About Tara O’Brien
UNWAVERING PASSION FOR PIANO
Whether I’m composing music or I’m creating a library of resources for other piano teachers, it all stems from an unwavering passion for piano.
Tara’s Piano-Packed Journey
Started playing piano
4.5 years old
Studied at the Conservatory of Fontainebleau in France
Started teaching piano lessons
14 years old
Accepted into the Preparatory Division of the San Francisco Conservatory and also wrote her first composition, Cascade
Attended Chapman University, earning her degree in Music Therapy, specializing in children with special needs, all while teaching a full roster of students
Completed a 7-month internship at Music to Grow On in Sacramento, while composing her own music
Tara’s first album, Cascade was released
Tara’s second album, Petites Inspirations hit the market
Once Tara completed her internship, her piano teaching business exploded. With 40+ students, Tara started to train her older students to teach in order to sustain the workload
Tara’s third album, My Love For You was released. Tara also established her music school, Cascade Melody School of Music, still outsourcing and training others to teach piano
Focused on building her music school in the San Francisco Bay area
Tara’s fourth album, Unchained was released
Tara established the online teacher training program known as The Cascade Method, and invented the piano reading tool, NoteMatch
She has been building an entire library of resources for Cascade Certified piano teachers, a full Cascade Method Book Collection, and working on her fifth album
Wholeheartedly committed to making piano the best experience it can be for others
Ever since I was four years old, I’ve been absolutely captivated by the piano, but music has also always meant more to me than just a hobby or impressive talent I’ve obtained. Growing up, music was my escape. All of my compositions are inspired by emotion and I often hear that they’ve helped others get through difficult times.
It just goes to show that music can speak louder than words.
I’ve experienced a lot of pain and despair throughout my life. Growing up, I witnessed my father lose all control over drug abuse. Homeless since I was 24 years old, I’ve seen life taken for granted.
My dad used to always tell me growing up that I should play the piano and sing. He felt the only way I’d ever be heard is if I used my voice, but I knew my compositions spoke louder than words.
Although my music has always been expressed as dark and moody, it all really is rooted in a deep, deep passion. Over the years, I lost my dad to drug and alcohol abuse, my beloved grandmother passed away, and I suffered from two miscarriages.
These are tragic circumstances but it shaped me into who I am and I wholeheartedly believe it shaped my music into what it is. Whatever I’m set out to do in this world, I know it’ll be through the piano.
My traumas gave me a way to express my passion and now, I’m dedicated to empowering others to make their noise—to find that same, unwavering passion for the piano that I found.
I am an artist and teacher, but most importantly, I’m a pianist!
A DAY IN THE LIFE
Tara lives in Novato, CA with her husband and pet cats, Simba and Princess. In October 2020, they welcomed their first baby boy, Jordan Thomas Boykin to the world. Tara still teaches a full roster of students while managing and running her music school business, as well as training piano teachers all over the globe through her online training program, The Cascade Method. When she’s (surprisingly) not playing piano, she’s soaking up each little moment with her newborn and conjuring up new ways to make piano even more fun!
I hope that no matter how you come across my pages, you can feel the unwavering passion that all of this truly stems from.