About the Instructor
Lydia H. McCool has being teaching children and
adults to experience the joy and reward of playing the
piano for over 15 years. She has performed as a singer in
choruses, and as a pianist in recitals as well as in ensemble settings with singers and instrumentalists.
She studied classical piano privately since age 6 and sang
in the children's choirs since age 9. She continued studying
piano with the late professor Livingston Gearhart
(1916-1996) at the State University of New York at Buffalo
while working on her Bachelor of Science computer science degree. She then obtained a Master of Science degree in Computer Science at the Pace University, New York while working as a software engineer.
Soon after her move to the Bay Area in the 1990's, she
began serving as the church pianist for the Chinese Mass at the Mission St. Joseph in Fremont, and started teaching
private and group piano lessons in the Bay Area at various
music schools and her studio. She also auditioned and
became a soprano member singing with the Peninsula
Women's Choir under the direction of the late artistic
director Patricia Hennings.
Inspired to further her pursuit in music, she went back to
school full time and received her piano degree from San
Jose State University, California. Under the tutelage of Professor Sharon Brook, she not only advanced her classical piano study including pedagogy, but was introduced to the wonderful world of Jazz music.
Another key focus of her study was the learning and teaching of various orchestral instruments, such as woodwinds, brass, strings and percussion.
Besides teaching piano, she actively works as a
collaborative pianist for vocal and instrumental contestants
at auditions and competitions in the Bay Area. While a
student at San Jose State, she started working as a piano
accompanist at the voice studio of Professor Erie Mills at
the San Jose State University, and continued on as a staff
accompanist after she graduated.
She has been a staff piano accompanist for the Silicon
Valley Boychoir in Palo Alto under the direction of Ms Julia Simon
She has been a contract church musician at
Congregational Community Church in Sunnyvale since
2002 and is praised and appreciated for her choice of
inspirational music, and for performing her original
compositions during services.
Mrs. McCool is active members of the Music Teacher's
Association of California MTAC, Palo Alto Branch serving
as the editor for its branch newsletter Tarantella, the Music
Teachers National Association (MTNA) and the Palo Alto
Two Piano club.
She can provide lessons in English, Chinese, Taiwanese,
She was a recipient of STARTALK and BAFLP (Bay Area Foreign Language Program) scholarships to receive training at Stanford University in teaching Mandarin Chinese.
She and her family are active members of the Palo Alto
Kendo Dojo where they study the art of Japanese Fencing.