Dorothy Yan,
Piano Teacher

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210-697-7111 or 210-490-1500


Stone Oak and North West


Student Levels: Intermediate to Early Advanced

Student Ages: Eight and up


Dorothy Yan is a graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio with a Masters Degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy and a Bachelors Degree in Piano Performance. She had the privilege of studying piano with Dr. Kasandra Keeling and worked closely with Dr. Courtney Crappell in piano pedagogy.  In her undergraduate career, Dorothy was awarded the Marjorie Powell Zachary Scholarship and Friends of Music Scholarship. In March 2008, she won first place in the Etude Music Club Scholarship Competition. She was also named the Texas Music Teachers Association Collegiate Scholar of the Year in 2009 and granted a scholarship for this honor. Dorothy has also performed in various masterclasses with renown musicians such as Lilya Zilberstein and Jane McGrath.

In 2008, Dorothy started her teaching career and maintained a private piano studio at Hill Country Montessori School (HCMS) in Boerne, TX while also teaching local pre-collegiate students. As a graduate student at UTSA, Dorothy taught at the university level, including teaching three levels of group piano for music majors as well as secondary piano for non-piano music majors. After graduation from UTSA in 2012, Ms. Yan joined the Musical Arts Center of San Antonio, Inc. Dorothy works as an administrator for the Summer Music Institute for strings and piano at UTSA.

Dorothy is active in professional organizations on the local and national level. In 2008, she was a charter member and vice president of the Music Teachers National Association Collegiate Chapter at UTSA and served as President from 2010-2012. She also has served on the board for the San Antonio Music Teachers Association (SAMTA) as Program Director in 2012-2013. She currently serves on the SAMTA board as President.

Dorothy has presented her pedagogical research in various music conferences including the UTSA College of Liberal and Fine Arts Research Conference Competition, Texas Music Teachers Association State Convention, and the Texas Music Educators Association Conference. Her presentation entitled “Engage the Brain!: Cognitive Warm-up Activities for Effective Music Lessons.” was accepted for a session presentation at the Music Teachers National  Association in Anaheim, California in March 2013. In August 2014, she was a featured guest speaker at the Oregon Music Teachers Association Conference where she presented two presentations of her work in pedagogy: “Engage the Brain!: Cognitive Warm-up Activities for Effective Music Lessons”  and  “Off the Piano Bench: A Pedagogical Approach to Incorporating Eurhythmics in the Piano Lesson”

As a performance oriented teacher, Dorothy works to develop each student to his or her highest musical potential. She incorporates theory, technique, critical listening, and detailed musicality to prepare students to play their best under pressure. Her students frequently participate in festivals, theory tests, competitions, recitals, and other performance opportunities. Dorothy believes that equal commitment between, student, parent and teacher is essential for students to flourish and excel in their musical education. Students in her studio can expect high expectations coupled with encouragement, challenging them to reach their musical goals and develop a long-term enjoyment and appreciation for music.

When not teaching, Dorothy enjoys interior decorating, reading, and relaxing with friends.

Testimonials for Ms. Yan

Our oldest son ahs been taking piano lessons with Ms. Yan since 2012, beginning when he was five years old.
From our first interaction with her, we knew we were in good hands. Her ability to make music theory and concepts understandable for young children is extraordinary. And as parents who do not play musical instruments, Ms. Yan has guided us in knowing how to assist our child in advancing his playing skills, allowing us to remain active participants in his learning. But for me as a mother, I have been most appreciative of Ms. Yan’s determination to find music that excites my son and motivates him to master his performance of the pieces. The best compliment I could give Ms. Yan is that any of my children would be lucky to have her as a piano instructor, which is why she is now teaching my younger son as well!

