Hi! I'm Dr. Sabrina Chang. I am a piano teacher and a music performance coach for all instrumentalists.
I am passionate about helping dedicated musicians learn, grow, and thrive in the rewarding and thrilling world of music playing and performing. For musicians wanting to learn how to navigate and channel those performance nerves, or simply get an edge on the competition, I can help!
My teaching methods draw from my extensive background in performance, teaching, and academic research in cognitive psychology. With over 35 years of playing experience (violin and piano), I myself have experienced the pressures, uncertainties, disappointments, exhilarations, and joys (and everything in between) of performing. And with over 12 years of piano teaching experience, I’ve helped countless students become excited to celebrate, share, and show off all their hard work and talent.
I received my Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Toronto in piano (First Class Honours with Distinction) when I was 13, and one year later received my Associate of the London College of Music (Highest Mark in British Columbia). I also completed advanced study in violin with the Royal Conservatory of Music (receiving a Silver Medal for the Highest Mark in British Columbia). I hold a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance with First Class Standing, and a Master of Arts in Music and Cognitive Science from the University of British Columbia (UBC).
For my PhD at UBC, my main work examined the cognition of music performance and training, and its implications for public health. My research looked at issues of improvisation, and how musicians dealt with the impacts of self-perceived failures and mistakes during performance.
My postdoctoral work at UBC involved understanding performance anxiety in undergraduate students - specifically those who took part in performance activities such as music playing, public speaking, and sports.
I love helping musicians play to their greatest potential, and traveling alongside them on their musical journey. I love seeing the pride, joy, and relief in musicians as they grow to excel and thrive in high-pressure situations—whether it be a high-stakes competition, recital, or exam...or an impromptu concert in their living room!
My passion for helping musicians comes from my own performance experiences as a pianist and violinist. Music playing completely shaped me from childhood. It gave me an identity, helped me through really difficult and challenging times, and unequivocally made me the person I am now. And so, in carrying it forward, my aim is to empower musicians with powerful performance and psychological skills based on experience and academic research (including my own). I wholeheartedly believe that these skills extend far beyond just the musical domain, too - instilling important habits necessary for facing everyday challenges with courage and resilience. In the meantime, to honour the lifelong learner in all of us, I thought it'd be fun to share some newspaper clippings from when it all began for me ... back in the day when there was no social media, ha! ;)
In addition to music playing, I love performing in musical and theatre improv. I've also had the opportunity to be featured in a number of TV and film commercials including those for the Vancouver International Film Festival, the BC Government, Copasetic Clothing, and playing piano in a Campbell's Soup ad! (below)
I live in beautiful Vancouver, BC, Canada with my husband and our two awesome kids. My hubby is a cognitive neuroscientist and professor at the University of British Columbia; we enjoy getting amped up on coffee and talking about the mind and brain. The kids occasionally drink coffee, too, and that's when we really know what's going on in THEIR minds and brains.