Cicy Chen

Toronto Piano & Keyboard Teacher

Cicy ChenABC Academy of Music2017-10-29T15:32:24+00:00

Project Description

B. Mus. Hons. (YorkU)

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City is a recent graduate of York University with a degree of Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours in Music. She has played the Piano since the age of 3 and a half, and has completed up to level 10 practical and ARCT theory and history at the Royal Conservatory of Music. Additionally, she has been teaching piano and music theory part-time since 2012, and volunteered to work as a piano accompanist in grade 6 elementary school, and grade 11 and 12 high school.

During her years in York University, Cicy studied with Canadian pianists Christina Quilico, and Catherine Wilson. She has also performed on the piano with York University Wind Symphony Orchestra, and York University Media Music.

Get to know Cicy…Beyond the bio!

Hobbies: Piano, piano accompanying, music composition/improvisation, strolling on city streets, participating and going to city-organized events such as food festivals, culture festivals…etc., cooking

Music Influences: Mostly music of the Romantic and Impressionist era, such as Chopin, and Rachmaninoff, etc., Cage, John Williams, orchestral film music, and video games music

Favourite food: All Asian cuisines, with some French, some Italian, some Mexican… it’s hard to choose, I’m not a picky eater, but I love spicy foods

Least favourite food: Bitter melon (it just tastes…bitter), canned fruits (I LOVE fruits, but canned fruits taste like fake fruits to me because it changes the texture and taste of the natural fruits!)

Favourite music: anything that sounds good to my ears, preferably something instrumental, or in languages I cannot understand, I was just never a fan of lyrics, I listen to music solely for the “sounds”

Favourite song: Similar to asking for what my favourite food is, I can’t choose, there are too many, and sometimes I listen to a song because I like one 10-20seconds section of the song, but not the entire song

Favourite movie: Ratatouille, a lot of fantasy, comedy, and sci-fi movies

Favourite movie music: I have 2 that are my all time favourites – Harry Potter, and Pirates of the Caribbean

Favourite musical theatre/opera: I really like some arias from operas, but not a fan of operas

Best quote from your teacher: Once in my piano accompanying class, one of the TA’s who was also a singer we worked with in class said, and paraphrased: “Do not say “sorry” Saying “sorry” is a Canadian thing, say f#$% and keep going!”

Favourite quote: I often agree and disagree, and question with many quotes, so I have yet to have a favourite one in which I can recall and fully agree with

Favourite book: Laughter in the Dark by Vladimir Nabokov

Latest Homework from Cicy

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Hello Cicy’s Students!

Cicy will be away from March 30th to April 11th.

At present we have Thomas substituting for Wednesday, April 5th.  Thomas has substituted for us before.

Tuesday Substitute is still pending.  We will update you on this shortly.

In all cases, Cicy will specify to the sub what work is being done and needs doing.  You are also able to decline the substitute and take the missed lesson(s) as a make-up.  In order to do this, you must call us ASAP.  Day-of cancellations (less than 24h) are not eligible for make-ups.  Please call with any questions.

Thank you!


Front Desk


Eliana should practice 4-5 times per week for 30-45 mins per session.


  • Practice with the metronome
  • First movement – try not to have any delay in tempo on the mid-section chords and end of Exposition and Recapitulation (except the final 3 chords) like how we worked on in class.
  • Second movement – keep doing the great phrasing work, and reach for the “climatic note” with a tiny bit of delay!

Marches Militaires & Hungarian Dance

  • Don’t forget to bring the music sheets to class!


Anastasia should practice 4-5 times per week for 15-20 mins per session.

Russian Sailor Dance

  • Review, and play with lots of energy

Introduction of the flat sign

  • Short exercise with E flat and B flat on the next page of your lesson book

Theory Book

  • Make sure we bring this book to every lesson!


Vivienne should practice 4-5 times per week for 15-20 mins per session.

Maple Leaf Rag

  • We have learned all the notes of this piece, now set your goals to increase your weekly practice time and quality! Focus on the second page more, but also do review the first page in every practice!


Chantal should practice 4-5 times per week at 15 – 20 mins per session

A Dozen A day

  • Review and perfect our old and new exercises from A Dozen A Day.

Scarf Dance

  • Count the rhythm in 3’s and feel the pulsation (use the metronome) – make sure we play every first beat of each bar on time!
  • Play with repeat and dynamic changes!


