Rie Tanaka teaches piano to all ages and levels. She is currently an instructor of piano at Macalester College, Mount Olivet School of Music, and MacPhail. Prior, Ms. Tanaka’s teaching included instruction of applied piano lessons and group piano classes for music majors and non-majors at the University of Minnesota and at the Continuing Education Program at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point., Ms. Tanaka has also taught master classes and lectures at the prestigious Rebecca Penney’s Piano Festival, University of Arizona, University of Minnesota – Duluth, Saint Paul Chamber Music Institute, Green Lake Festival of Music, Minnesota International Piano Camp, among others. Students under the tutelage of Ms. Tanaka has been awarded prizes at regional competitions, festivals, and has been accepted into music programs at universities in Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Described by students and colleagues as an enthusiastic, compassionate, inspiring, and knowledgeable teacher, she has touched many lives. Her teaching philosophy is to encourage each individual student to find and develop their love for music. When there is joy in playing the piano, a student can overcome many obstacles, eventually becoming a musician who shares the love for music with others.
Believing in leading by example, Tanaka, an active performer, strives to ever develop her craft. An avid prize winner of international and national competitions in Japan and the U.S., Ms. Tanaka’s accolades also include first place at the MTNA Young Artist Competition in the West Central Division, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Features include Minnesota Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Radio, StarTribune, Chunichi Shimbun (Central Japan Newspaper) among many regional channels and press. As a chamber musician, she performs with husband Jesse Nummelin (assistant principal Cellist of Des Moines Symphony Orchestra) as Duo Ihana. Other performance and collaborations include playing with members of the Minnesota Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Phoenix Symphony, and many others.
A graduate of the renowned music program at Yuhigaoka High School in Osaka, Japan, her studies in Osaka led to a musical tour in Vienna, Austria, performing in Wiener Musikverein. She holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point having studied with Dr. Raffi Besalyan. Her master’s and doctorate of Musical Art degrees in Piano Performance at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, were earned under the tutelage of Alexander Braginsky.