OUR TEACHERS

Teaching music is not just our job; it’s our passion!
Meet our all-star team of teachers.

Nobu Sakurai
Nobu Sakurai
Owner/Teacher

• BA in Piano Performance, University of San Diego • Master of Education, Chaminade University of Honolulu Nobu was born and raised in Japan. She started piano lessons at the age of 9 under Ms. Lei Tokuda. After earning a college degree in English language in Nagasaki, Japan, she moved to San Diego, California for further education. Nobu earned a BA in piano performance at the University of San Diego where she studied under Dr. Kay Etheridge. She also studied with Dr. Yongsheng Liang in San Diego. While still a student at USD, Nobu accompanied in church and also taught 20 private piano students for 3 years. In October 2002, Nobu moved to Hawaii and in January 2003, began teaching piano weekends, at Piano Outlet in Pearl Highlands Center. Nobu earned an M.Ed at Chaminade Univerisity of Honolulu while she was a full time language teacher at Saint Louis School and a part time piano teacher at Piano Outlet. When Piano Outlet closed in March 2011, Nobu opened her very own studio in Pearl City. Since then, she has concentrated on teaching piano in her studio. Besides teaching, she also performs piano for dinner receptions and retirement houses. In Hawaii, Nobu studied piano for a several years under Ms. Paulette Pacific and she has also studied under Mr. Ernest Chang and Ms. Kaoru Lyddon. Besides a love of classical music, Nobu is crazy about Broadway musicals! She has seen a lot of Broadway musicals in many places, included the West End in London and New York City. She has also studied voice under Ms. Kristian Lei since 2014 and enjoys singing Broadway music, Italian opera and Disney music. Her other passions are classical ballet, impressionism art, baking and traveling. Her very first trip abroad was to the Philippines where she attended the University of Baguio as an exchange student for a year when she was 18. Since then, she has visited so many different countries and cities. Her favorite cities are NYC, Paris, Salzburg and Vienna! And of course she loves Japan so much and often flies back to spend some time with her family & friends. Nobu is thrilled to start her rythmique (eurhythmics) classes to toddlers in May, 2016 and hoping lots of kids in Hawaii will be involved & enjoy the music!

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“I am a firm believer that the benefits of music education extend beyond pure academics to give our children richer, more fulfilling and complete lives—a priceless gift.”

Jensen Blue
Jensen Blue
Head Teacher

Education: BA in Piano Performance, Brigham Young University, Hawaii Jensen was born and raised in Pearl City, Hawaii. He started piano lessons at the age of 8 under the instruction of his elementary school choir director Mr. Aaron Paragoso. He continued his piano studies and earned a BA in piano performance from BYU-Hawaii under the direction of Dr. Scott McCarrey in 2010. He is currently the accompanist for Na Keiki O Manana choir at Manana Elementary School, the same choir in which he began as a student. The choir will have the privilege of performing at Disneyland and nearby Lincoln Elementary School to showcase Manana’s Spirit of Aloha through song and dance. In addition to music, Jensen enjoys traveling the world. A few places has recently visited include San Francisco, Las Vegas, Houston, NYC, Buenos Aires, and Paris. Apart from traveling he enjoys spending time with his dogs, Buddy and Scooby, and his cat, Trouble. Jensen has been teaching at Nobu’s piano studio since February 2013.

Anthony Chantavy
Anthony Chantavy
Administrative Assistant / Teacher

Education: BM in Piano Performance / BA Chinese Language, University of Hawaii in 2014 He first studied classical piano at age 7 with Mr. Samuel Adams at Studio East Kapolei, finding his musical potential at age 12 when he discovered he had perfect pitch, an ability to identify musical notes upon hearing them. Anthony earned both a B.M. in Piano Performance as well as a B.A. in Chinese language from UH Manoa. At UH, Anthony studied piano under Dr. Thomas Yee. While he was at UH, he has taught piano pedagogy I and II. Besides at UH, Anthony has also performed at churches, nursing facilities, voice classes, weddings, and musicals. Currently, Anthony is an organ accompanist at the Waipahu United Church of Christ and a volunteer Mandarin Chinese translator for the international editorial website Watching America. He has thoroughly enjoyed teaching at Nobu Sakurai Piano Studio since 2015. His hobbies include playing the game Dance Revolution, creating musical games, and writing songs.

Paula Kimper
Paula Kimper
Teacher

Education: BM in Music, Eastman School of Music in New York Not only is she a fantastic music and piano teacher, Ms. Paula is also a composer of music for opera, theater, dance, film and song. Ms. Paula is a graduate of The Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, and after 40 years of making music in New York City, she has relocated to Oahu where she looks forward to teaching music and participating in the local music community, as well as enjoying the beautiful world of nature Hawaii has to offer. Selections from her compositions can be seen on YouTube and her recordings can be found on iTunes and cdbaby. Ms. Paula started teaching at Nobu's piano studio in January 2020!

Ian Shanks
Ian Shanks
Teacher

Education: BA in Music, University of Hawaii, Manoa Ian Shanks started taking piano lessons at the age of 8 and received his Bachelor's Degree in Music from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2018. He has taught piano for 5 years, and has had the privilege of teaching hundreds of students across the island of Oahu. Ian loves teaching music and helping students reach their musical goals. His teaching philosophy is based on providing a well-rounded music education where students learn to read sheet music, understand chords/scales, and eventually improvise! He believes this approach to music education will deeply enrich the student's life by providing them with the great joy and fulfillment of playing music in a personal way.

Contact Us

Please fill out this form to leave us a message, or contact us directly using the contact info below. Nobu Sakurai Piano Studio is centrally-located in Pearl City. The air-conditioned, safe, secure practice rooms are housed in the Kaahumanu Building on Kaahumanu St., near Gyotaku and Midas. Free parking is located behind the building, up a ramp between Midas and our studio.







nobu@nobusakurai.com

(808) 636-0143

98-1238 Kaahumanu Ave., Ste. 201 Pearl City, HI