Alyssa should practice 4-5 times per week at 30 mins – 1 hr per session.


  • Work on the keys we struggle with (often with most sharps/flats), with correct fingering, and use the metronome

Sonatina in F

  • Emphasis on the first note of the slurred phrases, but not too loud nor accented
  • Keep L.H. running accompaniment SMOOTHLY connected!

Minuet in E

  • Play all quarter notes detached, and make sure to lift both hands off at the same time when both hands are playing in quarter notes, especially at the end of a phrase

When Rivers Flowed on Mars

  • Voicing and phrasing – Always “sing” your R.H. top note melody!


  • Polish up on the dynamic changes and arpeggio phrases


Maria should practice 4-5 times per week at 15-20 mins per session.

O Susanna

  • Go back and review this piece this week, we will continue working on this piece next class!

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer

  • Perfect your R.H., and make sure you are reading, not guessing the notes like how we worked on in class!


Claire should practice 4-5 times per week at 15 – 30 mins per session.


  • Review with clear dynamic changes and phrasing
  • Always bring out the high E note (played by your pinky) in the melody
  • Rhythm near the end of the piece

New piece

  • Keep practicing hands separately with the correct rhythm, especially the R.H. (don’t forget to wait on the rests, and use the metronome)!


Anna should practice 4-5 times per week at 20 – 40 mins per session.

Rivers Flow in You

  • Be as expressive as you can in the introduction marked “Freely”
  • Continue playing further hands separately, and try hands together when you’re ready!

Harry Potter

  • Make sure we’re playing A# not A flat!
  • Work on and listen to the L.H. glissando chords – a quick and gentle slide, like how we worked on in class

Over the Rainbow

  • Learn the notes hands separately up to the marked spot!


Anna should practice 4-5 times per week for 15-20 mins per session.

Winter Wonderland

  • Keep working on the first page until we can play it hands together fluently!

Lesson Book

  • Latin Serenade – work on the right hand part alone, play with liveliness and gentle lift at the end of short slurs
  • Try and learn the L.H. part!


  • D natural minor, D harmonic minor, and D melodic minor scales – play and practice with a steady tempo and accurate fingering; know your flats and sharps for all (refer to your technique book)!



Sacha should practice 4-5 times per week for 15-20 mins per session.

Let it Snow

  • Work on the R.H. alone – keep a steady tempo with clean rhythm, especially the middle section where we worked together in class!

La Raspa

  • Work on both hands separately, with the repeat (pay attention to the words in red!)



Sabrina should practice 4-5 times per week for 10-15 mins per session.

Happy Birthday

  • Memorize it well!

Lesson Book

  • For all your pieces, keep your tempo steady (like your heart beat), and make sure your finger isn’t bent back, and play on your finger tip!
  • New pieces – be familiar with the intervals (2nd, 3rd, and 4th), and practice with accuracy of notes by looking at and reading the notes (try not to guess or make assumptions of upcoming notes)

Preferred Books for Cicy’s Students

Click to buy them here, and they’ll come right to your house!  What could be easier?


Virtuoso Pianist in 60 Exercises - Complete

Cover of Hanon's The Virtuoso Pianist in 60 Exercises

Since the first release of this classic Schirmer edition over 100 years ago, almost anyone who has taken piano lessons for more than two years has played from The Virtuoso Pianist . Millions of copies have been sold of these progressive exercises which guide a player’s technique, building finger independence and strength. This was the first American edition released of this music, and remains a classic at a remarkably affordable price.

Buy on Amazon

Czerny Method for Beginners on Piano

Cover of Czerny Method for Beginners on Piano

Buy on Amazon

Elementary Instruction for the Pianoforte

Cover of Elementary instruction book for piano by Ferdinand Beyer

Buy on Amazon

Four Star Sight Reading and Ear Tests

Level I

Cover of Four Star Sight Reading and Ear Tests

Buy on Amazon

RCM Technical Requirements for Piano

Level I

Cover of Technical Requirements for Piano (RCM)

Buy on Amazon

RCM Piano Repertoire

Level I, Celebration Series (2015)

Cover of Celebration Series Piano Repertoire Level I (RCM)

Buy on Amazon

RCM Celebration Series Piano Etudes

Level I

Cover of RCM Celebration Series Piano Etudes, Level I

Buy on Amazon

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‘Our Choice’ Lessons & Classes in January 2019

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