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Five Questions for Mandy Chiu, Head of Menuhin Program
Louise Schultze
Mandy, Head of Menuhin Program

Mandy Chiu joined Nueva in September 2016 as a member of the Menuhin faculty. Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Mandy began her career as a pianist at the age of eight, winning the Taipei District Piano Competition. After moving to Australia, Mandy flourished as a distinguished young performer, playing regularly at the Sydney Opera House and Town Hall. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree with honors from the Sydney Conservatorium, and later earned her master’s degree in music from Boston University. Mandy was a ballet accompanist for many years with American Ballet Theater in New York, Houston Ballet, and Boston Ballet. In addition to her work at Nueva, Mandy also teaches for CSMA in Mountain View and is a faculty member at the Crowden Music Center in Berkeley.  

 

 

1. What brought you to Nueva?

I moved here from Boston because my family lives in California and the weather is so much better! A former faculty member introduced me to Nueva when they were looking to hire piano faculty, and I was most interested in the Menuhin program. The Menuhin program is very special, and I was raised in a very similar program growing up in Sydney, Australia. I believe music and a musical education should be accessible for everyone.

 

2. What strikes you about our community?

I love how at Nueva we are able to provide a much higher musical education for students outside of a conservatory through the Menuhin program. I especially love Nueva students because they are proactive when it comes to learning. They have plans for what they want to do next. I find that my Menuhin students are infinitely curious; they go out and research what they want to learn next instead of being fed everything, and that challenges me to better support them on their projects.

 

3. Tell us about the personal and professional growth you want to pursue here?

I want to take the Menuhin program to another level. Everything is possible, but you have to think outside the box. We have so much opportunity to get the program reinvigorated. We now have 16 students ranging from grades 2 to 8 and we are looking to expand the program into the Upper School so we can provide the program for our continuing students. We have vocalists, violinists, and pianists, and I’d love to see students expanding into other instruments.

 

4. What does music have the power to do?

Music is everything to me. Music is my best friend, it’s always there. I want to share my experience and bring music to students at Nueva and the general public. Having music in your life can change how you see the world.

 

5. Favorite composer, piece of music, or movie, and why?

It changes all the time but my current favorite composer is Dmitri Shostakovich. He’s a modern composer, yet he uses conventional harmonic language that is really beautiful. His music is infinite and timeless.

My favorite movie right now is La La Land. I love how after you watch that movie you walk out of the theater feeling light and happy. That’s the power of music! You can be moved so easily.

 


By Louise Schultze, Interim Director of Communications

February 28, 2018



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Mandy, Head of Menuhin Program

Mandy Chiu joined Nueva in September 2016 as a member of the Menuhin faculty. Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Mandy began her career as a pianist at the age of eight, winning the Taipei District Piano Competition. After moving to Australia, Mandy flourished as a distinguished young performer, playing regularly at the Sydney Opera House and Town Hall. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree with honors from the Sydney Conservatorium, and later earned her master’s degree in music from Boston University. Mandy was a ballet accompanist for many years with American Ballet Theater in New York, Houston Ballet, and Boston Ballet. In addition to her work at Nueva, Mandy also teaches for CSMA in Mountain View and is a faculty member at the Crowden Music Center in Berkeley.  

Megan Terra, Lower School Division Head

Drawn to Nueva’s culture of intellectual curiosity and kindness, Megan Terra joined the school in 2009 as a first-grade teacher. In 2012, she stepped into a leadership role, directing the Innovative Teacher Program. As director, Megan expanded the program across the three divisions, supporting associate teachers to develop student-centered, innovative teaching practices. She has served as a Nueva Parent Association faculty liaison, an Innovative Learning Conference committee member, a co-director of the Design Thinking Institute, and an annual presenter at the Institute for Social-Emotional Learning. Before coming to Nueva, Megan taught preK–sixth grades, designed gifted programming, and co-directed a lower school social-emotional learning program. She holds a master’s degree in teaching and is completing a second master’s degree in educational leadership. Megan is thrilled to support students, parents, and teachers in her new role as the Lower School Division Head.

Magda Lara, Assistant Director of Development

Magda Lara joined Nueva in October 2017 as Assistant Director of Development, having most recently been at JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), where she helped lead one of the top three chapters of the organization nationwide. Born and raised in San Francisco, Magda attended University of San Francisco and earned a bachelor’s degree in communications.

Marcy Stoeven, Hillsborough Library Assistant

Marcy is a passionate, accomplished freelance photographer, with over sixty photos published in national and local publications. In her past lives, she has been a film editor and photographic printer, in addition to holding administrative positions in business.

Saya Jenks, Extended Programs Teacher and Prekindergarten Aide

Saya joins Nueva from the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, where she created educational theater content and facilitated training classes for young performers. Saya earned a BA in comparative studies in race and ethnicity from Stanford University. Her studies focused on minority representation in the performing arts, and she was deeply involved in student-produced musical theater.