Our Teachers


Otilia Calinn

Otilia Calin is a dedicated and enthusiastic piano teacher. She began her music journey at age 7 when she started playing piano and later, she received her bachelor’s degree in music education and Piano Pedagogy from the National University of Music at Bucharest, Romania and her master’s degree from Musikhochschule Luebeck, Germany, under the guidance of acclaimed professors as Manfred Fock, Carmen Manea, Smaranda Murgan. Also, she performed solo and as an accompanist on important stages in Romania, Germany and Chicago. With over 14 years of teaching experience, her goal is to give students a lifetime understanding and appreciation of music and to make lessons and group classes enjoyable and fun. As a teacher she applies both traditional and Suzuki Method which brings together the cooperative relationships between teacher, parent and student, relationship that it is going to be treasured for a lifetime. Ms. Calin’s students perform regularly in recitals, festivals and competitions, having superior ratings and winning prizes.


Kyle Conley

Kyle Conley was raised around music from early childhood and began learning blues guitar at the age of 9 under the tutelage of his grandfather, R. E. Conley. Kyle has since performed in various orchestras, bands, and musical projects across many genres for the better part of twenty years and continues daily to deepen his understanding of music theory, guitar theory, and technique.

Dedicated, creative, and enthusiastic, Kyle loves any opportunity to pass on the knowledge he has gained and has poured his heart into teaching guitar to people of many different ages and skill levels. With an emphasis on setting goals and building good habits, Kyle enables students to build a positive relationship with their instrument that they can continue to develop for the rest of their lives.


Dr. Calvin Lee

Dr. Calvin Lee, violin teacher, musician, educator, and orchestral conductor, joined the Department of Cultural and Creative Arts from Education University of Hong Kong in 2014. A native of Hong Kong, Dr. Lee is Post-doctoral Fellow of Violin Instructor, Music Theory, Music History, Orchestral Conductor and Music Education Researcher at The Education University of Hong Kong. He received his Bachelor's and first Master's degrees from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He continued his studies at the Education University of Hong Kong, receiving a Master of Arts and a Ph. D. in Music Education.

Other than conducting instrumental class to his students, Dr. Lee gives public lectures and adjudicates all types of music events at the community level. As a musician father, he has been invited to share his parenting experience in a television program. Further, Dr. Lee has been invited to adjudicate in numerous music competitions and he has always been committed to promoting music education.


Ms. Christina Chan

Ms. Christina Chan has recently moved from Hong Kong to Houston. She has over 20 years of piano teaching experience and has taught students of all ages and levels in Hong Kong. She holds a Trinity's Associated (ATCL) and Licentiate (LTCL) music performance diploma from Trinity College London. She also holds a Master of Philosophy from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Apart from her teaching work, Christina is often invited to be the adjudicator in different music competitions and involved in music education research on special needs children.

She actively offers her students the chance to participate in competitions and festivals. Her students always achieve outstanding results in examination of UK Royal School of Music.

Violin & Piano

Ellen Johnston

Ellen Johnston is a Texas born classically trained violinist, pianist, teacher, and performer. She first started the piano at the age of six and picked up the violin at age nine, and has been teaching and performing for well over a decade. She went on to study at Loyola University, New Orleans, on a music scholarship where she studied violin with Nadja Salerno-Sonnenburg and Amy Thaiville. Ms. Johnston concentrated her studies in chamber music and solo performance, as well as college-level piano. In 2019, she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelors in Music Performance.

Ellen has performed with the Romero Quartet, the Loyola Strings orchestra, and the Chamber Orchestra of Music In the Mountains. She has taught all age ranges of students and believes music is an essential part of education. During her time in New Orleans, Ellen worked with the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra to spread her love of music to the community and taught privately. She now resides in Houston, Texas, where she continues to teach and perform.


Dr. Marie Borillo

Dr. Marie Borillo has been teaching piano for 20 years, with students, beginners to advanced, ranging in age from 4 to 70 years old. Among these include local competition winners and participants in the Royal Conservatory of Music examinations, while some students have chosen to continue their music education at the collegiate level. Marie received her DMA in Piano Performance from West Virginia University, studying with James Miltenberger.

