Pianist, Educator, & Collaborative Pianist

The Pianists

Musical performance is born in those same sublime regions from which music itself has descended. Whenever the music is in danger of becoming earthbound, the performance must elevate it and help it to regain its original ethereal quality... It is the duty of the performer to liberate it from the redness of the printed page and bring it to life again. 

Ferruccio Busoni



Kyu Butler is a concertizing pianist and artist teacher based in St. Louis, Missouri. Please use the navigation menu to learn more about her career, accomplishments, piano lessons, and listen to videos and audio examples, and learn about upcoming performances.

Thank you for visiting!  



A recipient of the Marina Grin and the Classical Music Awards, Kyu Butler is an accomplished pianist and has received 1st prize awards from many competitions including the Chosun Daily News Co. Music Competition, Korea Times Music Competition, The Korean National Students Competition, Samick Piano Competition, Choonchoo Piano Competition, Monthly Music Magazine Competition, Yookyoung Students Competition, and the University of Illinois Symphony Concerto Competition. Butler has trained with such masters as Leon Fleisher, Aldo Ciccolini, Menahem Pressler, Yefim Bronfman, Vladimir Feltsman, Boris Slutsky, Timothy Ehlen, Daniel Schene and many others in US, Europe, and Asia.  Butler is actively performing at prestigious stages such as Krannert Center for Performing Arts, Seoul Arts Center, and Carnegie Hall. Butler performed as a soloist with the Korea Soloists Orchestra under the baton of her own teacher, Maestro Ian Hobson in 2018. In the 2019 - 2020, she was invited to perform at Blackburn College, St. Louis University, and University of Illinois at Springfield as a guest artist.

Butler received her Bachelor of Music from The Korean National University of Arts’ School of Music. Here she studied with Mr. Choong-Mo Kang, a former faculty member of the Juilliard School in New York City. Butler also received a Master of Music in piano performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Mack McCray. She also received her Professional Studies Diploma in Early Historical Keyboards with emphasis on Fortepiano from the Conservatory.

Currently, Butler is pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance and Literature and Master of Music in Vocal Coaching and Accompanying at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with full scholarship. Here she studies with the renowned pianist and conductor Dr. Ian Hobson. Butler has completed the Piano Pedagogy Internship with one of the famous Piano Pedagogy scholars, the late Dr. Alexander Reid, and also worked as an opera coach, Teaching Assistant, and studio accompanist at the University of Illinois. Butler recently became a NCTM (Nationally Certified Teacher of Music) in piano and has been certified as an Elementary Specialist by the Royal Conservatory of Music in Canada. 

Butler runs a private studio in Saint Louis, MO. She is also an adjunct faculty at the Community Music School of Webster University. Her students have won local and nation-wide competitions, festivals, exams and auditions. One of her recipient students of the “State Certificate of Excellence” award at Royal Conservatory of Music Piano Exam was selected among 12 states in Midwest to perform at the Chicago Symphony Hall in March 2020. She frequently serves as an adjudicator at local and national level competitions, auditions, and festivals.  

Butler’s current research focus on preventing injuries and wellness for pianists is influenced by personal experience. Butler’s work was selected for presentations at the Music Teachers National Association’s National Conference in Spokane WA, and at the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy in Chicago IL in 2019. Her superb presentation resulted in an invitation to write a paper for MTNA E-Journal, which will be published in September 2020. She presented her work at the World Piano Conference in 2020. As a pedagogue, Butler was invited to conduct masterclasses and a lecture at Kasetsart University in Bangkok, Thailand in 2019.

Butler is a Co-Vice President of Missouri MTA, and President of St. Louis Area MTA, as well as Chair of SLAMTA’s Young Artist Competition. She recently inaugurated as the first President and Artistic Director of World Piano Teachers Association USA-Missouri and created 32 Complete Beethoven Sonata Concerts with 18 pianists to celebrate 250th Anniversary of Beethoven's birth in fall 2020. Also she organized African-American Composers Series for fall 2020. Butler is a member of MTNA, The Federation of Music Clubs, Piano Teachers Round Table in St. Louis, The Korean National Association of Piano Pedagogy, and The Pianissimo - The Musical Arts Association of Korea.


Pianist Kyu Butler

Carnegie Weill Recital Hall Debut 

November, 2017


Beethoven Complete Piano Sonatas 6

Current Research Focus

Kyu Butler's current research topic is "Measuring up to Prevent Injuries: Handspan, Repertoire, and Alternatively-Sized Piano Keyboards." Kyu presented this at MTNA(Music Teachers National Association) National Conference and NCKP (National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy) in 2019. Her paper will be published in Sep 2020 at MTNA E-Journal.

Piano Lesson

Welcome to Kyu Butler Piano Studio.

No students are considered too young to start learning piano. In fact, establishing proper techniques from an early age is fundamental for later development. Poor habits can also be difficult to unlearn later in life. Kyu's studio currently has students ranging in age from 4 years old to adults who are at an advanced level. Kyu Butler teaches piano as well as music theory.

