“Thanks for your instruction and insights this semester. I have had 4 different piano teachers in the last 12 years, and I have never learned this much in one semester! I think that the most important thing I learned is how to listen to myself. It really opens up a new level of music for me. I am definitely looking forward to next semester!”                          

University of Minnesota student 

Teaching Subjects:

Piano, Music Theory, Wellness for Musician

Teaching Locations:

MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis and Chanhassen campus, Mount Olivet School of Music – Minneapolis and West campus, and home studio in Mound.

Teacher Bio and Phisolophy:​​

I have been teaching piano to all ages and levels for 13 years. I currently teach piano at the wMacalester College, MacPhail Center for Music, Mount Olivet School of Music, as well as privately in the Twin Cities area. Prior to that, I taught applied piano lessons and group piano classes for music majors and non majors at the University of Minnesota for five years. Other teaching experience includes the Continuing Education Program at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point for four years, giving master classes and lectures at the prestigious Rebecca Penneys Piano Festival, University of Arizona, University of Minnesota – Duluth, Saint Paul Chamber Music Institute, Green Lake Festival of Music, Minnesota International Piano Camp, and more. My private students have won prizes at regional competitions and festivals, and have been accepted into music programs at Universities in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

My students and colleagues often describe me as an enthusiastic, compassionate, inspiring, and knowledgeable teacher. Through teaching, I have encountered and touched many lives. I have helped them overcome their weakness, and nurtured their strength. During their tough times when they were facing difficulty playing music, what seemed to be the only thing that pushed them forward was their love for music. My teaching philosophy is to encourage each individual student to find and develop their love for music. When there is joy in playing the piano, a student can overcome many obstacles, eventually becoming a musician who shares the love for music with others.

My emphasis in teaching is building proper technique without pain, as well as musicianship.  I have been invited as a guest speaker to give a lecture on performance injury prevention at music teachers associations and summer festivals.

Believing in leading by example, I myself am an active performer, and strive to continue developing my craft. I am a prize winner of international and national competitions in Japan and the U.S., including winning the MTNA Young Artist Competition in the West Central Division, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. I have been featured on Minnesota Public Radio’s “Your Classical,” Wisconsin Public Radio’s “Route 51” and StarTribune’s “The Week’s Best Classical Concerts,” among many regional channels and press. As a chamber musician, I most often perform with my husband Jesse Nummelin (assistant principal Cellist of Des Moines Symphony Orchestra) as Duo Ihana, and have collaborated with members of the Minnesota Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Phoenix Symphony, and many other notable musicians.

I graduated from the prestigious music program at Yuhigaoka High School in Osaka, Japan, which led to the musical tour in Vienna, Austria, performing in Wiener Musikverein. I received a Bachelor of Music from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point studying with Dr. Raffi Besalyan, a Master’s and Doctor of Musical Art degrees in Piano Performance at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, studying under Alexander Braginsky.

Student Voices:

“Rie is a wonderful and enthusiastic teacher who shows a passion for her students.”

“Caring and supportive instructor with the ability to make the complex seem achievable for even beginners.”

“Your teaching style, I felt, was exceptional, and really learned a lot from you! It is obvious how passionate you are about music, and that only fueled my passion more. Thank you!”

“As someone who started with minimal experience in piano, I learned a lot about proper technique and now have the tools to continue developing as a piano player and musician.”

“Thank you Rie for being a fantastic teacher. I feel so much more confident in playing independently in just a few months!”

“Rie was the most exciting teacher I’ve ever had. She pushed me beyond what I thought was possible. Organization and volumes of information was a delight. She always had a smile on her face. I’m not sure if she ever had a bad day! Thank you!”

“Thank you for a great semester, Rie. Your high spirit in classes always inspires me to practice harder. I really learned a lot in this class and I cannot believe how much I’ve improved through the class.”

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