Her former teachers include Penelope Cecchini, John Couch, James Douthat, Tim Shafer, and Christine Kefferstan. She also studied piano pedagogy under the tutelage of Connie Arrau Sturm. Marie is an active member of the Music Teachers’ National Association and has adjudicated area piano competitions and festivals.

Piano & Voice

Sevil Jabiyev

Born in Russia, Sevil Jabiyev discovered her passion for music at an early age. She began studying Piano in Yaroslavl music school once she turned 7 and ever since could not imagine her live without playing piano. While studying in music school, Sevil began teaching as a secondary vocal teacher while accompanying different solo musical instruments. Upon graduating as valedictorian, Sevil enrolled in Saint Petersburg Gertsen University and continued her study of piano and music under the guidance of famous Russian teacher and musician, Piano Department Dean Irina Avramkova.

Sevil graduated her Bachelor program with honors and began her teaching career at the same time studying Master's program which she completed with distinction in 2017. She participated in various Chamber music festivals and competitions and won the first place in International Music Competition in Italy and International Music Competition in Russia in 2017.


Sharmilia Jayatileke

Sharmila started playing piano at the age of 9 and was classically trained throughout the years with ABRSM and Trinity College Music with Practical and Theory. She has a General Certificate of Education with Western Music and is licensed by Musikgarten . She has 10 years experience teaching piano from Elementary to High school students . She is passionate about teaching piano and loves watching her students progress.


Alexandra Garza

Alexandra Garza has been a classically trained pianist from five years of age and has continued to improve her performance level. She has graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University with a Bachelor’s in Music Education and a Master’s in Piano Pedagogy. During her studies within the piano pedagogy program, she has taught at the music prep division, taught class piano to undergraduate music students, performed studio, duet, and solo recitals, and has accompanied vocal and instrumental soloists. She had her students perform at local festivals and recitals and is also a member of TMTA and MTNA.

She studied piano performance at Stephen F. Austin State University during her undergraduate and graduate studies with Dr. Andrew Parr and Dr. Minhae Lee. In addition, she studied piano pedagogy with Dr. Mario Ajero, an active member and presenter of TMTA and MTNA.

Vocals & Piano

Dr. Yen-Yu Shih

Mezzo Soprano,  Dr. Yen-Yu Shih is a multi- talented musician who in addition to being an accomplished vocalist and pianist, has served as stage manager and producers for a wide variety of musical productions including music festivals, musical theaters, operas and concerts. Her performance experience is extensive, having been worked with several philharmonic orchestras and chamber groups and as a guest soloist to even more.

After completing her degrees, she served as faculty at the Sierra Music Academy, Sacramento, and held her own voice and piano studio in Pasadena(CA). She has offered professional vocal clinics, private lessons and group classes to students, choirs, musical theaters, churches and schools throughout her teaching career. In 2010-2012 she established and served as the music director of National Taiwan University Alumni Chorus, South California, which  performed several choir concerts under her direction.  In 2012 with her husband, Dr. Ding-Shyue Yang  and the family, she relocated in Houston(TX). She currently accepted the position of Music Director for the CAMA Chorus in 2017.


Jungae Lee

Jungae Lee was raised by her father, a music professor and pastor at the Korean Baptist Theological University. She was exposed to music from an early age, starting on the violin when she was 7 years old, but she was fascinated by the sound of the piano and soon transitioned to piano. Music runs in her family. Her younger brother earned a Master’s in Music from Sofia University and plays contrabass. He is currently Vice-Chairman of the Seoul National Symphony Orchestra in South Korea. Jungae majored in Piano Pedagogy and received her Bachelor’s degree from Wichita State University. She has over 20 years teaching experience and has taught a wide range of students, from beginners to advanced piano students. She believes that music has the power to heal the mind and restore enjoyment. Her teaching style was strongly influenced by Professor Paul Reed and Dr. Sylvia Coats, who taught her that anyone can access and enjoy music.