About Felicia Zhang
Felicia Feng Zhang gained her love of music and passion for education from her family. She received her first musical education from her mother, Professor Sui Wenju, a well-known, distinguished music educator, and her brother, Professor Zhang Jin of Beijing Central Conservatory. Inspired by the rich musical environment that she was raised in, Felicia Feng chose piano as her life’s work and pursued her professional education in music. She received her first master’s degree in music education, specializing in piano pedagogy from Beijing Normal University, where she won an award for outstanding achievement and became a full-time faculty member of BNU.
She continued her dedication to teaching and received her second master’s degree in piano performance and pedagogy at the University of South Florida in the United States. In addition to her graduate study here in the U.S., Ms. Zhang was sent by China's Education Department to Carnegie Mellon University and Columbia Teacher’s College as a visiting scholar from 1995 to 1997. She also has a video production certification from Charter Communications. Ms. Zhang’s experience as a teacher is as extensive as her education. She has been teaching piano to students of all ages for 30 years, both in China and the U.S. She is one of the few teachers to hold double National Professional Certifications in Piano Pedagogy from the National Music Teacher Association and the National Guild of Piano Teachers. In addition to teaching piano, she teaches piano pedagogy, music theory, and music creativity.
Throughout her career, Ms. Zhang has been invited to give lectures, workshops, master classes, and speeches in education both nationally and internationally. She frequently serves as an adjudicator at music festivals, competitions and exams. She has received numerous prestigious international piano education awards for her outstanding teaching and has received a double certification of piano and theory professional teacher (National Music Teachers Association, as well as American Piano Teacher, American College Musicians Association).
Her awards include the Outstanding Student Achievement Award for Outstanding Graduates from the American National Music Teachers Association, an Outstanding Pedagogue Award from the National Young Maestro Competition (NYMC) from 2016-2019 and the Certificate of Excellence in Recognition of Outstanding Teaching, Dedication, Commitment to Music from Golden Key
International Music Festival New York in Vienna, Austria. She has been awarded the Diploma for Outstanding Dedication and Commitment to Music Education from the American Association for Development of the Gifted and Talented since 2009.
Ms. Zhang will serve as president of the Connecticut State Music Teacher Association in 2021. She has been the executive chairman for the State Music Achievement Program in the western chapter of the Connecticut Music Teachers Association for more than eight years.
In 2012, she started the Greenwich Center of Royal Conservatory of Music Development Program. Ms. Zhang has founded online music education platforms offering structured piano and music learning international wide to students and teachers, including All Talent Academy and Piano Village Foundation, as well as Music Theory Express. She offers her expertise as a learning strategy planner, talent development expert and consultant to students, parents and the community. Ms. Zhang has helped many younger students ages 3-6 build joyful learning with confidence. Ms. Zhang’s approach helps students to discover their hidden talents and to develop their abilities to their potential.
She teams up with her daughter Clara, an accomplished young pianist and educator(accomplished Royal Conservatory ARCT Intermediate Pedagogy Diploma in 2018) and together have designed a Core Literacy Fundamental Education through piano program for students all ages. This program helps pre-K students enhance their learning capacity and sight-reading skills with holistic training through piano.
Parents, teachers and students have praised the efficiency of Ms. Zhang’s teaching method and the speed with which her students learn through her tutelage. Many of her students, ranging in age from 3 to teen, have won over 500 prizes during her 32 years of teaching in international piano competitions and festivals and have performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, London Royal Albert Hall, and other venues.
Ms. Zhang has been featured with her daughter and other students on the NBC Today Show with Matt Lauer, Fox 61 News of Connecticut, NBC in Connecticut, Connecticut Channel 12 News, the New York Times, National Music Magazine, Connecticut Post, Huntington Post, Waterbury Republican, News Time, New Haven Register, and Greenwich Magazine, among other media outlets.
Ms. Zhang’s teaching method is interdisciplinary and holistic. She has continued her family’s successful professional pedagogy tradition and uses her intensive training and international experience to guide her teaching. She is a pioneer in using the “5 cores theory” to train and develop the student’s learning journey and growth, which are eyes-ears-mind-fingers-feelings, as well as the 3EFM method’s 9 principles: 3E: Efficiency, Effectiveness, Enthusiasm, 3F: Focus, Follow, Flow and 3 M: Mindset, Manners, Motivation. These principles help students to build learning habits through various levels and degrees of ability.
