Columbia College Chicago

Meet the Faculty

Erica Tam-Wang


Preferred Student Age: 5 to 18. She recommends 45 minute lessons for every student.

Preferred Student Level: Any.

How long have you been on faculty at Sherwood?

Since 2003.

What do you want to impart to your students through your teaching?
A love for music and the right foundation and technique for more advanced piano playing.

Are there specific methods or techniques that you use in your teaching that may be important to share with prospective students?
I use all kinds of different methods: Faber, Bastien, Celebration, Suzuki pieces, A Dozen a Day, Czerny-Schaum, etc., depending on the character of the student and their needs and interests.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?

Meeting people from all walks of life; learning new strategies through teaching different students of different levels.

Briefly describe your musical pursuits outside Sherwood.

Accompanist for Wheaton College; accompanist for Grace Church of Dupage; past accompanist for Chicago Community Chorus; participant and performer at the Van Cliburn Institute's Teachers' Program 2005; starting a piano trio and piano and violin duo.

What is your earliest musical experience or best musical memory?

I remember my mom bought me a tiny toy piano when I was three. It was about two octave's range, but the black keys were painted on the piano! I loved to play the TV show tunes that I learned by ear and I made up my own songs. My mom saw the "So-called Talent" and I started piano lessons...and the rest is history!

Please describe one of your favorite teachers or mentors.
All of my piano teachers were excellent musicians. They were musically inspiring, self-sacrificial, caring not only about my musical growth but my growth as a person, personable and understanding. Sometimes they'd give me 2 to 3 hours of lesson time.

What is your favorite type of music?

I love all composers and there's no one specific musical period that I particularly prefer. I love Bach's music: it's divinely written and transpired. I also like Spanish composers like Granados: his unique kind of sonorities and employment of different techniques enhance the flavor of Spanish music!!