Kaii was born in Taipei, Taiwan where she began her musical training on the piano, French horn and cello. Her Catholic school choir had provided the experience for singing in many different languages. Since elementary school, she had traveled throughout Asia and the United States to perform. She earned her B.A. degree in Piano Performance from UCLA, where she served as the A Capella choir president under Roger Wagner. She earned her M.A. degree from Cal State Northridge in Piano Performance and studied under world renowned pianist, Jacob Gimpel. While at CSUN, Kaii also completed her K-12 Single Subject and Community College Teaching Credentials. Before joining the Irvine Unified School District, she taught piano courses at College of the Canyon, K-12 vocal and general music for the Las Virgenes School District, and high school vocal and musical theatre classes for the Oak Park Unified School District. She also taught ear training and music theory classes at the Grove School of Music while becoming a MIDI musician to work with musicians such as David Foster.
Ms. Lee put together "Dvorak Assemblies" for Alderwood Elementary School in March 2012, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, by writing a script about Dvorak, teaching Dvorak's songs to her classes and reaaranging Dvorak music for Mrs. Kroesen's string students to perform in the same assemblies. This project also involved American Music Scholar, Joseph Horowitz, Bass-Bariton, Terry Cook, and the Pacific Symphony Orchestra.
During spring 2014, Kaii was selected to be one of the 24 U.S. teachers to receive another NEH grant. For four weeks, Ms. Lee studied the details of "The Star-Spangled Banner" at University of Maryland, College Park, and Washington D.C. She had the opportunities to visit the vaults of Library of Congress, National Museum of American History, Maryland Historical Society, U.S. Marine Corps, State Capital, and many other historical buildings and offices. With the support of Star-Spangled Music Foundation and Hempsong Foundation, all 24 teachers had created school projects and lesson plans related to "The Star-Spangled Banner". As promised, Ms. Lee would weave many patriotic songs into her school concert programs in the 2014-15 school year. Check her work from Maryland here.
In February 2015, Japan Business Association of Southern California selected Ms. Lee to be one of the seven educators to represent Southern California for a FREE educational/cultural exchange. There were 30 teachers and administrators chosen from seven regions and four countries for this trip. Ms. Lee was the only music teacher chosen to give two demostration music lessons to Japanese schools in Tokyo and Ikaruga.
After teaching 20 years at IUSD, Kaii has taught in Alderwood, Brywood, Canyon View, College Park, Culverdale, Eastshore, Eastwood, Greentree, Los Naranjos, Meadow Park, Oak Creek, Vista Verde, and Turtle Rock Schools. She also enjoys being a private piano teacher, and singing with the Pacific Chorale for the 15th year. Ms. Lee participated in the Pacific Chorale's Paris Tour 2012 performances in Paris, France, and Budapest/Vienna Tour 2016.
During the 2017-18 school year, Ms. Lee performed Phillip Glass' music with Pacific Symphony and Pacific Chorale in Carnegie Hall, in New York City. Following that performance, the Heritage Performance Series in New York selected Ms. Lee to be a chaperone for the High School Honor Performances at Sydney Opera House, in Australia. For one summer week (winter in Australia), Ms. Lee assisted high school students to and from rehearsals and performance, and made sure their families were in great spirits too! Click here to see her Sydney photos.
After receiving a grant from Japanese Business Association of Southern California to support the IUSD Honor Chorus 2018, Ms. Lee received another grant from the same organization for the 2018-2019 school year to promote Japanese culture and music in the Irvine schools.
On her non-school or Chorale days, Ms. Lee loves to travel. See below:
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