Her method facilitates learning at each stage and provides instant problem diagnoses and effective solutions. Ms. Zhang’s goal as a teacher is to build solid learning foundations by helping students to develop sight-reading proficiency, acquire good habits, and become self-motivated to further excel, and to fully enjoy playing piano.
From their first lessons, her students learn sight-reading and how to play with both hands at the same time, building strong natural coordination between mind, body, and finger movements. After her structured training, students can continue to pursue the path to be become professional musicians, or use their knowledge to learn other instruments. Ms. Zhang’s method helps students to develop a healthy level of success in all aspects of their lives, from academics to sports skills, through learning piano.
Felicia wishes that her passion along with her extensive experience and award- winning methods will help people learn piano in an innovative and simple way. The result is to be able to sight reading quickly and enjoy this musical instrument, and to further learn to deeply appreciate music. This in turn helps to accompany the students and empower them with confidence and self- assurance through the journey of life.
Felicia Feng Zhang’s 3EFM Method’s 9 Principles
The 3 E’s – Efficiency, Effectiveness, Enthusiasm – will catalyze the learning process.
The 3 F’s – Focus, Follow, Flow – will channel the learners’ attempts in the right direction.
The 3 M’s – Mindset, Manners, Motivation – will help them advance confidently
Felicia Feng Zhang's 5 Cores to Develop
Eyes: Accuracy in sight, efficient reading, appreciation of natural beauty
Ears: Comprehensive listening, capturing the key words, appreciation of beautiful music
Mind: Positive state of mind, plan of action, learning foundation, essential skills, open- mindedness
Fingers: Kinesthetic, motor skills, finger agility, ability to use the fingers to express your passion and communication
Feelings: Emotional intelligence training, communication, expression, sensibility, and confidence
Felicia sees the piano as one of the best education tools for the student. The 5 cores training method: Eyes—Ears—Mind—Fingers—Feelings develops the student’s person as a whole to excel in academics and in life as well. Her 3EFM Method, especially in the 3 F method: Focus, Follow, Flow accelerates in each level and degree throughout the learning process. This helps to train young children from the early ages as young as 3 years old to spend some quality time to build learning skills and readiness. These methods and techniques from Felicia Feng fosters confidence overall from learning and performing on the piano.
Awards and Accomplishments
MTNA Student Achievement Recognition Award 1999 in recognition of excellence in academic achievement, successful teaching experience, and leadership abilities.
The Marquis Who’s Who of American Women Twenty Second Edition for outstanding achievement in Education and Music Education Field (2000/2001)
Hall of Fame from National Piano Guild USA (2006)
Double National Professional Teaching Certifications in Piano and Theory from National Music Teacher Association and American College of Musicians, as well as National Guild of Piano Teachers
The American College of Musicians Certified Music Teacher since 2007- present
National Certified Teacher of Music in Piano from Music Teacher National Association since 2010
Outstanding Pedagogue Award from NYMC ( National Young Maestro Competition )2016 and 2017
Certificate of Excellence in Recognition of Outstanding Teaching, Dedication, Commitment to Music from Golden Key International Music Festival New York. Vienna in consecutive years since 2005
Diploma for Outstanding Dedication and commitment to music education from The American Association for Development of the Gifted and Talented since 2009
Diploma of Recognition for the extraordinary dedication and achievement in the field of teaching music, and for presenting students to perform at Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall
Students have been selected as Winners of American Protege International Competition in consecutive years since 2006
Award-winning piano teacher for consecutive years from the State Music Teacher Association’s for nurturing and producing many student winners in festivals and competitions
Featured in NBC Today Show with Matt Lauer Fox News of Connecticut, NBC in Connecticut, Connecticut Chanel 12, New York Time, World Journal, National Music Magazine, Connecticut Post, Huntington Post, Waterbury Republican, News Time, New Haven Register, Greenwich Magazine, and more.