And a new month begins.

Today is February 1st, 2013. What a great day to start a new month again.

January had been a truly wonderful month, lots of great new things and even miracles happened. Everyday was getting better and better. I felt truly blessed every single day.

In terms of teaching, we got a lot of things done and going. I saw how closely I sat next to a student and observe every move of his/her playing made a whole lot difference in me understanding the much more exact problem each student was having. It was truly amazing how the details just revealed itself clearly as I observed so very closely. And with that observation of details I was able to understand each student’s problems in a more exact way and give each student a more precise solution for every single problem.

People in general appreciate me as a glamorous pianist who wears elegant gown and puts on a great show on stage. I feel when I tell them I am more into my teaching role these days they might think, “oh, maybe she has lost her game or something.” For me, I never truly enjoyed performing solo on a big stage. I rather play in a more intimate environment (a church or smaller stage for example), with a small chamber group (duo to quintet) in which a couple to a few musicians are able to truly connect and genuinely share their knowledge and love for the music, among themselves and with the audience simultaneously. That, for me, is the most desired kind of performance. It is about the connection rather than showmanship. The passion than excitement. The deep sentiment that lasts and lingers than the short-lived feeling that fades.

Teaching to me is a life-long passion. I had been shying myself away from being in this role for way too long in the past years, constantly doubting if I was in fact good enough to teach. But once I had decided to fully immerse myself in this meaningful work and give up much of my performance opportunities in the past few years, I saw great things happening gradually.

Now I have seen myself transforming a lot of students’ playing and even their characters and lives in many different ways. I feel the genuine connection between my students and me. I know my students (and their parents) understand that I truly care for them not only about their playing but also their well-being.

Playing the piano is only a tool, to connect with oneself, to understand the world in a musical way, with a critical and creative mind, from interesting and innovative angles. And that is how life should be, fun and enjoyable, with true understanding of oneself and the world one is in.

I love my teaching every single day. Sometimes during a student’s lesson, I would have this sudden surge of feeling so blessed and touched, that I get to do what I love, sharing music with every student and getting paid at the same time. It is nothing like that when I play some meaningless gig (which actually pays much more), I just want it to be over with soon, rather cut it short and get less paid just to get out of that and end my misery as quickly as I possibly can.

Piano teaching is a genuine work of education. And I am in for this for the long haul. Certainly it is not all great times, and I am not sugar-coating it. There are difficult times, there are frustration, and there are conflicts and disappointment. But, I would not just stop and give up that easily anymore. I have grown much patience and experiences all these years, especially after those difficulties I encountered in my professional career and personal life in general. I now understand that there really is no pain no gain. A person who has little experience in life cannot be a good teacher. And I am in to be a great and inspiring one.

Have a wonderful new month, Everyone!

Teresa Wong

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