Kyu has had extensive performing in Europe, Asia, and the United States. Kyu has also trained with legendary pianists throughout the world. Kyu is a Co-Vice President of the Missouri Music Teachers Association and chair of Young Artist Competition. When combined with her doctoral education, Kyu has acquired plenty of experience teaching young pianists. Kyu's students have competed in, and been successful in competitions, festivals, and auditions in US and abroad. Kyu is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music in Piano and Elementary Specialist from Royal Conservatory of Music in Canada .


Lessons are available for 30, 45, or 60 minutes, using a Steinway & Sons grand piano. Feel free to contact Kyu for an interview (Free of charge). For more information, please click "Policy" on top menu bar.

Kyu Butler Piano Studio is located in the Rock Hill (Ladue) area near Manchester & McKnight.


Currently, Kyu is offering both online and in-person lessons. Please inquire.

Music Theory

Kyu Butler provides Music Theory lessons. Kyu uses Royal Conservatory of Music(RCM) in Canada's "Celebrate Theory" as textbook. RCM annual level tests are in May and August in St. Louis area.

Level 1-4: Elementary

Level 5-8: Intermediate

Level 9 or above: Advanced

News & Events

6/08 Instruction begins for summer
7/31 Last day of instruction for summer
8/10 Instruction begins for fall
9/07 Labor Day - No Lessons
MMTA District Auditions - TBA
9/20 Beethoven Complete Piano Sonatas Concert 2
9/20 MMTA District Auditions 
10/24 Beethoven Complete Piano Sonatas Concert 6
10/25 MMTA State Auditions
11/07 Illinois Wesleyan Univ. Master Class
11/23-27 Thanksgiving Break - No lessons
MMTA State Auditions - TBA
12/06 Studio Recital - TBA 
12/20 Last day of instruction for fall

Student Achievements


Federation Festival (March)

Superior - highest prize

Piano Exam

Azam Bhutto

Enkh-Ujin Chinchuluun

Maeta Christian

Thomas Kane

Caspar Koelz

Amelia Polito (Superior+)

Adam Yu

Theory Exam

Amelia Polito - Superior

RCM Piano Exam (June & July)

Sienna Barnidge - First Class Honors

Natalie Chen - First Class Honors

Jonah Meyer - First Class Honors

Amelia Polito - First Class Honors with Distinction (State Winner)

Seamus Smith - First Class Honors (State Winner)

RCM Theory Exam (May)

Robert Quan -  First Class Honors with Distinction

MMTA District Auditions(Sep)

Rate 1

Zayna Ali

George Barnidge

Sienna Barnidge

Fiona Bell

Lachlan Bell

John Bermann

Azam Bhutto

Zaib Bhutto

Enkh-Ujin Chinchuluun

Siyona Chanda

Maeta Christian

Lucy George

Vidur Kothur

David Lin

Grace Meyer

Jonah Meyer

Anthony Polesel

Amelia Polito

Robert Quan

Seamus Smith

Andy Smull

Carson Walsh


Sonatina Festival (March)

Superior - highest award

Maeta Christian

Kaylee Dillingham

Jonah Meyer

The Federation of Music Clubs(March)

Chloe Babel: Superior-

Natalie Chen: Superior

Caspar Koelz: Superior

Milo Nickelson: Superior+

Ayansa Samarasinghe: Superior

Yuma Samarasinghe: Superior

Emily Simmons: Superior

Gideon Weinberg: Superior+​

RCM Piano Exam (May)

Ana Casares:Passed - First Class Honors

received an award "Center Certificate of Excellence"  

Robert Quan:Passed -First Class Honors with Distinction

received awards "State Certificate of Excellence" and "Center Certificate of Excellence" 

Seamus Smith:Passed - First Class Honors

Thomas Kane :Passed - Honors

Jonah Meyer:Passed - First Class Honors

received awards "State Certificate of Excellence" and "Center Certificate of Excellence" 

Chloe Cheng:Passed - Honors

RCM Theory Exam (August)

Jan Riet: passed level 7

Robert Quan: passed level 8

MMTA District Audition (September)

Rate 1

Azam Bhutto

Natalie Chen

Maeta Christian

Vidur Kother

Jonah Meyer

Amelia Polito

Robert Quan

Emily Simmons

Seamus Smith

Andew Smull

Adam Yu​

Arch Cup (Oct)

Gold Medal

Anthony Polesel

Rachel Kurz

Thomas Kane

Robert Quan

Sienna Barnidge

Ayansa Samarasinghe

Yuma Samarasinghe

Seamus Smith

Fiona Bell

Lachlan Bell

Caspar Koelz

Louis Morrison

Everett Morrison

Teddy Williamson

Grace Meyer

Enkh-Ujin Chinchuluun 

MMTA State Auditions (Nov)

Honorable Mention (3rd prize)


Community Music School of Webster University


Missouri Music Teachers Association


Music Teachers National Association


World Piano Teachers Association


World Piano Teachers Association USA-Missouri


National federation of Music


Missouri Federated Music Club


Royal Conservatory of Music


San Francisco Conservatory of Music


Pianists for Alternatively Sized Keyboards


Piano Teachers Round Table


St. Louis Area Music Teachers Association


"To send light into the darkness of men's hearts, such is the duty of the artist." 

- Robert Schumann (1810-1856) -



For any performance or lesson inquiries. Please leave a message here below, or email her.

Thank you.  


Kyu Butler