-Samantha Scarnato


I'm so thankful my children (ages 6, 10, and 12) are piano students of the talented Dorothy Yan.
It’s truly remarkable how much all three have progressed in just one year as her students. Dorothy has high expectations of my children and then does a great job helping them meet those expectations each week. I like how she knows just how much to challenge them so that they can reach new levels without getting frustrated. She prepares them well for all their recitals, competitions, and theory tests so they do very well and so the experience builds their confidence. Most importantly, my children simply enjoy learning piano from Dorothy.

Kelly Muck


We highly recommend Dorothy Yan and are lucky to be a part of her musical program.
Our son has been taking lessons with her for three years now; he is doing great.  We love the discipline she instills in her students and her expectation of them is realistic.  We know that the skills he is learning through piano especially with Ms. Yan by his side, will be life long ones that he will be able to apply in every step of his future.  Thank you MACSA and thank you Ms. Yan.

– Salinas family


Since 2010, our daughter has taken piano lessons from several of the highly qualified and nurturing teachers at MACSA.
She has been under the instruction of Ms. Dorothy Yan for the past year and a half.  As a parent, I appreciate Dorothy’s well-organized lesson plans, which allow our daughter to work independently towards measurable goals and for us to clearly understand our child’s progress.  Because Ms. Dorothy is a member of various musical associations, her students have numerous opportunities to showcase their hard work, whether it be participating in competitions, festivals, or recitals. One exciting advancement our daughter has made with Ms. Dorothy is the ability to emotionally connect to each piece of music she learns and to successfully deliver it to an audience. Most importantly, Ms. Dorothy has fostered a love of learning piano in our daughter.

-Charlee Wunderlin


Music is very important in our family and so finding a great instructor was critical.
I am grateful that we were referred to Dorothy Yan and she has taught our twin boys for the last couple of years. Besides being a talented pianist, Dorothy is very upbeat, positive and enthusiastic. She started our boys with the basics and since then we are very happy with the progress they’ve made with her.  Dorothy really cares about helping them to learn and improve. She works very well with boys and that can be important to help them stay focused. She always lets us know what musical events are occurring, whether it includes student recitals, competitions or general musical opportunities. It’s clear that Dorothy is very committed to her students and giving them a great education.

-Sorensen Family


It gives me great pleasure to write about Ms. Dorothy Yan, who has been my children Anand (aged 13 ) and Shloka’s (aged 9) piano teacher for the last 3 years.
She is an excellent teacher who has helped my kids reach the level they are at. My son has been learning piano since the age of 4 and he had reached a stage when he did not like it anymore and was not advancing in piano at all. That’s when we made a switch to Ms Yan. Ms Yan is an excellent example of a teacher who knows how to change her teaching methods based on the individual student’s needs. She has so many different ways of teaching and so many different techniques up her sleeve to motivate her students. She definitely instilled the love for piano back in my son. My daughter loves her as well and wants to do very well because of her.

Ms. Yan is also very active in the SAMTA and is the president of the music teachers association this year. She encourages my kids to participate in different events in town, as well as compete in different competitions, challenges them and definitely brings out the best in them.

She is very respectful of our time and I feel my kids get the best out of their lesson time with her.

She is a very disciplined teacher and has expectations from my kids about practice time, maintaining logs, etc. and I think that has instilled a sense of responsibility in my kids. They know that piano practice is an essential part of their day. Everyone in my family loves her and we are very thankful to have found her as our teacher.”

-Valavalkar Family


Dorothy Yan has taught three of my children piano over the past five years.
She is a gifted pianist and instructor, and I have been amazed at the progress my children have made under her teaching.  She has always found the right balance between pushing them to achieve a higher level of excellence at piano while preventing them from becoming frustrated with goals that are too demanding.  I particularly see the pay off of her teaching in my oldest daughter.  At age eleven, she now frequently participates in piano competitions under Dorothy’s direction.  As I walk by our living room, I am thrilled to hear her talent as she is practicing piano.  I know this is the direct result of Dorothy’s excellent teaching, guidance and encouragement.  I would highly recommend her to prospective students.

-Carlin Family