John has an abiding interest in the power of great music in our lives. He is an inspired teacher who can integrate his subtle awareness of the mechanics of pianism to bring a student's expressive abilities to artistic heights. John triggers imagination, relaxation and color.
I continue to be impressed by his enthusiasm for the hard work and complexities of leadership. John's engagement with students and their families, and his adroit management of faculty while serving as director of Preparatory and Extension Divisions at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music was the work of an extraordinary administrator. He is an outstanding model of fairness, integrity and artistic achievement.
Dr. Andrew Thomas, Director Emeritus, Pre-College Division, The Juilliard School
John has the unique ability to point out a single moment in a piece that changes one's artistic perception of the entire composition. His guidance has helped me immensely to mature as both a person and a musician, and to have a genuinely authentic vision.
Agata Sorotokin, Yale University 2019
John McCarthy is demanding yet soft spoken in his teaching. He appreciates and cultivates what is special within each of his students. Thanks to John, our daughter was very well prepared for her auditions at major music schools. Many of his students commute from faraway distances with the certainty that this particular journey is well worth it!
Robin and Yiding Wu, parents of Phoebe Wu
Music study has become a deeper and more vibrant experience for me because of my work with John McCarthy. Incredibly perceptive and thoughtful, he has a positive influence on everyone around him.
Phoebe Wu, piano performance major, University of Michigan 2017
John McCarthy has been not only my teacher but also a mentor in all areas of my life. He has taught me to trust myself as a pianist, and thanks to him, I envision a future in which I wake up every morning to the sound of music.
Victoria Lin, Harvard College 2017
Observing John teach was one of the highlights of my week, a time during which I could experience a master at his craft. His teaching is deeply informed by his intellect, and by his heart and intuition.
Sarah Chapman, Mother of Allegra Chapman, MM The Juilliard School
Anyone who knows John would acknowledge his integrity, generosity, and modesty. I have had the pleasure of watching my daughter grow as a musician and witnessed how eagerly she anticipated each piano lesson. I could tell that something unique happened every time, which moved her to explore more, and deepened her love for music.
Natalia Platonova, Agata Sorotokin’s Mother
John is a true educator, an invaluable musical, intellectual and personal gift to those who have crossed paths with him. He has not only enriched my experiences with great music, but taught me what it truly means to dedicate oneself to an art.
Hilda Huang, 2013 Presidential Scholar in the Arts, Yale University 2017
Over the years, From the Top has presented a number of John McCarthy's students, all of whom have exhibited the very best in classical training and the highest performance standards. We look forward to hearing many more in the future.
Tom Vignieri, Musical Producer
John McCarthy has been the single most influential teacher I’ve had during my fifteen years of studying music. He immediately made my family feel welcome and helped us adjust to our big move from Japan to the United States.
Rieko Tsuchida, piano performance major, Peabody Institute of Music