Nurturing Joyful Excellence

Together we can become a more musical and beautiful community.

About Us

Who was Dr. Suzuki?


Dr. Shinichi Suzuki was a revolutionary pedagogue who changed music education worldwide. People were astonished at how well so many of his students could play at such a young age.

The secret is what Dr. Suzuki called the Mother Tongue method. Children everywhere easily learn their mother tongue, no matter how complex. Similarly, he realized that children can learn music just as well, if we intentionally and lovingly create a Mother Tongue environment for them. He wrote about his discoveries in his books, "Nurtured By Love" and "Ability Development From Age Zero". 

But his goal was not simply to create musicians, but to nuture noble, sensitive human souls to seek goodness, truth, and beauty, to the end of our lives.

At STEAM, we strive to follow Dr. Suzuki's philosophy as we seek the best educational methods to nuture joyful and sensitive musicianship in children and adults of all ages.

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Who is Alishan?


Alishan Merjanian has a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Performance (emphasis Classical Piano) from San Jose State University. He is also a certified Suzuki teacher by the Suzuki Association of the Americas.

Ever since he was a small boy, he has been determined to become a better teacher than the teachers he had. This is what led him to discover the writings of Dr. Suzuki and then to pursue training to become a Suzuki teacher.

His musical education started from before his birth as he would listen to the music of his mother, a pianist and piano teacher. From the day he was born, he was surrounded by excellent recordings of the best music, so that music became his native language.

He was first instructed in piano playing by his mother, Christine, and later learned violin and viola from his father, Stepan. At age 14 he joined the San Jose Youth Symphony where he played viola 4 years, including going on tour to Spain with International Van Cliburn Competition winner Jon Nakamatsu.

During those years he was trained by Dr. Nataly Gingis to a very high level of pianism. With her patient coaching, he was able to accomplish the following:

He then spent a year at the BIOLA University Conservatory of Music, studying piano with Dr. Li-Shan Hung as well as taking viola lessons, participating in chamber music and the Biola Symphony Orchestra.

Returning to San Jose, Alishan studied music intensely at SJSU. He participated 4 years in Concert Choir under Dr. Julie Yu, J.D. Burnett, and Dr. Amanda Quist, as well as 2 years in Symphony Orchestra as Principal Viola, and 2 years in chamber groups coached by the Cypress String Quartet. He studied collaborative piano with Sharon Brook, voice with Joseph Frank and Layna Chianakas, and piano performance with Dr. Gwendolyn Mok and Dr. Namiq Sultanov.

Alishan completed all 7 levels of Suzuki Piano teacher training at the Holy Names University Summer Suzuki Institute with Caroline Fraser. He has taken Violin level 1 with Judy Bossuat-Gallic and Pat D'Ercole, and levels 2-3 with Linda Fiore at the Intermountain Suzuki String Institute, Level 4 with Judy Bossuat-Gallic and Level 5 with Dr. Timothy Durbin at the Advanced Suzuki Institute at Stanford University, and he plans to return every summer until he is fully certified.

For a more personal view of Alishan, see

Our mission: to create beautiful music with beautiful hearts.


Do you want your child to make beautiful music as easily as she talks? Do you want your children to become an honorable, hard-working, noble, sensitive adults?

STEAM exists to help you nurture all these qualities in your child. Character first, ability second. Alishan's dream is to see your children play beautiful music with beautiful hearts. 

Please contact us anytime! We look forward to hearing from you.

By the way: You are never too old! We accept adult students too!