Biography

As an accomplished piano teacher on a continual quest for excellence in teaching and performance, my mission is to provide high quality instruction to motivated students. Within my piano studio, I have created a levels framework with separate Regular and Honors tracks based on expected achievement by school grade and measured through successful participation in the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) exams.

 

I teach my students not just how to play piano in a fluid, expressive, and relaxed way, but also how to think about music in terms of music theory and how to listen for intervals and harmonies in order to not just excel at the RCM exams and other area competitions and festivals, but also become truly proficient at the piano and develop a deep love for and appreciation of music. My students have been selected as winners of the State Certificate Awards through the RCM exams, and have been invited to play at the multi-state Southeast Region Celebration of Excellence recitals. They have also won awards including 1st Place in the Mary Smart competition (at the state level, after passing both local and regional levels), and many other awards including the American Protege International Piano & Strings, Summer Gala, and Romantic Music Competitions; the Art Guild of Clifton Scholarship Award; the MCAA Music Competition; the Spotlight on the Arts Competition; the Vasya Georgieva Award for Artistic Excellence; and the Honors Recital for the NVMTA Sonata Festival, among others. My students have performed at Carnegie Hall at both the Weill and Stern Auditoriums, at the Kennedy Center, at the George Mason University Harris Theatre, at the Woman’s Club of Arlington, at Fairfax Old Town Hall, at the Southeast Region of Excellence RCM recital in Florida, and in many other locations. 

 

I believe that crucial moments in music teaching happen in the formative childhood years. Great instruction during that time can set a student up for lifetime success. I believe it is a great honor to teach children to play piano well, and teaching a child from the age of 5 or 6 until they reach 18 is a wonderful long-term project with incredibly rewarding results.

As a performing pianist, I am currently involved in a great online project in which I and my colleagues around the U.S. and the world are presenting the entire Beethoven Sonatas, in addition to several concerts of music by black composers, through online streaming, presented by Kyu Butler, president of the Missouri chapter of the World Piano Teachers Association. I am very excited to play Chopin’s 2nd Piano Concerto in May 2021 with the Reston Community Orchestra under the baton of Dingwall Fleary. I have previously won the concerto competition at George Mason University and the undergraduate piano competition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Additional competition awards include Semifinalist in the Victor Elmaleh Concert Artists Guild Competition and Semifinalist in the Byrd International Piano Competition. I have performed Prokofiev Concerto No. 1 and Beethoven Concerto No. 5 with the Mason Symphony Orchestra. I also perform frequently with my trio, The Dream Trio, throughout the Northern Virginia and D.C. metropolitan area. My doctoral dissertation topic is related to chamber music; I am currently a Doctor of Musical Arts student at George Mason University, where I study with Dr. Anna Balakerskaia. I also owe a great debt of gratitude to my former teacher, Dr. Alexander Sklioutovski, for his wonderful teaching and inspiration.

I am active as an adjudicator and have judged competitions such as the Robert & Frances Allen Young Artist Competition, the Bland Competition, the NVMTA Spring Festival and Sonata Festival, and the MCAA Spotlight Auditions. I also served a two-year volunteer term as a board member (Recording Secretary) of the NVMTA (Northern Virginia Music Teachers Association).

 

Contact:

zunigafaith@gmail.com

Teaching Locations:

*Currently all lessons online (FaceTime and Zoom) due to Covid-19 pandemic*

Mason Community Arts Academy in Fairfax, VA

&

Lake Ridge/Woodbridge, VA 

© 2015 by Abigail Faith Zúñiga.

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