Rieko Tanaka

Piano, Chamber Music Coach
Teaches on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays

"I took my first piano lesson at the age of three, which was nothing unusual in Japan. Since then, I never wanted to become anything but a pianist. My yearbook from the kindergarten says my dream was to become a piano teacher – I didn't know the term 'pianist" then.

Though my parents weren't musicians, they loved all kinds of music. I grew up listening to classical, rock & roll, jazz, pop and some world music as well. We sang a lot as a family as well. That diverse musical environment shaped my musical taste. As a result, I now play classical and jazz professionally.

I was also blessed with many inspiring piano teachers in my life. I still keep in touch with many of them, from the very first teacher whom I studied when I was three. I studied with two most amazing teachers throughout my teenage days who had both studied in the US. That is why I chose to come to the US and study at New England Conservatory for my graduate program. That was 20 years ago.

To step over the border line between listeners and performers is not always easy. Sometimes it takes some courage and also it takes hard work. You have to be unafraid of making mistakes, not being able to do it right away, and find joy in the process, not only for the results. I hope to help my students to find that joy. There can be joy of creating music in every level, every step – especially when it's accompanied by the solid hard work."

  • Bachelor of Music Degree, Toho Gakuen School of Music (Tokyo, Japan) 1989
  • Master of Music Degree, New England Conservatory of Music 1992
  • Artist Diploma with Distinguished Award, Longy School of Music, 1998
  • Faculty, University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth
  • Founding member of the Follen Angels, international cabaret/jazz group
  • Performed with; Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, University of Kansas Symphony Orchestra, New Bedford Symphony Orchestra, Suruga Philharmonic Orchestra, Asako Urushihara, Kanako Ito, Christopher Wellington