We are proud to make positive impacts on the lives of young emerging artists. Here’s what our students and collaborators have to say about our program:

Emerging Artists Chicago was a key stepping stone into my musical career. Not only did they give me the privilege to program and play my first ever recital but also gave me the extreme honor and pleasure to work with Mio. Playing with Mio is always a joy and is something that I always reflect on and cherish. I’d like to thank EAC and Mio for helping me get out of my comfort zone and help me become the musician I am today!

Abigail Lopez
Oberlin Conservatory of Music

I've always enjoyed playing piano with Mio as it opens new doors for me in music exploration. To me, music is one of the very few art forms that can appeal to everyone in some context. It leaves a lot of room for creativity, but structures such as chords and scales sound good to just about anyone. I've always enjoyed expanding my knowledge of the art form and becoming a better piano player.

Oliver Fife
Piano Studio of Mio Nakamura

Our daughters have had the privilege of receiving impassioned piano instruction from Mio since they were very young. She has combined instilling a sensitivity to musical appreciation with perfecting a virtuosity for musical performance. Mio has provided ample opportunities for them to showcase their talents in regular recital programs, and now competitions as they have gained proficiency. Under Mio’s unwavering support and skilled guidance, our girls have had an unparalleled opportunity to cultivate their senses of discipline and artistry. We know they will always look back on their time in Mio’s studio with fondness and nostalgia.

Benson Yang
Piano Studio of Mio Nakamura

I have had the privilege of working with Mio Nakamura for two years while participating in the Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative program. During our time together, Mio was an extraordinary performer and teacher. Mio's exceptional level of artistry and professionalism allowed me to perform at the highest level possible. Aside from her artistry, Mio's kindness and humanity during rehearsals and performances create a positive learning environment for any student and professional alike.

Adriana Koch
Oberlin Conservatory of Music

Mio Nakamura is a musical and organizational powerhouse. We have worked with her for many years in solo, chamber and orchestral settings. She has soloed, collaborated, and taught all over Chicago. And now she has organized an initiative to promote Chicago’s emerging artists. Working with musicians of all backgrounds, Mio spreads the joy of music through our community. We applaud and support her efforts!

Stephen Lester and Rachel Goldstein
Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Merit School of Music is tremendously grateful to partner with Emerging Artists Chicago. EAC provides generous funding for financial aid that is vital for our families in need of support as well as performance opportunities for our students at venues throughout the city. These opportunities allow our students to challenge themselves and grow both musically and personally. In these ways, EAC is a true partner in promoting music education and helping Merit students to thrive.

Charlie Grode
President and Executive Director
Merit School of Music

I have been taking piano lessons with Mio Nakamura for about two years. Mio is an excellent teacher. She truly cares about her students and finds the best way for them to improve and stay motivated. As an adult student I was very self aware of my limits and Mio has helped me to become more confident in my piano skills. Moreover she organizes recital events for her adult students which are really inspirational and fun. Mio is a great artist, teacher and human being and I feel fortunate to have met her in my life.

Laura Gagliardi
Piano Studio of Mio Nakamura

Thank you, Mio, for helping me to rediscover the joys of music study! I know I came to your studio with so much of that adult learner baggage. Your endless patience and amazing methods have guided me through lost or bad techniques, performance anxiety, and that endless need to compare my abilities with others. Through your teaching I have found a musical voice of my own and can see continued progress with each note I play. I look forward to our time spent together and all the musical discoveries I will be making at each weekly lesson.

Richard Sparks
Piano Studio of Mio Nakamura

Mio Nakamura is one of the finest soloists I have had the pleasure of working with over the past few years. She is a brilliant musician and soloist and one of the very best pianists my orchestra and myself have ever engaged. She is a wonderful person and collaborator and I look forward to many more musical experiences with her.

Jay Friedman
Music Director
Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest

Mio Nakamura is an inspiring pianist, who excels both as performer and teacher. As the Music Director at St. John's Episcopal Church in Old Irving, and as a Vocal and General Music teacher in Chicago Public Schools, I have had the pleasure of collaborating with Ms. Nakamura as she accompanies singers on either piano or pipe organ. She is always willing to explore diverse styles of choral music, and supports me, the soloists, and the ensembles most positively. Music making is easier and more rewarding with Mio Nakamura.

Dee Fraccaro-Murphy
Choir Director and Teacher
St. John's Episcopal Church