Lella Li

Lella L.

San Francisco, CA
100% Satisfaction Guarantee

100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Try the first lesson and if you’re not satisfied we'll refund any unused lessons.

Lesson Details


Levels Taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

I am both patient and enthusiastic as a teacher. I speak Mandarin Chinese as my native language, and can help my students progress to a high level. Once I have determined the student's level, I work with them to help them improve according to their goals.

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Lella teaches



Lella delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Females 5 to 70, males 5 to 20 and special needs

Teaching since:
March 2002

I studied Musicology and Piano Performance at the Shandong Normal University School of Music, where I graduated with my BA in 2005. I taught music and established a band at a property management institute while a student there, and established my own practice after I graduated. I came to the United States in 2013, where I have continued to play piano and have joined a local band. I am happy to continue sharing my love of music with my students here.

I began tutoring Mandarin in January 2015. As a native speaker, I can guide you to a very high level, and help you learn to speak with a proper Chinese accent.

Please note: Online classes are available for Mandarin Chinese only. Piano lessons are only available in person.

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Mandarin Tutor
Jan 2015 - Present

Tutored students in Mandarin Chinese according to their level in both written and spoken forms.

Piano Teacher
Jul 2006 - Present

Taught piano lessons independently to students ages 4 and up.

Music Teacher
Aug 2005 - Jul 2006
Shandong Property Management Institute

Taught music syllabus to classes, including musical concepts and performance, and sight reading and listening skills, in context of style and genre. Conducted assessment in both written form and performance, including aural examination. Established, managed, and conducted a band

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B.A. in Musicology and Piano Performance
Sep 2001 - Jun 2005
Shandong Normal University School of Music


Fluent / Native Proficiency
Limited Proficiency
Fluent / Native Proficiency


Excellent Group Award
Jul 2013
Chinese Society for Music Education
Excellent Guide Teacher Award
Jul 2011
Organizing Committee of Shandong Province

Photos & Videos

Photo by Lella L.

Photo by Lella L.

Photo by Lella L.


18 Reviews

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Maxine M. Aug 10, 2018
Piano · In studio

Friendly introduction to piano for this beginner

Mo Mar 6, 2017
Piano · In studio

5 stars' teacher

Kayli Sep 21, 2016
Piano · In studio

We just had our first lesson and we hit a few bumps but my daughter has never had music instruction before so we're giving it another go next week to see if things go more smoothly. 3 stars above says meets expectations, and though it didn't, I just hesitate to give someone 2 stars based on one lesson.
Here are some details from class:
My daughter (K) just turned 5 but is pretty mature for her age and has expressed an interest in learning the piano so we signed up for individual lessons with Lella. At the start of class I mentioned again (I had noted it at booking time as well) that K has had zero experience with music instruction. Immediately Lella sat with K on the piano bench and started explaining treble clef sign, bass clef sign and what hands they relate to. Lella also has a thick accent as I was trying to follow along with her explanations with a little difficulty. She even asked if K speaks Chinese and I said "no" so she said "you're Indian right?" My daughter would look around from time to time while Lella was explaining at which point Lella would just keep seeing "Pay attention sweetie!" Then she asked my daughter to write the numbers 1-5 in a book and when she said she didn't know how to write the number 2, Lella laughed and said "you know, but you forgot right" so I spoke up and explained "no she has not been taught to write her numbers yet, but she can read/recognize them" to which Lella seemed very surprised, so I felt the need to say, "she's still in preschool. But if you write them she'll be able to tell you what they are." So then Lella switched to counts, explaining about the values of different notes. She asked my daughter if she had questions, to which my daughter said "I think I understand what you're saying, if it's just a circle that means four, but if it's a circle with a line..." And before she could finish her thought Lella said "no that's not a line, it's a stem". At another point when Lella asked if she had any questions, my daughter slowly said "yes... what's velour?" And when Lella looked confused I had to step in and explain that Lella was saying "value", the amount of counts for a note. By the end of the half hour lesson, Lella had reached her explanation of middle C, which she described to my daughter saying "this is middle C because it's in the middle, there are two black keys, then on the left is C. Can you find another one?" When K didn't respond right away, she repeated herself, and again another time. So I said "she really has had no previous music experience, I think you need to even explain to her that those are called keys, like there are black keys, white keys..." And Lella just looked at me confused.
At the end of the lesson I agreed to buy the theory book so we can practice that at home, and Lella asked if I can sit in on the next lesson to help explain things to my daughter, because she "doesn't really focus". I agreed to sit in on the lesson, for my own benefit so I can help her with HW since I also don't have music experience. But I also mentioned to Lella that her accent is quite strong and I think my daughter was having trouble understanding her, and Lella seemed surprised by that comment.
I don't know... it says on Lella's profile that she has worked with young kids but I can't really see how the class was any different from how she would teach me, an adult with no prior music experience.
Oh! I forgot to mention something so basic - when we met Lella she thought I was someone else so I re-introduced myself and introduced my daughter. Then as we were saying goodbye at the end of class I realized Lella had never introduced herself to my daughter, so I asked "oh, what would you like K to call you, Ms. Li, or Lella? Ms. Lella?" She said Lella was fine so I turned to K and said "Tell Lella bye K." It just hit me, I mean that's something about creating a relationship with a young student. Speaking to them directly, making that connection. Lella was really smiley which gave the impression she was friendly but she never really made a connection with K who is the student, not me.

