Yi Shan is our NVMTA spotlight member this month!  She has been NVMTA’s Bach/Baroque Festival and Competition chair for the past 5 years. She says that she enjoyed being the Bach/Baroque chair because it was a good opportunity to serve others with her whole heart. 

NVMTA Participation

Of course, though the Bach/Baroque event changes from time to time and especially with covid, Yi says that she learned a lot from the experience. “I have tried to get over my fears so I could encourage others and speak out. I have René Jonson and Jeri Bennett always there to give me the technical support . In addition, the co-chairs over the years are my backbone- Kate Moore, Silva Blazquez, Laura Bogart, Aphrodite Mitsopoulou, Emily Barr, and Ruriko Osawa. I appreciate them so much and through this experience, I learned  how powerful teamwork is!”  (More information about Bach/Baroque Festival and Competition)

Yi has been an active participant in Northern Virginia Music Teacher for many years.  She learns many new things in the meetings and from other members which are helpful in her teaching career.  She encourages new members to have an open mind and reach out if you need to.  NVMTA is the best music association.  “Stay with it and grow in it!”

Correspondingly, in the spring of 2019, Yi put all her music skills together and became a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM) in piano. She says, “It was such an honor for me. It also helped me with the whole process of teaching such as how to deal with different parental issues, and how to manage the studio more successfully. The certification is really beneficial for me.”  Congratulations on this accomplishment!


What are some ways you have participated in NVMTA?


⭐Attended in-person NVMTA meetings, 

⭐Attended NVMTA zoom meetings (general meetings, TAT, or LATTE), 

⭐Entered students in an NVMTA event, 

Entered a new NVMTA event this year

⭐Entered students in an NVMTA competition

⭐Participated on an NVMTA committee at any level

Written an article for the NVMTA website blog

Given a presentation at an NVMTA meeting

Received an NVMTA scholarship

⭐Certified as NCTM with MTNA


Music Studio

One thing you might not know about Yi, is that she is a composer.  She writes worship music primarily for an international gospel sharing  group. Additionally, she is also the pianist for the Chantilly Bible church and the Grace Chinese church. One of her most proud moments in her career was when she was 21 years old and the Chorus sang her original piece in the Honor’s Recital.  

Here is an example of her work:

Looking back at teaching remotely during covid, Yi felt that the biggest challenge was teaching students to play with a sensitive touch.  She taught on Zoom and Facetime like many music teachers.

Yi says, “I usually visit my relatives in China once a year, but because of the Covid pandemic, I haven’t been able to go for a while. Now I share my music with them to show my love.” One example is teaching her students piano pieces by Chinese composers. Even though most students in her studio are Chinese, they do not really understand the background of the pieces. An example is, “The Twinkle Red Star” , by Gengchen Fu, which was arranged from a movie, and demonstrates the war of liberty. To help them to understand the background of this piece and how to play it better, Yi did a lot of research with them.”

Personal Interests

In her free time, when she’s not practicing or teaching, she likes to invite a friend to have a walk or spend quality time chatting.  Furthermore, she likes to travel and went to Greece and Iceland last year.  She also enjoys playing cards as well as cooking.  Some of her favorite things to cook include dumplings. She likes to make different, creative stuffings such as chicken with vegetables, or pork, beef, even seafood with onion and put it into the flour wraps. She cooks for her family and also sends food to friends if they are sick. Her favorite music to listen to is Debussy.  Likewise, she enjoys learning new pieces on the piano.

Words to Live by:

Some of Yi’s mantras are :  

  • Life is a long journey and music is the best way to accompany it.
  • Follow your passions
  • Do your best to be in harmony with other people
  • Finish your tasks


Yi will be moving to Murrieta, California this fall; we will miss her tremendously! Best wishes to Yi on her next chapter of life in California. Thank you for all you have done for NVMTA!

Watch for future NVMTA spotlight articles!