benefit recital performing piano and violin to raise a total of $3,500 in funds to benefit the American Red Cross and Tzu Chi Foundation for the Tsunami Relief Effort. Additionally, she has provided voluntary piano lessons to children with various forms of autism. She is a passionate and active teacher, with teaching experience ranging from toddler group classes to university classes, to teaching private students. She has presented her research topics at the 2019 Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) conferences at the national and collegiate level. Additionally, her students have achieved high marks at the Royal Conservatory of Music exams.

Currently, she is a second year graduate student at the University of Michigan, pursuing her master's degree in Piano Performance Dr. Logan Skelton and Pedagogy with Dr. John Ellis. She will be a Pre-Candidate of the Doctoral of Musical Arts in Piano Performance and Pedagogy at University of Michigan in the fall. She received her Bachelor’s degree in piano performance under the tutelage of Yoshikazu Nagai at San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She has also worked with Bernadene Blaha and performed in many masterclasses for renowned pianists such as John Perry, Gary Graffman, Leon Fleisher, and Jerome Lowenthal. Hillary began piano studies with her mother, Michelle.


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Graduate Student Instuctor
Aug 2018 - Present

University of Michigan

Teaching class piano and keyboard skills to undergraduate college students in classes setting at University of Michigan Collaborating with faculty to develop lesson plans for students Lesson planning, class structuring, grading, office hours, public speaking, group teaching Developing proficiency of basic keyboard technique, score reading and performance, sight-reading, harmonization, rhythm, and transposition for undergraduate non-piano majors Ensuring success in course exams Aiding each student through a comprehensive study of the art of keyboard performance, starting from the beginning level to late intermediate Teaching private piano lessons with pre-college students (Piano Pedagogy Laboratory Program) Preparing students for Royal Conservatory of Music examinations Presenting masterclasses, recitals, organizing concerts

Piano Teacher
Dec 2016 - Apr 2018

Russo Music School

Teaching piano lessons to students (toddlers to late adults,) of levels ranging from beginning to advanced Organized student recitals, programs


Masters of Music in Piano Performance and Pedagogy
Aug 2018 - Present

University of Michigan

Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance
Aug 2014 - May 2018

San Francisco Conservatory of Music



Fluent / Native Proficiency


2nd Place
Mar 2017

Los Angeles International Liszt Competition

May 2014

National YoungArts

May 2013

Los Angeles Philharmonic Youth Orchestra Partnership Competition

Judge's Award
Apr 2012

American Protégé International Concerto Competition


Royal Conservatory of Music of Canada Music Development Program
Aug 2018
The Royal Conservatory Music Development Program (Music Development Program) provides a recognized national standard of musical success through an effectively sequenced course of study from beginner to advanced levels.
Music Teachers National Association
Aug 2018
The MTNA was founded in 1876 with the goal of advancing the value of music study and music-making to society while supporting the careers and professionalism of teachers of music. With nearly 22,000 members in 50 states—and more than 500 local affiliates—the MTNA is the preeminent source for music teacher support, where members embody like-minded values and commitment to their students, colleagues and society as a whole, while reaping the rewards of collaboration, continuity and connection throughout the lifetime of their careers.

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