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 – smooth out the bars with trills within 2 beats
  • Second movement – review
  • Third movement – focus on articulation in both hands

Marches Militaires

  • Keep practicing up to the marked spot hands separately, and start putting hands together


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

Party song

  • Practice and review the song like how we played in class!
  • Start looking at the next song

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

  • Keep a steady tempo, remember not to play too fast in the last 2 lines of the first page.
  • Focus and work on fluency on the second page!


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.

Piano Adventures

  • Practice the 2 pieces with a steady tempo while counting the rhythm; try not to rush through the parts!

Way in a Manger

  • Keep practicing the R.H. part, and start trying out the L.H. part!


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, accuracy, clarity, and use the metronome.

Sonatina in F

  • Try not to play too harsh on notes marked “f”, but to play “into the keys”.
  • Play the detached notes and end-of-slur notes less staccato-like.

Minuet in E

  • At the end of each phrase, make sure both of our L.H. and R.H. are getting off the quarter notes together
  • Check your tempo with the metronome, don’t go over speed.

When Rivers Flowed on Mars

  • Phrasing – try not to accent the last note of each phrase (it should be the softest out of all).


  • Practice with metronome at our written tempo until you can play the whole piece fluently, and then move up the tempo 1-2 at a time.


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

Can Can

  • Warm up playing hands separately, and start practicing hands together this week!


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

The Piano Playin’ Chocolate Eater Blues

  • Start swinging the 8th notes this week, and slowly increase tempo.

The Return

  • Learn and practice each hand separately!


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

Rivers Flow in You

  • Finish learning the whole piece hands together!

Harry Potter

  • Work on your L.H. glissando chords separately (light taps with the first 2 fingers reaching toward thumb)
  • Memorize the 3rd page!

Over the Rainbow

  • Practice with lots of musicality (dynamic growth, phrasing…etc.) like how we played in class!


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

Winter Wonderland

  • Remember to bring this to our next lesson!

Lesson Book

  • Jacob’s latter – work on it hands together this week!
  • Fur Elise – learn and practice the whole piece hands separately!


  • D flat major scales (parallel 1 octave, 2 octaves, and contrary motion)



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 15-20 mins per session.

Lesson Book

  • Horse Sense – keep practicing this piece until we can play it fluently, with dynamic changes!


  • Keep working on it hands separately – keep in mind that at times we need to move our hand, and use the correct fingerings


  • Practice the first page this week, hands separately, but feel free to try hands together or look ahead!

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