Guest Clinicians

Catherine Lysinger

Catharine Lysinger is on the faculty at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts where she teaches applied piano and piano pedagogy. She is also Coordinator of the piano pedagogy area and the director of the Piano  Preparatory Department. The program at SMU attracts students nationally and internationally, drawing some of the finest young pianists and teachers to study piano performance and piano pedagogy simultaneously in a highly specialized and individualized environment.

Lysinger is widely sought after as pianist, teacher, and lecturer. She is a prizewinner in national and international piano competitions, including First Prize in the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) National Young Artist Competition and First Prize in the Wideman International Piano Competition. Lysinger has performed with orchestras including the Filarmónica de Jalisco (Guadalajara, Mexico), the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra, the Houston Civic Symphony, the Clear Lake Orchestra and continues to collaborate frequently with the Meadows Wind Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Jack Delaney. Recent performances include the Stravinsky Concerto for Piano and Winds, Messiaen’s Oiseaux Exotiques, and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue as well as the Mozart Concert for Two Pianos with the Meadows Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Dr. Paul Phillips.  Lysinger is also an active soloist and collaborator in chamber music concerts. With duo-piano partner, Dr. Alex McDonald, she has performed the Bartók Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion with percussionists of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and numerous other works for two pianos by Mozart, Brahms, Liszt, Ravel, Debussy, Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky and more. Lysinger’s ongoing collaboration with Voices of Change, a Dallas-based professional ensemble comprised of members of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, features chamber music written by living composers. 

In 2014, Lysinger was named Pre-Collegiate Teacher of the Year by the Texas Music Teachers Association. She was also nominated for the SMU Provost’s Teaching Recognition Award by the Dean, an award which honors faculty who demonstrate a commitment to excellence and a consummate dedication to teaching. Many of her students have been awarded first prize in numerous competitions, including the American Protégé Competition, the MTNA Junior, Senior, and Collegiate Piano Competitions in Texas, Dallas Symphonic Festival, Dallas Piano Solo Competition, Plano Symphony Young Artist Competition, Baylor-Waco Competition, Texas Music Teachers Association solo and concerto divisions, and the Dallas Chamber Orchestra Concerto Competition. Graduates of her studio have been accepted to music schools and conservatories nationwide including the New England Conservatory, the Oberlin Conservatory and Peabody Conservatory.  

Lysinger is a frequent guest of festivals nationally and internationally. Recent invitations to perform, give master classes, and present lectures as a regular artist-faculty member of the Brancaleoni Festival (Italy) and guest appearances at the Vienna International Piano Academy (Austria), the May Festival at the Tianjin Conservatory and East China Normal University in Shanghai (China), and at the National Conservatory in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) hosted by Estudio Diná. 

Lysinger is also a frequent adjudicator for and presenter to MTAs regionally and nationally and has been a featured presenter at the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy. She is the founding director of the SMU Institute for Young Pianists, a summer festival that attracts the best and brightest young pianists in the region and from as far away as China and Hong Kong. Featured guest-artist professors to the IYP have included Nelita True, Nancy Weems, John Weems, Logan Skelton, Jennifer Hayghe, Seymour Bernstein, and Jane Magrath.

Lysinger earned the Master of Music and the Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in Piano Performance from the University of Houston where her professor was Nancy Weems. Additional studies were with Horacio Gutiérrez, and master classes with Abbey Simon, Christoph Eschenbach, and Christopher Elton. Summer lessons at the Aspen Music Festival were with Gabriel Chodos and Evelyne Brancart.  




D.M.A. (Piano Performance) University of Houston

M.M. (Piano Performance) University of Houston

B.M. (Piano Performance), Southwestern University


ChihChen Sophia Lee

Dr. ChihChen Sophia Lee, Music Therapist-Board Certified (MT-BC), is the Director of Music Therapy at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, Weatherford, Oklahoma. Part of her duties have included teaching music therapy core courses, applied piano lessons, and Class Piano (III & IV beginning F14, and V beginning F16) and Introduction to Music Technology, supervising student music therapists’ clinical experiences, as well as providing music therapy services via the SWOSU Music Therapy Clinic.

Professionally active at the local, regional, national, and international levels, Dr. Lee has published, co-authored, and presented numerous papers as well as the Continuing Education for Music Therapists (CMTE) courses in peer-reviewed professional journals, books and other professional publications, and conferences in music therapy and expressive arts therapy.  She has also been invited to provide professional consultations, workshops and in-service presentations for healthcare professionals and educators regionally and internationally, including serving on the Standards of Clinical Practice Committee and Academic Program Approval Committee of American Music Therapy Association (Southwestern Region Representative), asthe keynote clinical trainer for projects sponsored by the United Nation International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF), and as visiting professor at international institutions such as the University of Taipei (formerly known Taipei Municipal University of Education), National Sun Yat Sun University of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, and Central Conservatory of Music of Beijing, China. Currently, Dr. Lee is the Immediate Past President of the Southwestern Region of the American Music Therapy Association.


A graduate of University of Minnesota (Ph.D., M.A.) and Ohio University (B.M.), Dr. Lee’s research interests evolve from Music Therapy Distance Education, human psychophysiological reactions and processes to music stimuli, international/multiculturalism in music therapy, and ethnomusicology.  She also studied piano primarily with Alexander Braginsky, Richard Syracuse, Ming-Hsin Hsu, and Fu-Mei Liu.  Clinically , Dr. Lee has worked at the long-term care facilities,hospice care services, Intermediate Care Facilities for adult with intellectual disabilities, midway houses/shelters for women, adolescents, and children experiencing domestic violence and substance abuse, educational institutions serving children/adolescents receiving early intervention, special education, and Alternative Education.