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. She has appeared as a guest lecturer and masterclass presenter at several festivals and colleges, 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. She has served as faculty at Fullerton College, Madonna University, Schoolcraft College, and the Levine School in Washington, D.C. Deeply involved in a multitude of aspects within the artistic community, she serves as the editor-in-chief of the California publication CAPMT Connect, the peer-reviewed journal of the California Professional Music Teachers, as well as executive board work for the Musical Merit Foundation.She also proudly leads as the chair ofAmateurPianists, a non-profit organization providing performance and learning opportunities for pianists of all professions, backgrounds, and skill levels, with an international amateurs competition triennially.

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 app for iPad and iPhone, “Piano Carnival” is available for free download on the App store.Her advocacy work in equity, representation, and inclusion in the arts has brought about Keys to Inclusion, of which she is a founding faculty member. KTI is a cross-collegiate initiative to expand the standard piano repertoire, elevating works of marginalized composers. Her publications as an editor, compiler, and producer can be found under publishers such as Hal Leonard, Schirmer, and Schott Music.

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 founded the Piano Academy of the Community Music School and serves as Piano Academy Director.


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.

Learn More


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.

Learn More