Cicy Chen

Toronto Piano & Keyboard Teacher

Cicy ChenABC Academy of Music2017-10-29T15:32:24-04:00

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 – polish up the trills (don’t slow down in the L.H.)
  • Second movement – review
  • Third movement – try not to hold on any 8th notes

Marches Militaires

  • Polish up the first page, especially the chords in the R.H.
  • Start practicing hands together on the 2nd page.


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

Boogie on the Broadway

  • Learn the notes – try not to rely on playing and memorizing the notes in class. Try to read the notes, and use your theory book to help you with reading (everything we’ve learned is in there!)

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 practicing the 2nd page and overall fluency!

Heart and Soul

  • Try different variations of accompaniment like what we did in class, and also try putting hands together with simple chords in the L.H.


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

  • My Pony – learn the notes (with staccato and legato playing)

Way in a Manger

  • Try to play the first half hands together (you did great in class!), and continue practicing hands separately until the end


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


  • Use the correct fingering, play with accuracy, and clarity on everything with the metronome

Sonatina in F

  • Focus mainly on the middle section with accuracy of notes and articulation

Minuet in E

  • Check your tempo on the metronome, don’t play too fast!
  • Polish up middle section with accuracy of notes

When Rivers Flowed on Mars

  • Don’t forget the “rit.”, and crescendo into the top of 2nd page

You and I

  • Learn the notes hands separately/together until marked spot


  • Work towards the minimum required tempo on both etudes – only move up by 2 at a time on the metronome
  • Practice with dynamic changes/phrasing



  • Learn the notes for the D+ section hands separately, and maybe try hands together!


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

The Return

  • Start practicing hands together

Sweet and Low

  • Learn the notes hands separately until marked spot


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

Rivers Flow in You

  • Last page – Keep working on fluency, and experiment musically with the last page marked “freely” (phrasing with some rubato)

Over the Rainbow

  • Voicing – Always bring out the melody note (top) in all R.H. chords, and keep the rest softer


  • Keep practicing hands separately further until marked spot


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

Lesson Book

  • Fur Elise – Great performance today! Review this piece, and remember to play it with singing-like phrasing!
  • Three Quarter Time – learn the notes and rhythm for this piece hands separately first, then slowly put hands together


  • A flat major scale exercises



Sacha should practice 4-5 times per week for 20-30 mins per session.

La Raspa

  • Rhythm – Polish up this piece with accuracy of notes in the R.H.; don’t slow down in the last bar of 2nd page; practice with steadiness in rhythm, and ‘accelerando’ after repeat

Red Satin Jazz

  • Practice hands separately first until you can play them fluently, then slowly put hands together.



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

Lesson Book

  • Look ahead and try out the next 1 or 2 pieces!


  • Start practicing hands together on the 2nd page, and keep going further onto the 3rd page hands separately first – always try to read and identify the music notes first, not the fingering number.

Preferred Books for Cicy’s Students

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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