Meet the Directors of Lyra
Artistic Director, Co-Founder
A founding member of Lyra Music, Akiko Sasaki has been managing and developing Lyra since it’s inception in 2010. Ms. Sasaki is a dedicated professional musician with a long-term commitment to educating youth and enriching the community through music.
In addition to Lyra Music Inc., Ms. Sasaki is regularly cultivating music education and events. She currently maintains the Forte>Piano Studio in NYC and the Hudson Valley. She also serves on the Board of Director of the Howland Chamber Music Circle, a concert series in Beacon, NY; is the Executive Board Secretary for New York’s Associated Music Teachers League, providing young artists performance opportunities in NYC; and is an active member of Music Teachers National Association, New York State Music Teachers Association, the Hudson Valley Catskill Music Teachers Association, and Mu Phi Epsilon.
Ms. Sasaki has an extensive range of experience as a presenter and event planner, as well as managing projects and small businesses. She has previously served as co-founder and Director of Musical Explorers, Events Manager for Performing Pianists of New York, and co-Founder and Curator of Brooklyn’s Beverley Concert Series.
Sasaki holds performance degrees from the University of Denver's Lamont School of Music and the Manhattan School of Music.
Rachel Odo joined Lyra Music as Executive Director in the fall of 2016 having served on the Executive Board in Fundraising and Public Relations and on-site at the Summer Music Festival and Workshop as Director of Communications, Health Supervisor and Counselor. As a Lyra parent and staff member, she brings a personal perspective to her leadership of the program, having seen first-hand the kinds of musical and personal growth that develop through a Lyra Summer.
As a small business owner and consultant, she has experience starting, developing and maintaining a private music studio, managing programs, event planning, grant writing and fundraising. In addition to her private music teaching she served for many years on the faculty of the Brooklyn Youth Music Project Summer Workshop.
Her diverse experience and background merge three worlds: psychology, dance and music. As a music educator working with beginning pianists and violinists of all ages, she is adept at tapping each musician’s strengths and addressing their challenges in a nurturing and positive manner. A parent of two young musicians on violin and cello/piano, she has both personal and professional experience working with children and adolescents developing healthy practice and performance habits, including the management of performance anxiety.
Ms. Odo currently studies violin with Anna Elashvili and piano with Faine Wright. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Columbia University and a Master’s degree in social work from New York University’s Silver School of Social Work.