Joey Chang

Joey Chang CSMA Music Teacher

Education and Background

Joey Chang is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music with a degree in Professional Music with concentrated studies in Cello Performance, Music Education, Songwriting, and World Percussion. He has played cello for 30 years and has performed all over the world as a soloist, with ensembles and bands, and in theatrical productions.

Specializing in improvisation and alternative styles such as rock, pop, and jazz, Mr. Chang also has a deep familiarity with classical cello. Mr. Chang has studied with a wide variety of cello teachers from many different lineages. Born in Mountain View, CA, Mr. Chang grew up in the Bay Area. As a member of El Camino Youth Symphony (now the Golden State Orchestra), he went on tour with the orchestra to Italy, Austria, England, and Scotland.  He learned from Irene Sharp in her Margaret Rowell Seminar. He has also studied with two of Mstislav Rostropovich’s students: Misha Quint and Malkhaz Dediashvili. These two teachers instilled the powerful Russian School of cello playing into his performance and teaching. At Berklee College of Music, Mr. Chang studied under Eugene Friesen with whom he learned improvisation techniques and studied the classical repertoire. He also studied alternative playing techniques with Mimi Rabson, Rob Thomas, and Matt Glaser.

He has been teaching private and group lessons for beginners and intermediate level players of all ages since 1998. In addition to teaching, Mr. Chang is an active professional musician and has performed at international music and arts festivals including the Singapore Fringe Festival, Festival de Liege (Belgium), Rainbow Serpent Festival (Australia), Rock for People (Czech Republic), Sziget Festival (Hungary), Fusion Festival (Germany), Burning Man (Nevada), Electric Forest (Michigan), Lightning in a Bottle (California), and more.

Teaching Philosophy

I strive to make learning music fun. People tend to stick with things that they like, so I do my best to make learning an instrument as enjoyable as possible. In addition to teaching classical music, I encourage my students to improvise and learn to play popular music. I also instill self-discipline and a healthy work ethic in a playful way in my students.

Right from the start, I focus on body ergonomics and proper body mechanics to prevent repetitive strain injuries. For me, learning music is about more than learning to read the notes on the page. Learning music enriches an individual in a myriad of ways: discovering what it means to express artistically, developing time management, patience, fine motor skills, grit, composition, creativity, poetry, language, mathematics, developing acute observation, body awareness, breathing, meditation, and so much more.  I am honored and grateful for the opportunity to provide an exceptional music education experience at CSMA.

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