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Meet Chetan Sky Tierra of San Diego Piano Academy

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chetan Sky Tierra.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
After I was born at home in Santa Cruz, California, my dad about an hour later took me to the piano. For the first few years of my life he tied me to his lap while he practiced and eventually would play something and stop and point to a note for me to play. When I could sit by myself at the piano he started teaching me every day until I was about 8 and started lessons with another teacher. Needless to say, practicing piano was expected growing up, like going to school and doing chores. I was trained very seriously almost like an Olympic athlete. There was no question what I would be going to college for… In my 20’s I had great success as a concert pianist and competed and placed well in the world’s biggest competitions including the Van Cliburn, Queen Elizabeth, Hilton Head, New Orleans, Seoul, Unisa, etc. I’m also a Yamaha Sponsored Artist.

When Melissa, my fiancé and business partner and I moved out to San Diego it made sense to also start a teaching business along with all of our other artistic endeavors such as starting an alternative rock band called Skyterra who just in 2017 won Best New Artist at the San Diego Music Awards.

We began teaching in students’ homes across North County from La Jolla all the way through Carmel Valley, Del Mar, Encinitas, Poway, Rancho Bernardo etc. as the San Diego Piano Academy. We hold recitals at the amazing piano store Greene Music. Several of our students are competition winners themselves and I’ve been a judge in competitions both local and international.

We are expanding rapidly and have easily become the premier piano lesson service in San Diego County, both through our personal resume’s and quality of students.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
There have not been many struggles growing the San Diego Piano Academy. It took several years to get rolling but has been steadily full ever since to where we are looking to expand with other teachers soon.

Music and making a career as a full-time musician is its own struggle however and we’ve gone through many ups and down through competition losses, financial strain, successes, needless to say it’s a huge roller coaster of a life style when you choose music for a career. It’s like you are wearing your heart on your sleeve with every artistic decision for someone else to accept or reject. It can be stressful.

San Diego Piano Academy – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We teach piano from a more serious approach, but keep it fun with our young, hip, lighthearted personalities. We excel with beginners, intermediates and advanced students who want a top flight international artist to teach them in their home. Our credentials set us apart and also our personalities and lifestyles.

We are in a band and are very social people that see’s music from many different perspectives instead of just a hardcore classical approach.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
If one is happy and able to provide happiness to others then they are successful.


  • $80 – 1 hr
  • $40 – 1/2 hr
  • $60 – 45min
  • $90 – 1.5hrs

Contact Info:

  • Address: 4745 Printwood Court
  • Website:
  • Phone: 831-566-5841
  • Email:

Image Credit:
Shawn Anders

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