Profile of Piano Teacher

Ms Karen

  • 23 years of teaching experience
  • LTCL Diploma in Piano Performance
  • LTCL Diploma in Solo Piano Teaching
  • LMusTCL in Music Theory and Literature
  • ABRSM Grade 8 in Piano, Grade 8 in Theory
  • O level & A level Music (Both Distinctions)
  • 95% Merit & Distinction rate for ARBSM/Trinity Practical Exams
  • 100% Merit & Distinction rate for ARBSM/Trinity Theory Exams
  • Taught Students From Beginners to ATCL and LTCL Diplomas
  • Students Attained Awards At International Music Competitions
  • Adjudicator for The Happy Pianist Festival 2020
  • Lessons at her place at Upper Bukit Timah, on Yamaha concert grand piano.


Ms Karen Lee is a full-time piano teacher with 23 years of professional experience. She hold three Licentiate Diplomas (LTCL) in Piano Performance, Solo Piano Teaching (LTCL) and Music Theory & Literature (LMusTCL) from the Trinity College of London.

During her early years, she attended Nanyang Technological University, graduating with a second upper Honours Degree in Journalism and Publishing. She also obtained Distinction in ‘A ‘ Level Music from her days at Raffles Junior College.

Ms Karen Lee have studied with Professor Pan Yi Ming, Ms Josephine Koh and Mr Rickie Oui.

With Ms Josephine Koh, a well-known pianist/ author, she is part of the publishing team that produced the popular “Practice in Music Theory” books as well as “Teachers’ Choice”, a publication containing alternative pieces to the ABRSM Piano Examinations syllabi. An avid writer, her articles have also been published in the NTU’s Nanyang Chronicle and The Straits Times.

Ms Lee began her teaching career at Josephine Koh Music Studio, where she taught for ten years (1997 – 2007) under the mentorship of Ms Josephine Koh, a Bosendorfer Artiste.

As her teaching career gained momentum, she set up a private music studio at Upper Bukit Timah (2007), where she currently teaches together with a team of dedicated teachers whom she personally guided to their Licentiate (LTCL) and Associate (ATCL) Performance Diplomas.

In 2020, she was invited to be one of the adjudicators for the inaugural Happy Pianist Festival 2020.

Ms Lee adopts a student-centred teaching philosophy, aiming to develop and nurture the best out of every student. This has yielded sterling results in many of them, some of whom have won awards and coveted scholarships on the international and national fronts. Here are some of the highlights:

Year 2023 (Up to March)
• Three First Prizes in the New York Golden Classical Music Awards (January)
• First Prize in Junior Category (ages 8-10) of Vivaldi Music competiton
• Third Prize winner in the Junior category of VII Future Stars International Piano Competition
• Silver Award in the London Young Musician Competiton
• Bronze awards in the 5th Brilliant Talent Discovery International Music Competition Artist & Young Musicians Categories

Year 2022:
• Two First Prizes in Junior Category of London Victoria Grand Prize Virtuoso International Music Competition
• Winner & Gold medalist of Rising Star Category I and II at the 2nd Joyeux International Music Festival and Competition; Bronze medalists in Rising Star Category III and Diploma / Professional Artist Categories
• Silver and Bronze Medalists at the 8th Singapore Raffles International Music Festival (SRIMF) Piano Solo Children Category.
• DSA Music Confirmed Offer to Crescent Girls’ School (CGS)

Year 2021:
• First Prize at Junior Piano Category of Golden Classical Internaional Music Competition, USA, New York
• Second and Third Prizes at International Grand Music Festival, Intermediate A and Junior B Categories, Sydney, Australia
• Second Prize at Joyeux Music International Piano Competition for Young Pianists, LTCL / LRSM Diploma Exam Category
• DSA Music Confirmed Offers to Methodist Girl’s School (MGS) and School of the Arts (SOTA)

Year 2020:
• Second Prize at Singapore International Piano Competition Children Class (aged 10 and below)
• Third Place in Senior Category, Six others students in Top 10 placing in the Happy Pianist Festival
• Top 5 Finalist at Steinway Piano Youth Competition
• Music scholarship to St. John’s School in Adelaide, Australia

Year 2019:
• Integrated Programme (IP) DSA and Music Elective Programme Scholarship to Raffles Girls’ Secondary
• First Prize at Junior Piano Category of Golden Classical Internaional Music Competition, USA, New York
• Second Prize at International Grand Prize Virtuoso Music Competition (Below 12 age group), Austria, Vienna

Year 2018
• International Baccalaureate (IB) Music Elective Scholarship to Anglo-Chinese Junior College (ACJC)

Year 2010
• Ministry of Education (MOE) Overseas Teaching Scholarship to King’s College, United Kingdom

Since ABRSM started the Performance Grades exams in the beginning of 2021, the rate of students scoring Merits and Distinctions is around 95%.

Ms Lee has also held warmly-received student recitals entitled, “A Journey for the Young” at the Esplanade Recital Studio, with her students in 2013 and 2016. They were memorable music-making events featuring students not just on the piano, but also the violin, viola, flute and guzheng.

Several of her students are active performers. Events that they have participated in include the Le Petit Festival (2021), Singapore Music Teachers’ Association Music Platform Recital (2019), Singapore Performers Festival (2018), Double Time Orchestral Programme at Yong Siew Toh Conservatory, NUS (2018-19) and the Vivace Piano Duet Competition for MEP students (2018).

Beyond awards and high-profile events, Ms Lee most heartened when she witnesses students choosing to make music an important part of their lives, or making it their career path. Music-making is hard work, but extremely fulfilling.

“Music… will help dissolve your perplexities and purify your character and sensibilities, and in time of care and sorrow, will keep a fountain of joy alive in you.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Lessons are conducted in Ms Karen’s conducive studio at Upper Bukit Timah equipped quality instruments: a Yamaha C5 concert grand and two European upright pianos: a Welmar 126 and Schimmel C-130. 

Teacher Karen is unfailingly professional, kind and nurturing. Her piano lessons are effective and efficient and she is able to extract the most from every student without every being critical and humiliating. Karen can take the most diffident child and encourage them to work to their maximum and make them love and appreciate all there is to music, whatever it takes.

She encompasses that which all piano teachers should have: expertise, patience, enthusiasm, kindness and dedication. She tailors her teaching approach to each individual child in terms of his or her personality, interests and abilities. I have seen this in her teaching approaches with my three daughters, who have been under her
guidance since 4 years old. My eldest, who has since completed her course, was with her for almost a decade (from Grade 1 to Diploma). It has been a joy and privilege to have Karen be a part of my children’s musical education.

Jean, Mum of 3 girls

Karen is a gentle and patient teacher who seeks to maintain a high standard in her students. My son started lessons with Karen with incorrect playing techniques. She painstakingly ensured my son corrected his mistakes. My son enjoys her lessons and looks forward to her class every week.

Mrs Lim, Mum of 13-year-old student


English, Mandarin


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