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My view of the arts, and more specifically classical music, is a combination of utter reverence and pragmatic understanding.  I recognize the awe-inspiring power that music can have in someone - in everyone, in fact; the means it holds to trigger an emotion, a memory or an experience possibly new and foreign to an unsuspecting listener. I marvel at this transcendental art form and deeply respect its traditions.  Still, regardless of how lofty it may seem,  I believe music should make sense, that the notes on the pages should have a purpose, an obvious function.  And this basic desire to determine the inevitable is what shapes me as an interpreter and researcher in my teaching and playing.

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At Kent

Donna Lee continues to influence the next generation of pianists through her commitment as a dedicated pedagogue. With over 20 years of teaching at Kent State University, where she is currently Professor of Music and Coordinator of Piano, Donna has trained numerous undergraduate and graduate piano majors, many of whom have gone on to win competitions, attend prestigious music festivals, receive generous assistantship offers for further graduate study and ultimately develop their own respective careers. Her studio consists of talented domestic and international students. At Kent State, she founded and directs the Kent Keyboard Series, presenting top quality concerts and artists for the community.

At Brevard

During the summers, Donna Lee works with talented students at Brevard Music Center in North Carolina, a prominent international summer festival and institute for aspiring young artists. Working intensely with these talented students in the inspired setting of the Blue Ridge mountains, Donna has been artist-faculty at BMC since 2006, where she currently co-coordinates the Piano area.

Private Studio Lessons

Donna Lee additionally continues the rich pedagogical lineage of her illustrious mentors through giving numerous masterclasses and lessons throughout the US and abroad, in person and virtually. Celebrated for her effective and personalized teaching approach, Donna has the distinction of winning many teaching awards and is honored to be included amongst Steinway and Son’s Teacher Hall of Fame.


"Dr. Lee has believed in me far more than I ever have myself.…she is the one who inspires me to greater musicianship and character, who gives me extra lessons even in the final hours of the day, who challenges me to accept new opportunities."


"Donna Lee has countless former and even current students achieving absolute greatness in their careers in piano and music in general. She treats her students with the same care and efforts equally, and her only agenda is a loving and appropriately demanding standard for the music being studied. She knows how to push your limits while also still making you feel comfortable enough to talk to her freely with any concerns. To this day, Donna is the person I can still come to for professional advice, and she is a brilliant musician and teacher that I can come to and perform for when I need constructive feedback and real advice. I haven’t officially been her student for 8 years now, but make no mistake, I am still her student and always will be."



"Dr. Lee immediately took a more imaginative and abstract approach, specifically tailored to my own interests. For example, as a lover of fashion and 2014 alumnus from the Fashion School at KSU, my lessons were consistently filled with metaphorical references to swirling fabric, shining silks, and ornate embroideries. Dr. Lee took my strengths as a person and a musician and exploited them in the best way possible…I felt transformed, but simultaneously true to myself as a pianist."


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