What Parents and Children say

about Yoko as a Teacher

Nao Ihara, piano student (age 9):
I appreciate Yoko as a teacher because she never gets mad. If you don’t know which key you’re supposed to play on the piano, she can help you without getting mad. There is also a small card. Every time you go and learn, you can put one sticker on that card. When the card is filled with stickers, you can get a prize from Yoko. You will have a fun time learning from Yoko.
Kathleen Thomas, Koto student:
Yoko is a wonderful teacher! I am very grateful that she is available to us. I am also grateful for her patience, for I am a slow student! I love watching her play because her form is so beautiful and her skill amazes me! Besides music, she also teaches me the fine points of Japanese culture. Thank you Yoko-San for sharing your arts with us!
The Hart Family
Chiori Hart, piano, Koto and Sangen student (age 13):
I appreciate Yoko as a teacher because she is kind and always greets us with a smile. She is a great teacher and always treats us like family. I’ve known Yoko for 4 years and she is one of the nicest teachers I’ve ever met! I love Yoko!
Kai Hart, piano, Koto and Sangen student (age 10):
I appreciate Yoko as a teacher because:
  • She is a very nice lady.
  • She teaches me everything I need to know.
  • She is awesome at Sangen, Koto and Piano.
Yuki Harada Hart, Koto and Sangen student and mother of Chiori and Kai Hart:
I appreciate Yoko as a teacher because she not only has great knowledge and skills of the instruments, but also teaches in a way that everyone can enjoy and appreciate the music.
As a child, I took piano lessons for 10 years using a very traditional method by very strict teachers. I was bored and discouraged the whole time.
Yoko sensei’s approach is to teach as students as many classical favorites as possible from a very early age and have them hearthe pieces as well. She does not spend time on boring scales and rudimentary etudes. She teaches such technique from the classical pieces themselves. This is especially effective for young learners. They feel more accomplished being able to play the classical pieces everybody knows.
Charles Hart (father of Chiori and Kai Hart):
I appreciate Yoko as a teacher because Yoko has a vibrant enthusiastic way of teaching music. She passes that enthusiasm on to her students. Yoko’s style of teaching is warm and nursing. She is able to extract 100% effort from each of her students. My family feels fortunate to have found such a teacher.
Setsuko Harada (grandmother):
I appreciate Yoko as a teacher because she always has a smile on her face and is a patient teacher with her students. I’m very impressed by the way she deals with children.
Also, I appreciate the fact that my daughter and grandchildren have the opportunity to learn the traditional instruments of Japan, koto and Sangen, here in the US from a very talented teacher.
The Fajardo Family
Aaron Fajardo, piano student (age 8):
I appreciate Yoko as a teacher because she is very nice and doesn’t get upset. She lets us have water. She gives us snacks. I feel happy and lucky to have her as a teacher. There are a lot of them out there. But they are none like Mrs. Yoko. She is the best teacher in the world. She is always happy. She is so nice that she also gives us Koto lessons. Thank you Mrs. Yoko.
Nick Fajardo, piano student (age 10):
I appreciate Yoko as a teacher because she is kind and doesn’t get angry or upset like other teachers. Also, she’s a great piano and koto teacher. She is nice enough to teach us Japanese. I bet if I tell my friends about her, they’ll come to take lessons from her. There are hundreds of piano teachers out there, but none of them are like Mrs. Yoko.
Erika Manasewitch, piano and Koto student (age 12):
I appreciate Yoko as a teacher because she makes music fun. She helps me learn classical music and appreciate the piano and koto. She has high expectations and inspires me to strive to achieve them.
The Nguyen Family
Celine Nguyen, piano student (age 12):
Yoko is a great teacher. She is caring and emphasizes the need for good practice and playing habits. Yoko teaches with a unique style that makes learning the piano exciting.
Bryan Nguyen, piano student (age 11):
I appreciate Yoko as a teacher because she helps me in many ways. She is very willing and always kind hearted. Yoko is always congratulating me for doing well on the piano.
Anthony Nguyen, father of Celine and Bryan:
Yoko is a great teacher. My kids love learning piano from Yoko. She has great knowledge in teaching and helping students excel in learning and practicing piano. I highly recommend parents to have Yoko teach their kids piano.
The Hiyakawa Family
Akemi Hayakawa, Koto student and mother of Mirai and Kenta:
Yoko is an amazing instructor who has extraordinary talent. I knew nothing at all about playing the Koto and she patiently taught me. I am now playing many masterpieces. She is very calm and classy and has never been in a bad mood in front of her students. Through the Koto lessons she also teaches us many things about our own inherited Japanese culture. She is my mentor in so many ways.
Mirai Hayakawa, piano student (age 11):
I appreciate Yoko as a teacher because she does not get mad when you make a mistake. She knows my level of playing.
Kenta Hiyakawa, piano and Koto student:
I appreciate Yoko as a teacher because she has a very skillful way of teaching music. She teaches us to be precise and accurate. She is not strict, in fact, she is very nice. Her way of dealing with students is very advanced. I do not mind showing up for the lesson each week. I’ve had other teachers in the past, but there were no other teachers as great as Yoko. I started playing the Koto. Then awhile later I started playing the piano. I appreciate Yoko for teaching me these great instruments.
The Mata Family
Manami Honda Mata, Koto student & mother of 11 year old piano and Koto student:
Yoko has excellent credentials for teaching music. Due to her renowned and successful music career as a Kotoplayer, she is able to understand music’s impact on human feelings and life, and conveys this to her students. Personally, she has given my son and me an opportunity to appreciate music.

Furthermore, I really appreciate her helping my son know Japanese culture. Not only does he learn how to play the piano, Koto and Sangen, he is able to practice honorific speech in Japanese, Keigoto Yoko-sensei. He is also becoming familiar with Japanese popular music, folk songs, traditional classical music and more. He has even learned about Japanese history and how to pour tea the Japanese way.

Moreover, Yoko-sensei let me re-discover and appreciate what I have forgotten since I came to the U.S, such as kimono, tea ceremony, osechi-ryori, and more. It is very hard for me to tell how much I appreciate Yoko-sensei.

Tenchi Mata, 11 year old son who is a piano and Koto student:
I appreciate Yoko as a teacher because she always makes me enjoy my lessons and want to come to lessons more than once a week. She has humorous stories that can make anyone laugh. She also has a way of encouraging her students to try a new instrument, and a harder song for the concert. She even lets us go ahead and play the songs we like. I would say that Yoko-senseiis the best music teacher I have ever known and will ever encounter.
Jennifer Caballero, koto and Sangen student:
Yoko sensei is a hardworking and dedicated teacher. She is funny and light hearted, but is firm with her students. I appreciate her way of teaching because she talks about the traditions of koto/sangen playing instead of just teaching us music. We discuss the many stories she has about playing in japan and it makes me appreciate her more as a teacher. She is a great influence and her musical values are incredible. Thank you so much for taking the time to teach me!
The Bauck Family
Kostas Bauck, piano student (age 6):
I like Mrs. Yoko. She is kind to others. She teaches good (classical) music to piano students. Everyone likes piano from Mrs. Yoko.
Merek Bauck, piano student (age 8):
I appreciate Yoko as a teacher because she teaches good (classical) music from other people. I appreciate her for the pot luck dinner she gives us after out concerts. I like it when she teaches me famous music. She never gets mad when you make a mistake in the concert. I think Mrs. Yoko is a good teacher for me. The best time of all is going to the lessons.