caf show.jpg

Shawn Yao

PQ Piano/Composition/Music Production Teacher
BM, Berklee College of Music

Shawn Yao is an American born, pianist, composer, and songwriter. In 2015, Shawn studied production and composition, as well as music theory and teaching pedagogy at Berklee College of Music. While there, he also was a recording session pianist, and a vocalist for the a-capella group PXL8. He also led Berklee’s Anime band, where he was an arranger and performer. Shawn spent the majority of his time at Berklee mastering the music production pipeline, starting from songwriting and composition to post production/engineering.


Since then, Shawn has done most of his work in the popular music industry, writing and producing music for game studios, short films, and pop artists. Shawn has composed music for video games such as “Project: CERIS” and “Gastova.” In 2020, Shawn co-founded FYRES Studios, an audio production company, specializing in providing full-service audio productions for digital media. There he served as the project manager for various projects, leading small teams of engineers and producers to deliver various soundtracks and sound effects. 


As a pianist, Shawn has performed at concert venues, restaurants, and conventions. He has played at locations such as “Howl at the Moon Piano Bar,” award winning restaurant, “Top of the Hub,” and was a Berklee piano accompanist for performing vocalists. In 2018, he performed at Fanime Expo, Connecticut Gamer Convention, as well as Anime Expo, which had over 350 thousand attendees. Later in 2019, Shawn performed with the BCSO for Square Enix’s“Distant Words,” Final Fantasy concert.


While classically trained, Shawn has utilized more of his pop and play-by-ear style to garner success as a performer. Notable names Shawn has studied under include Laszlo Gardony, Yoko Miwa, Jason Yeager, and Tim Ray. Shawn has also performed with groups such as content creation group “Offline TV.”  


Shawn started teaching in 2017 when he taught a pair of students from his home studio in Boston. Since then, he has taught over 20 students over the course of these five years, from online Zoom lessons, to in person private lessons. Utilizing the Faber as well as the Thompson methods, Shawn caters his lessons to each and every individual student. Whether classical, or contemporary, Shawn believes every student can play their favorite songs and find their passion in music. 


All lessons include/cover:

  • A discussion of musical interests, time commitment and long term goals. 

  • Rudimentary warm-up exercises, including scales, chords, and arpeggios.

  • An instruction book (usually “Faber’s Piano Adventures”), or lesson framework.

  • Repertoire selection.

  • Contextual Music Theory and its application.

  • Having fun!