Teacher Spotlight on Cheryl Lim, piano

Interview by Erin Cano, violin


Cheryl Lim joined the Music Institute in 2018.


What led you to become a Suzuki teacher?

The words “Mississippi Hot Dog” attracted me. 

Years ago, I noticed that one of my student’s Suzuki friends was an excellent pianist. She played with impeccable accuracy and authenticity. I was impressed by her natural sitting position and her well-coordinated hand and body movements. This student, Katherine Lee, played the Sonatina in G Major by Beethoven for me.  Katherine has gone on to become a member of the MIC faculty.


Which of your teachers inspired you the most?  What aspects of their teaching have you integrated into your own style?

I cannot say which teacher inspired me the most. All of my teachers influenced me in different ways. My first teacher was a singer. She made me sing the piano pieces I was working on, which helped my aural development. My second teacher was a student of my college professor, who taught me about the authentic piano world. My two teachers in America taught me the structure of music by analyzing chords and form with detailed interpretation, which helped me with memorizing by thinking. 
I was very fortunate to have such wonderful teachers who encouraged me but also showed some tough love when necessary.  Thanks to them, I was able to improve my piano skills and tone while developing a deeper appreciation and love of music.


What are your favorite Suzuki pieces to teach?
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star and The Harmonious Blacksmith.


Do you play any other instruments besides the piano? If not, what other instrument would you like to play?

I wish I could be a better singer.


What’s on your listening list right now?

Listening to music is a part of my life. I listen to all types of classical music. My nephew-in-law introduced me to streaming music services, which give me a vast variety of music to listen to every day.

Do you have any upcoming projects about which you would like to share some information?
I just retired from my college position. Now I can concentrate on pre/post college teaching. I am also thinking about applying to become a Suzuki Teacher Trainer who will focus on the importance of piano technique, well-rounded musicianship, and repertoire. It would be a nice way to wrap up my life in piano - studying and teaching. I would enjoy sharing my knowledge with teachers (and aspiring teachers), especially those in my native country of Korea.

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