Month: July 2010

Teaching Update 最新信息

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August 1, 2010

I am very glad to have received increasing enquiries about my teaching and appreciation of my website. As a result, I have also accepted a number of promising new students. I will continue to try my very best on bettering my teaching!

And for sure I have not forgotten my existing old students, who have been showing much progress and improvement recently. I feel very blessed to witness your musical growth and have your support all these years! Keep up the good work, you all!

Teresa Wong

P.S. There are limited time slots available for lessons. Hurry up if you wish to secure a suitable lesson time for yourselves or your kids!

***

八月一日

我很高興收到有越來越多有關本人教學的查詢和欣賞本網站的電郵。因此,我也接受了一些有前途的新學生。我會繼續盡我所能去完善我的教學的!

當然,我沒有忘記現有的學生:你們最近已經顯示了很大的進步和改善。有你們這些年來的支持和看著你們的音樂成長,我覺得很幸運!請大家繼續保持良好的表現!

Teresa Wong

P.S. 現時可供上課的時段愈來愈有限。如果你想為自己或您的孩子找到合適的學習時間的話,請快點聯絡我吧!


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Hannah Chan Plays Hannah Chan’s “Home Sweet Home”

[anti-rclick]Hannah wrote a song called “Home Sweet Home, Hannah Sweet Hannah”.
I like her creativity! How about you?

Hannah寫了一首歌曲名為”Home Sweet Home, Hannah Sweet Hannah”。
我喜歡她的創意!你呢?

[qt:http://teresawong.dyndns.org:9001/video/Hannahsweetsong.m4v 480 360]


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如何用好好利用練習時間

[anti-rclick]Original Post: “How to Make the Most of a Practice Session”

要學琴有進步,練習是繼上課之後第二樣最重要的元素 。 但是,如果學生盲目地練習而沒有一個具體目標的話,不管花了多少時間,都不會有很大改善的。 那麼我們應如何的練習呢? 這裡有幾點可以考慮一下:


1。 每個練習設定一個目標

在您開始練習之前,要先定一個計劃。 你不能只是想:「我想彈好一點。」你究竟要在這一特定練習中完成什麼呢? 是音階? 右手和弦? 左手節奏? 指法? 具體的技術 (例如手腕或手臂動作)? 速度的調整? 有明確的目標使你更專注於你的練習,加快學習的進度。


2。 分小段練習

不要試圖把整首樂曲從開始到結束練習一千遍,然後相信它會變得更好! 有時你可以只是想把整首樂曲從頭彈起,但這並不是真正的練習。 當你練習時,你就需要有一些具體的目標。 將樂曲分劃成短的樂句(如果你的老師並沒有為你分好它們的話,嘗試每八個小節分作為一個短句)。 你可以逐句練習,看看是否有任何問題,你可不可以暢通無阻地彈奏過去。 有時這甚至是不夠具體。 然後你每個八小節短句再細分為兩個四小節分句。 嘗試練習每四小節 。 停在最後一個音而不要進一步彈下去。很多學生都很難做到這一點,我不知道為什麼,彈更多並不意味著彈得更好,而彈更快也不等如是彈得更好! 學會控制自己: 你必須停止,耹聽並檢查是否有任何地方您需要修改。

另一種方法是要找一個特定的段落來練習,例如: 問題 一:14-16小節,問題 二:20-22小節。 改善同一種問題。 例如,音階為一種問題(14-16小節,右手的音階; 20-22小節,左手的音階),節奏為另一種問題,還有指法技巧動作等等。


3。 檢查您的速度

我很難理解為什麼許多學生有困難放緩速度去練習。 他們認為彈得慢代表自己彈得差,於是把一些本應是緩慢的曲目也一塊彈趕快起來! 永遠選擇一個比你自己認為可以彈得到的較慢速度去練習。練習時耹聽自己的彈奏 。耹聽你自己的練習跟只是聽到自己的彈奏是兩件完全不同的事情:第一種練習需要專注和頭腦,你會在沒有老師告訴你的情況下知道自己哪裡出錯。 練習亦因此變得更有效。

