Yan Yan began learning the erhu at 7 years old. In 1998, she started playing the Huqin under the tutelage of He Hong and was also admitted to the Music Primary School Affillated to the Shenyang Conversatory of Music in China. In 2003, she enrolled for the Music Middle School Attached to the Shenyang Conversatory of Music and continued learning the erhu under Associate Professor Zhang Ming. A year later, she was conferred the Excellence in Moral and Artistic Qualities Award (First Class) in Liaoning under Youth Erhu Category A.
In 2009, she obtained stellar results and was admitted to the Central Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of renowned erhu musician and educator Yu Hong Mei, who is the head of the Folk Music from China’s Central Conservatory of Music (CCOM). Thereafter, she obtained the Gold Award (Professional Category) in the Inaugural International Huqin Compeition in 2010, the Silver Award (Youth Category) in the 2nd International Chinese Instrumental Competition in 2011, and the Bronze Award (Youth Category) in the Hua Yin Cup International Music Competition held in USA in 2012.
Subsequently, she pursued a Master of Research at CCMO in 2013. In 2014, she volunteered at the Confucius Institute at the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music and was also invited to perform at various countries, including Norway, Sweden, France and Italy. She first performed the erhu and chamber music Silk and was invited to perform at the opening ceremony of PULSAR, a new music festival in March 2015. Yan Yan joined Singapore Chinese Orchestra as an erhu musician in 2017.