Professor Yu-Jane Yang Recognized for Excellence in Teaching with Prestigious National Award

WSU Director of Keyboard Studies and a Brady Presidential Distinguished Professor, Yu-Jane Yang, was recognized recently for her passion and dedication to teaching.

After evaluating the state finalists from all 50 states in the U.S., the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) selected Yang as the organization’s Teacher of the Year for 2020.

Yu-Jane Yang

MTNA plans to honor Yang at its virtual national conference in 2021.

The Utah Music Teachers Association (UMTA), MTNA’s affiliated state chapter, recognized Yang’s accomplishment on Nov. 7, 2020, at its virtual state conference.

Now in its 20th year, the MTNA Teacher of the Year award recognizes an individual teacher who has made a difference in students’ lives, has contributed to the advancement of music in their community and is an example of a professional music educator each year. This is the first time this MTNA national teaching award has been granted to a teacher from Utah.

“I am extremely humbled by this totally unexpected national honor,” Yang said. “I would like to attribute this prestigious award to all of my inspirational former teachers and mentors, to my remarkable and diligent WSU students and to President Mortensen and the administration, as well as many generous music donors of WSU, from whom I have continuously received incredible support.” 

Yang’s students at WSU have also received high honors from the Utah Music Teachers Association. Yang’s WSU piano students won four of the top six prizes in the state at the UMTA 2020 State Collegiate Piano Concerto Competition, recognized as one of the most competitive events for collegiate piano students in Utah. Min-Shan “Susan” Tsai earned first-place state honors, Ting-Yu “Cindy” Lu received third place, and Shu-Han Shen and Miranda Hoggan were each awarded honorable mention.

“Yu-Jane is the most dedicated, unselfish teacher, mentor and friend I know,” said Laurisa Cope, UMTA president. “Thank you for all you have shared with the teachers and students of Utah.”