有時你可以使用拍子機去檢查自己的速度:我自己也不太喜歡使用拍子機,但它是有幫助的,而我亦有時會使用它。 你會發現你會在容易的段落趕快或在困難的段落減慢。 設一個特定的速度。 根據該速度練習而不要快過它。


* * *


我會寫更多有關練習的文章, 歡迎讀者提出任何關於這題目以作進一步討論。



Teresa Wong

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Cherrie Hui: Mozart’s Piano Sonata in Bb Major, K.333, 1st movement

[anti-rclick]Cherrie plays Mozart’s Piano Sonata in Bb Major, K.333, first movement.
Cherrie 彈奏莫扎特的降B大調鋼琴奏鳴曲,K.333,第一樂章。

[qt:http://teresawong.dyndns.org:9001/video/cherriemozart1.m4v 480 360]

If you could not view this video, click here to view it on Youtube or download and install QuickTime
如果閣下的電腦不能播放此錄像, 請按此到Youtube觀看,或按此安裝QuickTime


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Yan Phu: Clementi’s Sonatina Op. 36 No. 1

[anti-rclick]Yan plays Clementi’s Sonatina Op. 36 No. 1, first movement.
符恩彈奏克萊門蒂的C大調鋼琴小奏鳴曲, Op. 36 No. 1,第一樂章。

[qt:http://teresawong.dyndns.org:9001/video/yansonatina.m4v 480 360]

If you could not view this video, click here to view it on Youtube or download and install QuickTime
如果閣下的電腦不能播放此錄像, 請按此到Youtube觀看,或按此安裝QuickTime


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New Announcement 最新通告

[anti-rclick]Dear Students and Parents,

I will start working on the Student Reports to indicate each student’s past learning progress and future learning plan. There will be more recordings and instruction videos coming up to further enhance students’ learning and practice experience. I will also have to decide soon when and where the next student concert will occur.

I am certain all these efforts will both further accelerate students’ progress and enhance students’ learning experience.

Let’s work hard together!

Sincerely,
Teresa Wong

親愛的學生及家長,

我將開始撰寫學生報告。它們能顯示每個學生過去的學習進展情況和今後的學習計劃。我亦會製作更多的教學錄音和錄像,進一步提高學生的學習和練習經驗。我還必須盡快決定何時何地舉辦下一個學生演奏會。

我深信這些都能將加快學生的進步速度和提高他們的學習經驗。

讓我們共同努力吧!

Teresa Wong


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Choosing A Piano Teacher For Your Child: Part I

[anti-rclick]Finding a suitable piano teacher is crucial for a student’s progress. But it did not occur to me that the piano teachers a student met in the childhood would change his/her piano life forever. Let me tell you a true story here:

***
Once upon a time there was a little girl called Sara. She was a very timid child. She started her piano lessons since she was 4, as her mother told her to. Her experience in piano learning could be described as “traumatic” and “dramatic”.

Sara’s first piano teacher was a young woman, who was inexperienced and lack of piano expertise, however compassionate. It was not certain what had gone wrong during the piano lessons, but Sara hated playing the piano right from the start. When the young teacher went to the little girl’s home for the piano lessons, Sara would hide anywhere in the house- under the bed, in the closet, behind the curtain- or even do something more drastic, like spitting at the teacher and fighting with her, just to get away from playing the piano. Under such intolerable circumstances, Sara still studied under this teacher for a few years.

Sara quickly passed grade 8 piano exam during the first few years of her piano life, while at the same time she found playing the piano a total disaster. As her level of playing progressed, her mother felt the need to find her a better teacher. Sara’s second teacher was quite a famous teacher, whose primary aim was to produce star students and therefore had a long waiting list even though she charged an astronomically high tuition fee. Nonetheless, Sara did not have much luck studying with this teacher, whom she found was not particularly fond of her musical growth and did not teach her much at all. Eventually she had to leave this teacher even though the place as a student of the star teacher was so hard to get through tremendous threads of connections.

