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This August, OC Music and Dance, a Steinway and Sons Select School, kicked off the Steinway International Piano Preparatory Academy.

The Academy gave the unique opportunity for our Steinway students to perform at two special concerts with Pacific Symphony and Orchestra Santa Monica. These amazing talents have trained at some of the most prestigious piano schools in the world: the Shanghai Conservatory of Music Middle School and the Beijing Central Conservatory of Music Middle School in China.

Over two weeks, students also attended master classes led by renowned pianists Benjamin Pasternak, Antoinette Perry, Fabio Bidini, and Kevin Kenner.


Li Zhexiang is 13 years old and is currently studying at the Beijing Central Conservatory of Music Middle School in China. He really enjoyed everything about the Steinway program. He says that he has gained a lot of experience and growth from the master classes. His favorite instructor was Mr. Bidini because he teaches with great emotion and provides a new perspective. Zhexiang hopes to pursue a future career in conducting.

Pictured with Professor Zhang from the Beijing Central Conservatory of Music Middle School in China and Master Instructor, Fabio Bidini

Yanyu Yue is 16 years old and is currently studying at the Beijing Central Conservatory of Music Middle School in China. She enjoyed the master classes because each instructor has a different style and helped her bring her own style into fruition. Yue wishes to explore more areas of the music industry in her professional career.

Pictured with Master Instructor, Antoinette Perry


“We cannot easily predict the future course of musical careers. I advise students to pursue excellence in a wide range of musical techniques and experience. That preparation will enable them to take advantage of varied opportunities for success.

As musicians progress, they should gradually realize that composers want us to be collaborators in their way of thinking, not like soldiers who merely follow an order. I always hope to inspire students by sharing love of music through greater knowledge and deeper emotion.” – Benjamin Pasternack

“Students of music must always remember that the work of a classical pianist is the work of a historian: looking at historical documents in the form of a score and trying to understand those documents within the context from which they arose. Reading history, biographies, literature from that period, listening to music of other genres like symphonies, operas, this is all part of the creative journey.The fact that [OC Music & Dance] brings many young people together gives it an opportunity to have a social dimension for these young students.” Kevin Kenner

These students and instructors are an inspiration to OC Music and Dance. To learn more about OC Music & Dance’s many educational programs, including our new Pre-College Piano Program, visit


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