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Karenn Presti

Dr. Karenn Chutjian Presti

I believe that music has the power to move people in fundamental, inexplicable ways. I believe that we are all musical souls with our original ideas. I believe in the creativity and musical honesty of our children, and that a good teacher can energize and give voice to that creativity. The love of music is innate, but fostering that love through lessons leads to the development of the student's own voice, confidence, and commitment. I find that frequent performance opportunities and recitals encourage children's performance abilities and self-esteem, building a sense of community among the students. I encourage young musicians to choose and play pieces of music that speak to their souls, with my task being to help them get ahead in any type of music they choose. Experience has shown me that theory, composition, and musical arrangement are vital to becoming a well-rounded musician, and a strong technical foundation is necessary in order to express one's artistry. My own compositions and arrangements have been published in My First Armenian Songbook and my album of ballet music is currently in production. I work as a collaborator with instrumentalists and singers. I teach languages to opera singers and also offer piano lessons in several languages: German, Italian, Armenian, Spanish, and English. I have been teaching piano for 25 years, having served on the faculties of the Munich International School, the San Domenico School, the Lark Musical Society, the Pasadena Conservatory of Music, and the Artetonal Schule für Musik. I see that students do well in a supportive, encouraging, motivating environment. This environment has helped my students win competitions including the PTA Reflections Music Composition Competition and the Armenian Allied Arts Songwriting/Composition Competition. I lecture at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, and hold Masters and Doctorate degrees from the USC Thornton School of Music, where I studied piano performance, collaboration, and pedagogy. My undergraduate degree is from the San Francisco Conservatory, where I graduated as valedictorian. As a pianist I have won competitions, including the US Open Music Competition, the Leni FéBland Foundation Competition, the Armenian Allied Arts Competition, and the MTAC VOCE Competition. I have played with or for artists including Midori, Felicia Weathers, Eleanor Schönfeld, Alice Schönfeld, Ron Leonard, and Martin Chalifour. My teachers include Kevin Fitz-Gerald, Stewart Gordon, Antoinette Perry, James Bonn, Laurette Goldberg and Lucinda Carver (harpischord), Mack McCray, Polli Chambers-Salazar, and Natalie Dalschaert. I teach lessons between 30 to 90 minutes in length, depending on level. I encourage and help prepare students for the Royal Conservatory of Music exams. I believe that music is a source of light in the world. Teaching children to understand the language of music will bring light and beauty to their lives, and will illuminate the future for all of us. I teach virtually and may be contacted below for piano lessons.

Instrument / Discipline

  • Piano
  • Harpsichord
  • Theory
  • History
  • Guitar

Spoken languages

  • English
  • Armenian
  • German
  • Italian
  • Spanish

Specialized in

  • Youth (7-17)
  • Adults (18+)
  • Young Children (under 7)
  • Beginner/Elementary
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Teaches At

  • Online
  • Teacher's home
  • Teacher's studio


  • 2008 - DMA - USC
  • 2002 - MM - USC
  • 1996 - BM - San Francisco Conservatory of Music