Sara did not progress in terms of her technique and musicality, while her hatred towards playing the piano grew increasingly. Although she did make it to grade 8 in a comparatively short period, there were many basic music rudiments she did not learn throughout the years. She did not know how to play many pieces, and so her sight-reading skills was accordingly poor. She was particularly terrible in counting even the simplest rhythms, and thus keeping a steady tempo, a skill quintessential to make a good musician. Most importantly, her experience in piano and music learning was traumatized to such effect that her detest over playing the piano was cast deeply in her heard and could not be easily erased.

***
*This is the first part of the story.

**Sara is a fictional name.

(To be continued…)
Choosing A Piano Teacher For Your Child: Part II

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Choosing A Piano Teacher For Your Child: Part II

[anti-rclick]Choosing A Piano Teacher For Your Child: Part I

Sara then went on to hunt for other teachers, but without success. Finally, Sara found her Teacher.

Sara clearly recalled the first time she met her Teacher. She went with her mother to take the first lesson with the Teacher, whose teaching method she found completely different from the others. Sara thought, “This teacher is an Angel!” Since then, Sara and Teacher worked together.

It was not exactly a smooth path during their time together: it was not a struggle between them, but a struggle together on Sara’s musical journey. Sara found this Teacher whose was some Sara could trust in, and whose expertise in teaching and performance, together with patience and compassion, helped her progress in her playing dramatically. Indeed, Sara was not a bad pianist. She was just a little girl whom did not receive the proper training as she should have. She could have been more passionate with her piano playing and built a much more solid foundation of technic and musicality should she have started off in the right way since the first piano lesson.

As she finally passed her diploma exam under this Teacher’s guidance, Sara started to appreciate the beauty of piano music. She was free from burden that had been cast on her for the longest time a child should have never suffered from. She had played by her own choice the most technically and musically demanding repertoire the Teacher could never have imagined her work on. She would practice frantically on her own and stay up all night just to listen to recordings by her favorite pianist and read books about her favorite composer.

Teacher felt her ceaseless effort was finally paying off: Sara had reclaimed her right and ability to love playing the piano again after all these years. Nonetheless, Teacher found there were many problems she could not fix on Sara, who was always in self-denial of her own ability and talent. Sara did not know how to appreciate her own playing. She would be at times negative to herself, telling the Teacher how bad her playing was no matter how positive and encouraging the Teacher would be. Such behavior and attitude, cast upon by all the other “teachers” Sara had during her childhood, might stay with the little girl for the rest of her life. Sara, who could have been able to enjoy music of a lifetime, might be deprived of such privilege forever.


This is the end of the story.


I am the Teacher.

***

I am telling this true story here to let you Parents understand that it is of utmost importance to choose the right piano Teacher, especially the first one, for your precious Child. Although a student might have many piano teachers in life, the first teacher can almost determine how s/he feels, thinks and responds to his/her musical training. It also depends on what kind of piano training you want for your child. Do you want your child to feel joy in making music? Or do you just want your child to pass exams in the shortest period? It is all up to you.

Think hard and think twice before you choose a piano teacher for your child. And it is never too late to change to another teacher who might be more suitable for and compatible with your child.

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三個“W”的問題

[anti-rclick]原文: The Three “W” Questions

高效率的鋼琴練習需要大量的腦力勞動。 (因此,我有很多白頭髮。)

當你練習、尤其是遇到障礙時,你需要問問自己三個基本“W”的問題:

1。”What” – 什麼?
究竟是什麼問題?什麼阻礙了你順利的彈奏?鎖定問題。這是否音階?指法?節奏?技術動作?兩隻手之間的協調?踏板的運用?等等。你要知道到底是什麼問題,然後再開始解決它。

2。”Why” – 為什麼?
問問自己在每一個特定的地方發生了什麼事。你為什麼會卡住呢?