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Marissa Aug 22, 2016
Classical Piano · In home

Lella quickly recognized what I needed to practice and brought me a great book that helped me get back to where I was very quickly.

Taylor Jun 14, 2016
Mandarin Chinese · Online

I had a wonderful experience with Lella! Great lesson!

Diane A. Jun 2, 2016
Piano · In home

Lella is lovely and pleasant and clearly loves teaching piano. It is too early to tell if this is the right fit but I intend to continue with Lella and see how it goes.

Isreal R. May 10, 2016
Mandarin Chinese · Online

Only had one lesson so far but she's good with kids

Lillianna R. May 10, 2016
Mandarin Chinese · Online

Only had one lesson so far but she's nice

Alyssa Mar 17, 2016
Piano · In home


Yan Luo Mar 5, 2016
Piano · In studio

Lella is a very good teacher. I've learned what I want from her.

Ha-My L. Feb 19, 2016
Mandarin Chinese · Online

Very nice, friendly and thoughtful teacher. She always tries to accommodate me and my busy school schedule.

Zoe Jan 27, 2016
Mandarin · Online

She was patient as this was our first lesson with Lella for our 7-year old daughter and our daughter froze up and would barely participate.

Lilianna M. Jan 19, 2016
Mandarin · Online

Not at all what I expected. I wanted my beginner 5 year old with no mandarin experience learn a few words and sentences so she can speak with her Grandparents in HK. Lella was very nice but she expected my 5 year old to catch on after she said the numbers once or twice, of course she's not going to remember it on her first day. Lella explained, usually her students have some mandarin experience or school beforehand. It was very hard to understand her. Scheduling the right times were a pain. She wanted us to go buy a beginners book to help learn mandarin. Which I explained to her already what our experience level was and what we wanted out of the classes beforehand. If I wanted to buy a book then I'd do that and learn from YouTube. Waste of $15 for one session. I bought 4 sessions but I'm switching to a new teacher. I hope it's better with the next one. I should have known you get what you pay for.

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Wilcox A. Nov 19, 2015
Mandarin · Online

Very patient with my 7 year old and encourages him when he gets embarrassed.

Gus Agudelo Sep 28, 2015
Mandarin · Online

Lella is a fantastic instructor. She's been very helpful in my pronunciation and comprehension of Chinese and is also a lot of fun to work with. I'd highly recommend her.

Pavlin Z. Sep 27, 2015
Mandarin · In home

She is teaching our 4y old child and our child star pick in up words, numbers and songs very easy. Lella is very good teacher.

Stephanie H. Sep 1, 2015
Classical Piano · In home

She is nice! I like her teaching style and personality. Recommend!

Beth L. May 30, 2015
Piano · In studio

I know Lella as a colleague, and we have also done a lesson exchange. Lella loves music and cares about her students. She wants them to do well. She focuses on where the student is and guides the student to play better. She sometimes focuses on one section of the piece or on one hand to help them improve that portion. I only took piano for a few years growing up, but in 20 minutes, she was able to help me quite a bit with a song I had never played before.

Lella's biggest difficulty is the fact that she is still learning English (her native language is Mandarin Chinese), but between what she does know and is able to demonstrate, she is still very helpful.

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