Kyu Butler has achieved widespread recognition and accolades in the international music community. She has been honored with awards such as the Marina Grin and the Classical Music Awards and has achieved 1st prizes in numerous esteemed competitions in Asia and the United States, such as Samick Piano Competition, ChoSun Daily Newspaper Competition, National Student Music Competition, YookYoung Competition, Hankook Daily Newspaper Competition, University of Illinois Concert Competition and many others. Kyu has performed at prestigious stages around the world, including Carnegie Hall and Steinway Hall in New York City, Krannert Performing Arts Center, Seoul Arts Center in Korea, Gressogne Castle in Italy, and University of Beijing in China, among many others. She has had the honor of performing in masterclasses conducted by legendary pianists from around the world. These include renowned names such as Leon Fleisher, Aldo Ciccolini, Menahem Pressler, Yefim Bronfman, Vladimir Feltsman, Boris Slutsky, Valery Kuleshov, James Giles, Susan Starr, Alexander Korsantia, Yong-Hi Moon, Zhe Tang, Jerome Rose, Jose Ramos Santana, Alexander Slobodyanik, Magdalena Baczewska, Alexander Shtarkman, Gabriel Kwok, Warren Jones, Gwendolyn Mok, and many others. Her participation in masterclasses speaks to her unwavering dedication to excellence in her craft and continuous pursuit of artistic excellence as a pianist.
Kyu's dedication to music education is evident through her impressive involvement in various leadership roles, such as Artistic Director, Honorary Life-Time Past President, Public Relations Chair, and Co-Vice President of various committees at Harmonia International Amateur Piano Competition, Nebraska Music Teachers Association, Omaha Music Teachers Association, St. Louis Area Music Teachers Association, Missouri Music Teachers Association, and World Piano Teachers Association USA-Missouri, demonstrates her active engagement in the music education community at local, state, and national levels.
As an educator at Midland University, Kyu is passing on her knowledge and passion for music to the next generations. Her certifications, including being a Nationally Certified Teacher in Music (NCTM) and holding certificates as a Piano Specialist from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Canada, showcase her commitment to professional development and staying current with the best practices in music education. Her additional training as a pedagogue lead her to the Irina Gorin Institute for Russian Method and the Suzuki Method through Suzuki Association of Americas, which showcases her commitment to diverse teaching approaches and methodologies. Also, her recognition with a Certificate of Recognition from the Royal Conservatory of Music for excellence in teaching further attests to her high standards and achievements in music education. Her expertise as a pianist and educator is also recognized through her frequent invitations to serve as an adjudicator and clinician at local and international auditions, exams, and competitions such as Steinway Piano Competition, Tchaikovsky International Youth Piano Competition and others. In addition to her adjudication roles, Kyu is also invited to give master classes at institutions such as Illinois Wesleyan University and Kasetsart University in Thailand.
Kyu's research interests draw from her personal experience as a pianist. Kyu's research aims to enhance the understanding of the well-being of pianists, and to develop strategies to prevent injuries and promote healthy piano playing techniques. The recognition of her research through invitations to present at national conferences, such as the Music Teachers National Association's National Conference and the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, highlights the significance and impact of her work in the music education community. Her selection to present at the World Piano Teachers Association Conference and the Korean Association of Piano Pedagogy Conference further underscores the international recognition of her research contributions. Additionally, her publication in MTNA E-Journal, a reputable music education journal, further establishes her as a recognized expert in the field. Invitation to present at the Costa Rica Piano Festival and Piano Teachers' Round Table is a testament to her expertise and reputation as a sought-after speaker and educator in the field of piano pedagogy.
Kyu's active membership in various prestigious music organizations highlights her commitment to professional development and engagement in the music community. As a member of organizations such as the College of Music Society, American Liszt Society, American College of Musicians, Federation of Music Clubs, Music Teachers National Association, Nebraska Music Teachers Association, Omaha Music Teachers Association, Missouri Music Teachers Association, Saint Louis Area Music Teachers Association, the Korean Association of Piano Pedagogy, and the Pianissimo-Korean Musical Association, Kyu has access to valuable resources, networking opportunities, and professional support.
Kyu has an extensive educational background that showcases her commitment to excellence in her musical studies and continuous pursuit of knowledge and skill development. Her qualifications include a Bachelor of Music degree from The Korean National University of Arts' School of Music, a Master of Music in piano performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, a Professional Studies Diploma in Early Historical Keyboards with emphasis on Fortepiano from the same institution, and doctoral training at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a full scholarship and Teaching Assistantship. Additionally, Kyu completed a Piano Pedagogy Internship with the late Dr. Alexander Reid, a renowned Piano Pedagogy scholar. Furthermore, she has gained valuable work experience as an opera coach, Teaching Assistant, and Accompanying Assistant at the University of Illinois, as well as holding previous positions at Lindenwood University, CMS Webster University, Jefferson College, St. Louis Community College, and Omaha Conservatory of Music. She is currently teaching at Midland University. These diverse experiences have provided her with a solid foundation in piano performance, pedagogy, and historical keyboards, and have honed her skills as an educator.