3。”How” – 如何?
要解決每一個問題,可以嘗試不同的方法。古語雲:「 條條大路通羅馬。」同樣說法可以放在練習上。每一個問題是有很多練習方法來解決的。

在未來的文章中,我會以一些作品為例,去更精確的解釋如何作有效的練習。

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The Three “W” Questions

[anti-rclick]Chinese Version: 三個“W”的問題

Efficient practice requires a lot of brainwork. (Therefore, I have a lot of grey hair.)

There are three essential “W” questions you need to ask yourself when you practise, especially when you are stuck.

1. What?
What seems to be the problems? What hinders you from playing the passage smoothly? Identify each problem accordingly. Is it the notes? The fingering? The rhythm? The technique motion? The coordination between the two hands? The pedaling? Etc, etc. You have to know exactly what the problem is before you start solving it.

2. Why?
Ask yourself what is happening in each of the particular spots. Why would you get stuck?

3. How?
Find a solution to each problem. Try different ways to solve it. As the old saying goes, “All roads lead to Rome.” The same can be said in a practice. There are always many ways to a solution and thus various practice methods to a problematic passage.

In the coming posts, I will give more precise explanation on how to practise with some selected pieces as examples.

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Some Thoughts on My Teaching

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Last night I found a blog online about piano teaching. A piano teacher in Taiwan wrote quite an interesting article. It was an answer to a question that her new student’s parent asked: “is the ratio of your students’ discontinuation of piano lessons high?” The article gave me some thoughts on the same subject.

After my return from the States, I started taking in some private students in Hong Kong again. At the beginning I did not devote much time on piano teaching because I was too busy with other teaching and performance engagements. Gradually I put more time into it and gave up many other engagements. During now and then, the majority of students still continue learning from me. Some discontinued because of a new stage in their life journey, e.g having a new born baby, finishing the piano diplomas, going to schools overseas, or even moving to another country. But all so rarely because of not playing the piano anymore or finding another teacher. I have to admit that I did dismiss a few students, since they were too lazy and they or their parents’ ways of thinking were not compatible with my teaching style.

I suppose all the others find my teaching well since they are still studying with me ever since the first day they came to me.

細說鋼琴

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鋼琴的確是一種奇妙的樂器。它之所以那麼受歡迎,是因為它的用途十分多元化。其最為人熟悉的角色當然是一件獨奏樂器吧。在管絃樂團中,它既可於協奏曲中作為充當獨領風騷的獨奏樂器,亦可在有需要時成為樂團中的一部份(這角色是比較小見的,通常在比較後期的浪漫派至二十世紀甚至現代音樂才會有此類作品出現)。鋼琴又可以作為伴奏樂器和室樂樂器。亦有很多管弦樂曲改編爲鋼琴版本,以方便分析和參考 (從前當管絃樂團的演出沒有現在那麼普及和平民化、而又沒有錄音和唱片可以收聽時,這類改編版本是有鋼琴修養之士唯一的途徑去欣賞管弦樂曲) 。 很多音樂家,例如作曲家和指揮,都需要使用鋼琴去創作和了解樂曲的結構。因此,現今很多指揮的主要樂器訓練都是鋼琴,例如Barenboim 和Pletnev,本身是鋼琴家,後來又成為出色的指揮家。而作曲家就更多鋼琴家出身,最為人熟悉的如莫扎特(Mozart), 貝多芬(Beethoven), 拉赫曼尼諾夫(Rachmaninoff), 舒曼(Schumann),布拉姆斯(Brahms),德布西(Debussy) 等,本身亦是從事鋼琴演奏。它的受歡迎程度之廣泛,已經不止於古典音樂範疇之中。流行音樂亦使用大量的鋼琴聲效(我用『聲效』一詞,因為很多時候流行曲內的鋼琴聲音是由電子琴模仿而產生的。)

