For Those Who Don’t Want To Work Hard, Don’t Read This! Stop Now!

[anti-rclick]April 6, 2011

Hey are you one of those who work hard for your playing and want to excel? If not, stop reading now! Go back to your comfort zone and just chill! Go away now!

(Are you still here? Stop reading this because there is nothing new here!)

Okay now for those who want to improve your playing, I need to tell you something:


Oh wait, what, is that it?

No, practice with your brain, practice with my methods. (or your teacher’s methods if I am not your teacher)

That’s it. Now for those who want something new, go find it somewhere else or in other posts of mine. For those who are staying, read the following stories:

Story One
Once upon a time, there were two students. They both studied with the same teacher, at the same diploma performance level. After a year, the first student excelled much in his playing and passed the exam well, while the second student still played like his same old self and did not even begin to plan on his exam (even he very much wanted to according to what he had been telling the teacher). Why did this happen?

The first student, although he followed this teacher at even a later date than the second student, loved his practice and playing and therefore practiced diligently and regularly. Most importantly, he practiced according to what the teacher had been telling him to. The second student, on the other hand, did not practice much even though he claimed himself to be passionate about his playing. He also obviously did not follow the teacher’s instructions and methods to practice, because he either somehow thought the teacher’s methods were not useful or boring, or he believed he had a better way to work on his playing (why he had to study under the teacher was then a mystery).

Eventually, the first student continued to improve his playing, became even more passionate and knowledgable with his playing and blossomed in his musical journey , while the second student never went too far, got increasingly frustrated with his playing and the teacher finally gave up on teaching him.

P.S. The first student passed his diploma exam with much ease and confidence while the second student never took the exam.

Story Two
Two young students started studying under the same teacher around the same time. The first student’s mom insisted on taking exam as quickly as possible and so the student worked on the exam pieces early. The other student’s mom never said anything about taking exams and so the teacher spent a lot of the time teaching the second student new songs and expanding her repertoire while building solid technique and increasing the student’s interest in her playing. The first student’s mom thought she could just leave the first student to the teacher who was supposed to fix everything like a superwoman in a short period of time; she never encouraged the student to practice or be supportive of the whole music/piano learning issue. On the other hand, the second student’s mom was very supportive of the teacher’s work and always communicated with the teacher while at the same time being encouraging to the second student.

Gradually, the second student increasingly built self-confidence in different aspects in just a few months and progressed in her playing greatly. The first student also improved from the teacher’s dedicated teaching but not as much compared to the second student because she spent a lot of the time on exam materials only and did not practice that much as she should be. Finally, the teacher thought the second student could try out the exam and her mom agreed. The second student learned the materials quickly and easily in two lessons out of the teacher’s pleasant surprise. The first student even asked the teacher why the second student could learn so fast while she herself had been working on the materials for some time but still not as good as the second student.

So what is the moral here?

From the first story:

Students, practice regularly and practice according to what the teacher tells you to!
Also, love your practice and playing! When you love your practice and playing, you will play better eventually.

Parents, listen to the teacher’s direction as the teacher should know better than you otherwise s/he should not be the teacher of your children!

And your children do need to practice! however great the teacher is!

From the second story:

Students, don’t always focus on hurrying to take exams. Learn the basics and build a solid foundation, fix your technique before venture into preparing the exam materials too quickly. Otherwise you will find yourself spending a lot of time on those materials but are not improving much.
And if you are working on the exam materials, focus on improving the materials and better your playing instead of think about how to pass the exam more easily and get more points.

Parents, don’t always focus on having your children to take exams quickly in the shortest time period. Your children need time and effort to learn and fix the basics and build a solid foundation before venturing into preparation for an exam. And when they do take time to learn the basics, they can prepare the exam much quicker and easier, and they would be happier, play better and get better grades in the exam. Because when your playing is improved and the music sounds better, your exam marks will go up naturally. It is that simple.

Again, listen to the teacher’s instructions and advice is very crucial for your/ your children’s improvement and progress. Because the teacher knows best and wants the best for you/ your children.

And hey, isn’t regular practice to get better playing a common sense? So why are you/your children not doing it?

Teresa Wong

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