Month: October 2010

Mae-Z Fam: C.P.E. Bach’s “Solfeggietto” (Version I)

[anti-rclick]Mae-Z Fam plays C.P.E. Bach’s “Solfeggietto”.

This is a yet-to-be-polished “Version I” as of October 2010. We will work on this song on and off in the next few months and see how much we can polish it, which will be shown in “Version II”.

[qt:http://teresawong.dyndns.org:9001/video/maezbach.m4v 480 272]


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Teresa Wong’s Piano Songbook, Song I: Strollin’ Along

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Inspired by Pamela Wedgwood’s fascinating collections of piano pieces, I have finally started working on this project, along with many of my other projects, of writing a piano songbook with my original compositions for educational purpose.


隨著我的許多其他「工程」,我終於在這個項目上開始工作,寫一本以教育為主的原創鋼琴作品集。靈感來自Pamela Wedgwood豐富的鋼琴曲目系列。


Teresa Wong’s Piano Songbook, Song No.1
黃穎妍的鋼琴曲集,曲目一

Strollin’ Along
[Audio: http://teresawong.dyndns.org:9001/audio/strollinalong.mp3]

Here is the video:
[qt:http://teresawong.dyndns.org:9001/video/strollinalong.m4v 640 360]
I love this fun song! The only thing I am not sure about is the song title. Any suggestions?
我喜歡這個有趣的歌曲!我唯一不肯定的是這首歌曲的標題。有什麼建議?


Teresa Wong


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A Day With No Elevator

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Today the elevator at my studio building is out of service, and I have a a whole day of students from 10am to 8.30pm.


There is only one elevator at my building, and it was down since last night. At first I thought the elevator would be fixed in the next morning, but when I went out this morning, I was surprised to find that it was the case otherwise: the elevator was still not working. I was worried.


I went out for a class outside my studio and came back, hoping that the elevator was fixed so that my students of the day could come to my place smoothly as usual. I was wrong. The maintenance team had just arrived and started their work, telling me that they needed 3-4 hours to get the elevator running again.


I noticed the students of the first half of the day about such incidence and let them decide if they still wanted to come for lessons or just cancelled them. Most of them said no. There was one student with no reply. So I worked on my teaching materials and waited.


The student came.


This was a 10-year-old boy. He did not get the notice I sent to his parents about the elevator, so he found out there was no elevator today only when he got here. But he walked up the 18 floors of stairs with no complaint whatsoever and took his lesson.


This reminded me of one incident happened to me years ago, during my graduate study in the States.


***


Graduate school program had just started for a few weeks, and I only had a couple lessons with my piano professor. One day I went for my piano lesson as usual, on time, at the professor’s studio at school. When I got there, I saw a note on the door. It said, “come to my home for lesson today, and the address is…”.


I was not at all familiar with the school area, let alone the streets outside school premises. I did not know how to get to my teacher’s place. I had no phone, and I had no car. There was no public transportation or cab to get there. And it was the time already for my lesson.


I heard from my fellow studio mates that the teacher’s home was not far from the music school. So I tried to find the street and walk there. Luckily it was only autumn and the weather was fine.


I walked and walked, looking for the street number scribbled on the little note by my teacher. The writing was quite illegible but I tried hard to find his place since there was my piano lesson I had to attend to. I kept walking and searching, yet to no avail. Then a police car passed by, and the policeman inside asked me politely where I was looking for. I gave him the note and he said he would search the address for me. I waited on the street and prayed that he would find it for me. After a while that felt like forever, the police car came back. The policeman told me that he could not find it and there was no such address around. I was devastated.


I had no choice but to walked back to school.


I was afraid that my teacher would be mad about me not showing up for the lesson. I did not have his home number (it was not popular to use cell phone there). All I could do was to email him, apologizing profusely that I was terribly sorry for such idiotic behavior as to not being able to find his place for the lesson.


The whole incident of search and (not) find lasted for around two hours.


Later on my teacher acknowledged that he was of a bit short notice about changing the lesson location.


***


Now the maintenance team is still here fixing the elevator. I wonder who else would be walking up the stairs for their lessons today?



Teresa Wong


Update: I had two more adult students and one 9-year-old boy who walked up the stairs for their lessons (All male! Where are the girls?). Thank you for your effort and your persistence, my dear Students! You should know that I also had my share of walking up and down the stairs a few times today.

How Can You Help Your Kids To Like Playing The Piano (Again)?

[anti-rclick]Supplementary To “Do your kids like playing the piano?”

I found this wonderful website while doing research on my piano method books.

The Piano Education Page

website link: http://pianoeducation.org/

It has a lot of useful information regarding piano methods, lessons, and practice. Parents who wish to understand and help their children who seem to have fallen out of interest in playing the piano should go to this link and read all these short articles there:

http://pianoeducation.org/pnotchld.html

The articles include:

When Should My Child Begin Lessons?

“Fun” and Piano Lessons

Being a Supportive Parent of a Piano Student

Taking an Active Role in Your Child’s Piano Training

My Kid Wants to Quit Piano!?!?

