Dr. Sonya Schumann

Pianist, Performer, Pedagogue


Sonya Schumann is an expressive and imaginative pianist, both in solo and collaborative performances. She has performed with orchestras across North America, holds top prizes in many competitions, and has toured throughout the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia. Her recent performances include concerts with the Southeastern Piano Festival, La Jolla Music Society Chamber Series, Mainly Mozart, and the San Diego Symphony.

In addition to performing, Dr. Schumann is passionate about teaching. Previously she has served on faculty at Fullerton College, Madonna University, Schoolcraft College, and the Levine School in Washington, D.C. She has appeared as a frequent guest lecturer and masterclass presenter at several festivals and colleges across the US, including Keys Fest, Music Teachers National Association, Central Michigan University, Red Rocks Music Festival, Art at Noon at LexArts, and the Cornish-American Song Institute. Deeply involved in a multitude of aspects within the artistic community, she leads the non-profit AmateurPianists, facilitating learning and performing opportunities for adult amateurs, and directs the San Diego International Piano Competition and Festival. Her advocacy work in representation and inclusion in the arts has brought about Keys to Inclusion, a multi-faceted initiative to champion the works of Black American composers. Her publications as an editor, compiler, and producer can be found under publishers such as Hal Leonard, Schirmer, and Schott Music. She also serves as an editor for the virtual CAPMT journal publication.

Dr. Schumann is also internationally recognized for her involvement as a founding member of Piano Theatre, an artist group formed to engage audiences with innovative combinations of classical music, theatre, literature, art, and technology. Piano Theatre’s opening tours of the US, Canada, and Australia were acclaimed by critics and audiences alike. As champions of equity in the arts, she and her sister, Elizabeth, perform as the Schumann Duo, promoting classical music for children in areas where arts programs and funding have been cut or limited. The Schumann Duo’s incredibly popular concert “Pianimal” was recently featured in a documentary for the Gilmore for Kids Series. Their outreach extends beyond the physical concert hall, and into the virtual world with the free interactive app Piano Carnival, available on all Apple devices.

Dr. Schumann holds her master’s and doctorate from the University of Michigan and a bachelor of music from the University of South Carolina. She currently teaches at San Diego State University, where she also serves as Coordinator of the Piano Academy of the Community Music School.


Dr. Schumann offers lessons that have individualized plans based on each student’s unique goals and interests. Come study music in her home studio, or join the waiting list for her studio in the Piano Academy. Students enjoy a beautiful 7-foot grand piano, with access to her personal library of books, music supplies, and iPad music apps. Dr. Schumann has over 15 years of teaching experience, and has been an active member of the musical community since childhood. She is an RCM-certified teacher, a Steinway Top Teacher award winner for multiple years, and a nationally certified teacher of the Music Teachers National Association.

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Elizabeth and Sonya Schumann’s duo of music and words evolved out of the sisters’ shared passions for music, literature, and drama.  A dynamic combination of storytelling and piano playing, Piano Theater gives deeper expression to words and makes the profound experience of classical music accessible to audiences of all ages.

The sisters share a kinetic connection with their audience, providing an opportunity for listeners to enter the world of the composers through artistic excellence, innovative programming, and insightful narration.  Often receiving standing ovations, this duo was called “attractive, unique, and immensely engaging” by the Fine Arts Initiative, and has been garnering international attention since their debut.

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