I have known Perlie since 2006, when one day she came to me with her mother for a trial lesson. She had been preparing for her ATCL exam for some time with other teachers (she was only primary 6 back then), yet had not been successful in passing it since. I gave her a free one-hour consultation lesson on her exam pieces and she left. She came back a month after that first lesson, and passed the ATCL exam after eight months.
我自2006年以來已認識珮兒 (Perlie M.)。有一天，她和她的母親來找我上課。她已經與其他教師為她的ATCL文憑考試準備了一段時間 （她當時只是就讀小六），但都沒有成功及格。我給了上了她一小時免費的諮詢課堂，然後她就離開了。這一課的一個月後，她回來了，並在八個月後通過了ATCL考試。
To say that Perlie detested piano playing would be an understatement. Indeed, practising three pieces every single day just to pass an exam could be a disaster for anyone. I myself would not want to do it in the first place. Giving piano lessons only to help a student get through an exam was (and still is) not my teaching priority. However, I understood Perlie’s need to overcome this obstacle and therefore I struggled and worked hard with her through those few long months, until one afternoon I got a call from Perlie who screamed with joy from the other side of the phone line that she passed the exam. From that day onwards, we started playing the piano.
Perlie has played and performed the most difficult and broad repertoire I would never have imagined her doing so: Rachmaninoff, Janáček, Brahms, Liszt, Chopin etc. Indeed, I introduced Rachmaninoff to her, but I never forced her into play anything like this; she chose them all on her own. She was so obsessed with Rachmaninoff that we had to play a lot of his pieces, and she would practise on her own for hours to polish one single piece. And we all know how technically demanding his music is.
There were many occasions that Perlie had to perform in all kinds of concerts, including duet with the famous pianist Lang-Lang, piano accompanying for the great violinist Yao Jue, solos at the Cultural Centre and the Hong Kong Coliseum, concerto performance in Shanghai, etc etc. Sometimes I was more worried than she herself, who always seemed quite calm and composed at such scenes. She tackled them all one by one skillfully and successfully, in a style of maturity and elegance way beyond her age.
Here is a video from our students’ recital in 2008, in which Perlie played Chopin’s Nocturne in Eb Major Op.9 No.2.
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This is followed by a couple audio tracks I made with a recording system during one lesson of Perlie:
Brahms’ Intermezzo in A Major, Op. 118, No.2
Janáček’s Piano Sonata X. 1905, first movement.
In a few months, Perlie will start her new journey: a new school life in England. I wish her all the best, and keep playing the piano!