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The piano is more than just an instrument for Clara Yang. It’s a refuge and creative outlet. As an associate professor in the music department, she’s sharing that connection with Tar Heels to inspire the next generation of musicians.

There has always been one constant for Clara Yang: the piano.

Since first taking a train to Beijing with her mother as a 4-year-old for piano lessons and through immigrating to the United States from China when she was 13 years old, the instrument has always been her source of comfort and creativity. Over the years, that grew into a calling to be a musician.

“Piano really was my refuge in many ways,” she said. “It went beyond simply an instrument that I was learning, that I was good at. It was an outlet for me, my emotions. It was my friend who I could confide to.”

Now an associate professor of piano in the College of Arts and Sciences’ music department, Yang is passing that passion and creative outlet on to our Tar Heels.

“Being creative is not limited to professionals. That would be really ridiculous,” she said. “I think every single person can be creative. I hope through what I do, it evokes something in people. Hopefully, it motivates them and inspires them to be creative in their own ways. That’s my hope, and it’s really magical.”

By John Roberts, University Communications

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