Month: April 2013

Fine Line

“Fine Line”, composed by Christopher Norton (Microjazz, collection 3).


Teresa Wong

Hand Grip

These jelly-like devices have been quite useful in helping students in feeling of maintaining a firmer hand grip with minimal force or tension (without dropping it or squeezing it) in their playing. Some young ones even claim to suddenly be able to play much faster and efficiently once they get that sense of a firm hold in their palms! (And yes, I am just as excited as they look, if not more!)


Students, our target is to have that firm hold by the end of this month, keep up the marvelous work! Proud of you all.

Teresa Wong

Recognize your progress. Face your problems.

Recognize your progress. Face your problems.

You must do both. You must appreciate what you have achieved so far, at the same time look closer to your real issues – mindset, technique, interpretation etc – and fix them one by one (It’s not close enough yet, use a magnifier!)

For certain you all want to grow in your playing. To improve as much and as fast as you possibly can. But you must not push it. You can’t anyway. Especially when it’s something important or huge. Because it takes much more time, effort, and patience, usually much more than we think and expect. But all the more you have to keep trying and be patient.

Because it is totally worth it.

Because when you have nailed it down, you know you get it. And that just feels so good doesn’t it?

Focus on the positive things, keep the positive attitude. Look at your problems impersonally, objectively and rationally, without being judgmental and emotional.

Again, it’s not about you. It’s about the music.

It’s not about your success. It’s about the music being beautifully expressed successfully.

So, stop feeling sorry for yourself already (You know that’s not helping right?). Smile, keep your heads up and start working again!

Pick up the pieces and move on already.

The progress might seem slow to you. But each small step counts. And as you look back that long winding road you have walked on, you can see you really have come along and improved so far already. Only you didn’t notice it.

Because you are so demanding on and have such a high standard for yourself. Which is a good thing, just don’t be too harsh on yourself.

I am indeed very proud of you. All of you.

Of course in piano, in art, we always strive for perfection and it is a never-ending road. But we can always achieve to a certain level and keep going further (Isn’t that fun?).

And the ride is just so scenic and beautiful.

Shall we keep taking that ride together? (Next stop: hand grip!)

Teresa Wong

Preparation, Color and Crab

Dear Students,

Remember what we’ve been doing this week so far?

Three things: Preparation, Color and Crab.

Preparation: The gesture. The momentum. That split second of preparation prior to the commencement of a piece/a phrase, the attack of a note, and even the start of a syncopated rhythm.

Color: What’s the color of the phrase? Perhaps this phrase is light blue (water so clear we can see the bottom of the sea, those seashells and star fishes), and that coming phrase is dark brown (all muddy in the ocean after the wave comes in; or is that something else..)? Okay, that’s more than just the color, but also the storyline we’ve been Creating according to the ebb and flow of the music, the change of harmonic and melodic patterns.. It’s all about Imagination, students!

Crab: I know this sounds a bit strange to other readers, but my students, you should know what I am talking about here. The crab shell = your palm, and the crab legs = your fingers, yes? The body always goes with the legs. And it crawls sideways, digs deep into the sand. We’ve also been choosing colors of our crabs in lessons remember? (I love the choices of transparent and rainbow colors the most – again, the creativity and imagination, my lovely students).

Color your Crabs today!

Teresa Wong