Suggested Practice Techniques

Using a Home Computer For Music Education

Motivating Students – Just Whose Job Is It?

I myself found the articles particularly informative.

Another page on this website I would particularly recommend is for kids.
Just for Kids
http://pianoeducation.org/pnokids.html

This post on this page is quite interesting in helping kids to develop interest in their practice.
Tip of the Month – Pull out the Props for Proper Piano Practice!

Big applause to this non-profit website’s staff and sponsors, especially its Editor-in-Chief and Contributing Author, John M. Zeigler, Ph.D.

Teresa Wong

 

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Computer Technology & Music Making III

[anti-rclick]Here are a couple examples I wrote using Garage Band, one great music software by Apple both for basic composing and educational purpose.


Number One:
Una Canzona Allegra (“A Happy Song”)
[Audio: http://teresawong.dyndns.org:9001/audio/happysong.mp3] A short little happy song as stated in the title.

Here I use:
Boldt Sharp Strings, Boldt BH Cello (2 tracks), Boldt Ensemble Pizzicato, Boldt Andre Grand Piano, Pop Flute, Boldt Roland Bassoon, and Pop Kit.



Number Two:
Castle in the Forest
[Audio: http://teresawong.dyndns.org:9001/audio/castleintheforest.mp3] A song of longer duration, more complex instrumentation as well as of contrasting style to the previous one.

Here I use:
3 tracks of Orchestral Strings, 2 tracks each of Grand Piano, Cello, and Solo Viola, 1 track each of Pop Flute, Church Choir, Cello, and Double Bass Decay.


You can find more realistic sounds of string instruments by Boldt . It is a free download. Just type in “Boldt instruments” and you will find many links to download it. The sound of the strings is much better than the free one that Apple provides.



Teresa Wong

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Free Music Resources 免費音樂資源

[anti-rclick]Recently I have found some useful free music resources online while doing research on developing an aural training software. Here I would like to share them with you. They can be supplementary to our piano training.


Free Music Software
http://www.solfege.org/
This is a software you can download for free to help train your aural skills, in rhythms, intervals, solfege etc.

Free Music Dictionary
http://www.music.vt.edu/musicdictionary/
This site provides wonderful audio clips of numerous musical terminologies in Italian, French and German. A great useful resources for serious music learners and musicians.

Now here are some selected websites for kids:

New York Philharmonic
www.nyphilkids.org
“The New York Philharmonic Kidzone is a place for kids to come and learn about the New York Philharmonic and about the instruments, music, musicians, composers and conductors of symphony music.”

San Francisco Symphony
http://www.sfskids.org
Go especially to the section “The Music Lab”:
http://www.sfskids.org/templates/musiclab.asp?pageid=4

Reference websites:
Links to Free Music Resources:
http://www.playmusic.org/stage/musiclinks.html

Music, Music Education, Music Technology: MusTech.Net!
http://mustech.net
“Yes! Simply THE BEST Music Education and Music Technology site on the Web. Hosted by Ph.D. Technology Expert: Joseph M. Pisano.”

For parents and piano teachers who want to learn more about piano methods and lessons, here is a great link:
The Piano Education Page (PEP)
http://pianoeducation.org/index.html

For serious adult music learners:
The Adult Music Student Forum (AMSF)

Here is its “Links of Interest to Adult Music Students”, which provides a resourceful pool of information for those who are serious in their piano/music learning:

http://www.amsfperform.org/links.html



Teresa Wong

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Computer Technology & Music Making II

[anti-rclick]With computer technology nowadays, students can not only learn from listening to each other’s performances, they can also make music of their own and be exposed to the splendid sound world including other musical instruments. Here are a couple more examples from students who have their first encounter of making music with computer. You can tell from the pieces that each student has his or her own musical style!


Joy Chan





[Audio: http://teresawong.dyndns.org:9001/audio/joy1.mp3]


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New Students’ Videos II

[anti-rclick]1. Bryan Miu
2. Cordelia Wong
3. Anisia Wong

Congratulations to Katherine Cheng and Cordelia Wong, who have both been awarded merit in their grade 2 piano exams, with the same mark 126! What a coincidence!

Great job, Everyone!

Note: If the videos cannot be viewed properly, please click on the individual link to watch each video and wait until the video is loaded completely before you start playing it.

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Diploma Students’ Recordings

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1. Ami Ip: Bach’s Partita No.2 in C minor, BWV 826, Sinfonia
2. Fredrick Yeung: Chopin’s Nocturne in Eb Major, Op.9, No.2
3. Clive Ngai: Beethoven’s Piano Sonata in A Major, Op.101, 4th movement.
4. Cherrie Hui: Mozart’s Piano Sonata in Bb Major, K.333, 3rd movement.
5. Gillian Li: Mozart’s Piano Sonata in C Major, K.545, 3rd movement
6. Kyle Hung: Chopin’s Étude Op.25 No.9
7. Jeannette Liu: Chopin’s Mazurka Op.24 No.2
8. Cherrie Hui: Copland’s “Cat & Mouse”


Again, for those who have not had any videos posted here yet, let’s get to work and record some performance together!

Everyone, there will be more coming up, stay tuned!

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