Forgive Me My Students, If Sometimes I Am Being Too Much Of A Perfectionist

[anti-rclick]April 2, 2011

You know when you are young, or even now when you are doing something that your parents do not approve you of, you find them annoying, even though you know they thought it is for your own good and they want the best for you?

Sometimes I can sense I sound a bit demanding, that I want you to keep up with your weekly progress and not to skip any lessons. I want you to work on the pieces faster, deal with the technical problems as much as you can, think about and analyze the music more with your mind and ears but not just your hands. I want you to listen to me, not just because I say so, but that I have thought it through and have gone through the problems myself and so I don’t want you to go through the same mistakes and instead you can take a short cut out of my suggestions.

I know I concern too much about your progress and playing I have stepped on or even across the line a bit. Forgive me if I have done such thing.


There are times I thought, perhaps I should give up on this dream, this way of making my life and a living. Why do I have to do this? Sometimes I feel that no one is appreciating my job and my work anyway. I sat amidst a group of stranger musicians in the orchestra, taught in front of a crowd of university students who showed up because they wanted the attendance, and played behind a party of the rich and famous who did not even appreciate music. Does anyone care about music, piano and education anyway, in this world of finance and technology?

My Father has been telling me what to do, since I was young. I listened to him, for every word he said. Then I defied him in every step I could. After a while he gave up on me. I think he was disappointed to see how I was not achieving well academically during middle school era, in the way he wanted me to. But then I was exposed to the real world that I wanted: the musical world. I became industrious. I exceled with great honors and achievements, in both arenas of music and academia. But my Father, he was not satisfied, because it was not what he wanted for me. He wanted me to become an accountant, while I was on my way to become a musician. So here I am, a musician, between the two siblings of a doctor and a banker.

Perhaps I should just follow what my Father has to say, just to make him happy. I tried, to study more, to gain more degrees. I found no one in my family was supporting me. I graduated with honor for the first degree, but my parents and I did not go to the graduation ceremony as I was studying in the States. I also achieved well in my second degree, but my parents and I did not go to the graduation ceremony either. I guess my Father is waiting for me for the third, and fourth degrees.

Everyone in my family was neglecting my work. I started a studio. My family came once. I started another education center. Only my Mother came. I knew I was alone fighting for my dream. But I knew I had to hold on to it.

I want to become a great piano teacher. It sounds like a humble idea. Why not a pianist? People might say. I am not that enthusiastic of performance and showing off. I am passionate about education. So however humble and small this idea is, I shall believe in it and hold on to it.

I want to become a great teacher. Indeed it is not a big dream. But that is my dream.

I want to teach and educate others in music. I know it is not my Father’s dream work, but it is my dream work. I know he does not understand, perhaps he never would, but perhaps he would if he knows how much you all need my work here. Perhaps one day, just one day…


Remember though, my Students, I am always here for you, whenever you need me.

Teresa Wong

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