Sue Yang is the founder of FMMA, and is herself a musician, music educator, curriculum developer, and a parent. After 20 years of teaching, she has established a creative and unique bilingual music program that utilizes art, sensory play and eurhythmics to immerse children in the fundamental of music without resorting to the formal rigidity of the traditional music lesson.
Before FMMA was founded, she was the bilingual music teacher and curriculum developer at International school of the Peninsula (Palo Alto), where she taught students ranging from nursery school toddlers fifth grade students. She has also led children’s choir, keyboard, and violin classes at the Redwood city school district after school program, and has been teaching private music lessons at her home based studio and at other music schools around the Bay Area.
Prior to her relocation to the US, she gained her unique teaching style and extensive leadership experience from the Taiwan national branch of the the YAMAHA music education system where she served as the master vocal teacher (coaching teachers from all local branches), music course recording artist, as well as national branch performer and instructor.
Her musical talent was shown from early childhood. She had her first violin performance at the Tokyo Dome at the age of 9. She was also a signed Recording Artist with Rock Records of Taiwan. In 1997, she had the privilege of being chosen as the Featured Performer at Gianni Versace's 1997 line debut gala in Sydney & Brisbane, Australia. She won First Place at The Treasury Casino Voice Competition, an event jointly planned by the Australian Central Government - all while getting her bachelor of music degree in Australia.
She had also been chosen as the featured performer at numerous business world conference for associations such as the Rotary Club, the Lions, and the Wolrd Taiwanese American Chamber of Commerce.
In her spare time, she produces live events and private concerts for corporate clients. She has produced events and concerts for Acer Inc. and Asus Inc. for their respective year-end celebrations.
Yi-Chieh Jay Lai has performed across Asia, Europe, and the US in such significant international cultural festivals as the UNESCO’s World Heritage Festival in Germany and the International Beijing Zheng Festival in China. She has served as an artist in residence at University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa as a soloist and at the Peabody-Essex Museum in Salem, MA with ensemble IIIZ+. Her first album, Transformation, was nominated as Best Folk Music Album of the Golden Melody Awards, Taiwan’s equivalent of the Grammys. She received her PhD in ethnomusicology at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa in 2018.
As an active educator, she has given lectures in several local schools from kindergarten to the university level as part of her touring including Harvard Universtiy, MIT, Akademie der Künste (Berlin), and Srinakharinwirot University in Thailand. For her educational activities, she received a commendation from the House of Representatives of the State of Hawai’i recognizing her work “promoting intercultural understanding through music.” In 2016, the Federation of Overseas Chinese Associations also awarded her the Outstanding Overseas Chinese Award.
Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
M.A. in Musicology from Taipei National University of the Arts
B.A. in Guzheng from National Taiwan University of Arts