An out-of-the-box teacher creates piano prodigies
Clara Zhang playing Carnegie Hall
We’ve all heard the line about how you get to Carnegie Hall: practice, practice, practice. But award-winning piano teacher Felicia Feng Zhang, who recently brought seven students to the renowned concert venue to perform in an international competition, has a different approach. She calls it Feng Shui Piano Method, and she’s more concerned with helping kids learn concentration, coordination and confidence, than with tracking hours spent at the keyboard. Indeed, Felicia, who grew up in a family of professional musicians in China and has two master’s degrees in music, has pioneered techniques for different age groups and offers personalized instruction to her students at Greenwich Country Day and in private lessons. “It’s so important to pick music the children love so they will enjoy it,” says Felicia, whose sight-reading methods teach young children to play numerous new songs in half an hour and improve their general reading skills. She trains kids to feel the rhythm (instead of counting beats), which can translate to success in dance and sports as well. In fact, her ten-year-old daughter Clara is so accomplished at piano that she’s played at Carnegie Hall six times, appeared on Today and was recently tapped for America’s Got Talent, yet she is also an Accelerated Learning Program student, competes on a swim team, plays tennis and dances. Feng’s son, Alex is also a top student and accomplished piano player. Both epitomize her goal of helping kids be well-rounded.