The Unashamed Piano Teacher (Chapter VI)

August 17, 2012

School life at Pre-music course could not have been better. I could finally get away from all the subjects I hated and fully devoted myself into music (well, we still had other academic subjects but they were just English, Psychology, Sociology and Chinese (I think), and I loved the first two subjects so it was no big deal).

I made some friends at school quickly. Everyone (ok, most of the classmates) was immersed in this music course. We had good laughs about everything in our school life. Life was good that way. I never thought I wanted to study, but now I truly wanted to do the best at what I had great passion in. I believed I had found what I was good at finally (I did not think I was good at anything else, well, maybe English).

I looked forward to going to school everyday, despite it was a long journey to travel back and forth. Other than the long hours of five-day schools, I had other “duties” to attend to during the weekends.

On Saturday mornings, I was an piano accompaniment of ballet classes at an international school close by my school. I could not recall who got me this job now; it was quite fun but the hours were extended longer and longer that eventually I had to work until like late afternoons during my university years (yes, I did spend quite some hours working there), during which I even went back to school after this work to do my other daily work -piano practice- all so diligently for hours till late at night.

It was the same time that I was “made” to teach my first few piano students by my dear Mother, who somehow found this little obscure piano center in the middle of nowhere near to our home or my school. It was the every early Sunday morning that I had to drag myself up from my lovely bed and travel to this place to teach a few students, including one adult student as I recalled quite clearly. I did not like that area nor the piano center at all; it was located inside some weird government complex of fresh market and shopping mall. I found it dirty (especially the washroom).

Other than the surrounding environment, I also did not enjoy that kind of teaching in a small piano center where both the teacher and student were crammed in a tiny piano room with sound-proof boards sticking right at their backs. And everything was like routine, some student wanted to do an exam, and so the teacher taught him/her according to what the student wanted. There was no excitement or passion or even much interest aroused in one’s playing. I did not find that kind of teaching rewarding.

There went my first bad experience on my piano teaching. And there would be more to come in the coming years, until I found my calling on teaching much later.

Teresa Wong

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