鋼琴- Piano,其實全名為 Pianoforte,意思是一件可發出相對細聲(piano)及大聲(forte)的樂器。很多記載指出鋼琴是於十八世紀初意大利一名為 Bartolomeo Christofori的樂器製造商發明的。Christofori原本是製作古鍵琴 (harpsichord)的,受雇於佛羅倫斯著名的麥迪奇家族 (或梅迪奇, Medici family)之下 。雖然當時亦有其他人嘗試製造鋼琴,但還是Christofori的最為完備,因此後期的鋼琴都是根據他的模式去製造的。早期的鋼琴稱為古鋼琴(Fortepiano),以木材作支架(wooden frame),聲音較現今用鋼鐵支架(iron frame)的鋼琴為薄弱,而調音也比較不穩定而容易走音。李斯特(Liszt)於早期的鋼琴演奏生涯中就時常因為他出神入化的炫技而於表演其間經常彈壞鋼琴。因此常有第二部鋼琴隨時守候,以便他可以繼續演奏!

其實,早期的鋼琴在構造與聲效之上的差異比現代的鋼琴更大。譬如說,莫扎特愛用的鋼琴是維也納裝置(Viennese action),相對來說觸鍵比較輕盈,聲音也比較清脆。而貝多芬愛用的Broadwood鋼琴,是英國裝置(English action), 觸鍵比較重,聲音尤其是低音部份則比較沈厚。這些音質和效果的不同亦直接影響到兩大作曲家的樂種風格截然不同 (莫扎特最愛Anton Walter和 Johann Andreas Stein所製造的鋼琴,其中一個他所擁有的Walter鋼琴製作時期為1780年,現展覽於維也納薩爾茨堡的莫扎特博物館內。)

我們現今最為熟悉的鋼琴牌子,都離不開日本的Yamaha和 Kawaii 。對鋼琴稍有研究的讀者,會懂得歐洲的Steinway(或 Steinway & Son’s) 和Bösendorfer。但是,究竟這些牌子的分別又在那裡呢?當然,這些牌子製造鋼琴的過程都各有不同, 譬如說,Yamaha 和 Kawaii都以機器製造鋼琴零件和裝 箝,生產速度快、生產數量高。而Steinway 和Bösendorfer則是每部鋼琴都由人手打造,每年產量相對極為有限。(Bösendorfer的網站說明每部鋼琴都差不多由人手打造 – “most of which is still done by hand”)。

要在短短幾百字內陳述鋼琴的歷史是沒有可能的。曰後我再為大家深入淺出的談論有關鋼琴的問題吧!


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Music Library: Online Catalogue 音樂圖書館:網上目錄

[anti-rclick]

I am planning to make an online catalogue of my books on music, scores, and recordings available so that students can refer to the list and select which one to borrow from me for reference, reading and listening. It will take quite some time to work on, so please be patient with it.

我打算把我的音樂書籍,樂譜及錄音作一個網上目錄,方便學生參考,並可選擇其中的項目向我借用作參考,閱讀和聆聽之用。這清單將需要一段時間來整理,所以請耐心等待。


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The Unashamed Piano Teacher V

[anti-rclick]中文版: 無愧的鋼琴老師《五》

I called my parents and discussed about this [note: high-school education]. Now, the school fee for Form 6 and 7 at a government secondary school was not much at all, while the annual tuition fee for the Pre-Music program (it was a two-year program) almost equaled to that for university program. Since I could continue my study at my secondary school, it only made perfect sense that I should do so in order not to spend extra tuition money. However, it made the worst sense as well to stay at the same school since I hated it so much and could not think of any other reason to continue doing so.

* * *
There were two particular things that I would forever be grateful and indebted to my Mother, who always thought from my side, for better or worse. And she would never think I should do so and so because everyone was doing it. She would let me be the judge of it. The first thing happened when I was in kindergarten. One day, my class teacher asked my Mother to go for a chat. It was about the “problem” that I had been using left hand to write. The teacher thought she needed to “correct” me into using my right hand instead. My Mother simply told the teacher, “Why won’t you let her use left hand already?” I had been using my left hand as the dominant hand ever since.

The second thing would be about the enrollment of the Pre-Music Program. As I phoned my Parents about their opinion, my Mother’s answer was, “you choose whichever program you want to enroll in, whether it be the secondary school program or the music program. Choose the one you are interested in regardless of the fee.”

* * *
I chose Music.


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