Xixi’s current tutoring subjects are listed at the left. You
can read more about
Xixi’s qualifications in specific subjects below.
I teach a variety of dances, including Rumba, Salsa, Cha-Cha, Foxtrot, Waltz, Tango, Swing, and more. I was trained in ballet during her youth under the Royal Academy of Dance program in Hong Kong. After I discovered ballroom dancing at Northwestern University, she competed in both Latin and Standard ballroom competitions and trained with nationally recognized coaches, under the tutelage of Kris Kasperowicz, Erwin Rybczynski, and Matt and Ula Rivers. I have dance teacher certification training from Ballroom University under the coaching of World Champion Tommye Giacchino. Moreover, I am a pianist of 20 years, having had training from Dr. Gloria Cook and her strict Russian piano teacher Zalina Gurevich. Dancing and rhythm come naturally to her as a result of her musical background.
I take each student's personalities and preferences into consideration when she choreographs and teaches. I am able to tailor the lessons to a student's specific needs by analyzing their body movements and dancing chemistry. I can take a beginner student and give him or her an accelerated learning curve within a few lessons. From there, he or she will really bring out their natural abilities, grace, and confidence through progressive learning.
I am a native Chinese, born in Shanghai and lived in Hong Kong. I am fluent in both Mandarin and Cantonese. I graduated from Northwestern University with a major in Asian Studies with a concentration in Chinese and Japanese. I have tutored and assisted other students in improving their Chinese skills in speaking, writing, and listening. I can help anyone who is interested in becoming fluent in this language.
I have previously tutored students in elenmentary school as a volunteer with Chicago HOPES, which is a non-profit organization that provides mentoring to students in low income areas. I have also tutored other students K-6th as a babysitter for many years, helping the children with their homework assignments, reading, school projects, and test preparation. I will be happy to provide a referral upon request.
I have trained in classical piano for over 20 years. I have also taught for over 5 years. I can take a beginner student all the way to advanced depending on how much they want to learn.
The student can expect to improve on ALL aspects of piano playing and performing when he or she joins the piano program:
Improve techniques – The most important thing in playing the piano is obviously developing the technical skills and how the fingers move across the keyboard. I will help each student examine and analyze the areas in which he or she needs to improve. It could be scales, arpeggios, or chords. We will go through technical exercises to reach the level that the student needs to be in order to play the pieces of music that he or she enjoys.
Develop musicality – Not everyone is born with natural rhythm or musicality. That is something that can be learned with the right training. When students work with me, they will begin to understand how to feel the music and be in sync with the notes across the piano. Students can develop musicality in their playing without achieving technical perfection. Why do people go to concerts to hear musicians play? It’s because they want to feel that connection with the music. It stirs something in their soul. I will help my students develop that “soul” in their playing so that they can truly enjoy the music.
Learn rhythm – One of the best things about learning to play an instrument, not just piano, is the fact that students will have better and more sensitive ears than the average person. Through consistent and progressive learning, all of my students will develop a strong sense of rhythm in their music playing. Your listening skills will transfer to other areas like dancing and singing as well.
Build theoretical understanding – It’s great when students have the skills to move their fingers across the keyboard easily, but it is also important that they understand what is actually happening in the music. This will help them read music better and become better pianists by knowing how the music is created. A strong foundation in music theory and harmony gives my students an edge in their piano playing.
Manage practice time – Practicing the piano doesn’t have to be a chore. I help all of my students devise a practice schedule so that they can have time to do other things that they enjoy as well. Playing the piano is an enjoyment. Of course students have to practice in order to improve. I don’t have a magic wand for them. However, I help my students manage their practice time so that they learn more efficiently and improve quickly.
Create a positive mindset – One of the most important factors in being a great pianist is one’s mindset. Having the right attitude and the inner spark is critical in how a musician plays and expresses himself or herself through the piano. It is my goal to help my students find their spark and confidence to achieve the level of playing that their desire.
Enjoy and love playing the piano – With the right techniques, musical knowledge, and a positive mindset, my students truly love playing the piano. They enjoy the flexibility of their fingers and the ease of playing across the keyboard. They feel free and in control at the same time. I help my students reach their goals and express their inner gift at the highest level.
I have been teaching Salsa and Latin dancing for the past three years, helping couples and individuals learn how to move to the Latin rhythm. I have taught both private lessons as well as group classes. Prior to teaching, I competed in dancing at the collegiate level at Northwestern University and was also a choreographer for the University student dance show. I have experience in creating beautiful dances for couples who are interested in doing salsa dancing.
I am a college graduate from Northwestern University, with a 3.8 GPA, cum laude. Prior to college, I was also in the intensive International Baccalaureate program, graduating in the top 1% of my class with a 3.99 GPA. Studying has always come easily to me because I know how to approach and understand different subjects. I can demonstrate to other students how to study and learn materials in English, math, or other subjects.