The Spectrums of Piano Playing

I am starting to understand why my students think I am being such a perfectionist or of such high standard/expectation of their levels of piano playing. I really am. That is why I have some clarification to make here.

It is my responsibility and teaching that I must show and explain to you the different levels of piano performance in your lessons. All the various advanced levels of details you can do in terms of interpretation, musical phrasing, function of notes/chords, articulation, nuances, tone color/change, etc etc- these are the essential elements that you all need in creating a beautiful spectrum of musicality and sound with meaning and expression of depth, in contrast to a shallow interpretation (if any) which is not what we want anymore in this advanced level of playing.

However, having said that me being responsible and all, it does not mean that you all will or want to get to/go through all these levels of piano playing. Some of you might persist in doing so, jumping through hoops one after the other, whilst others would only be interested in getting to one or two more levels and enjoy being there. Either way I am fine with it. I do not and never would insist in any of you going through all the levels without your consent of it. I can never force you to do anything of that and do not wish to either, because playing the piano is an act of free will and is a journey of self-realisation (I shall stop here at this point before I venture too far into too deep a topic..).

Piano learning is a journey but not a means to an end. We all are on the path of knowing more and playing better, only at different sections or speeds. Especially to the students of advanced levels and adult students of any levels, I would like to remind you that you are on your own now, that no one is there to make you do this, urging (or nagging ) you to practice and pass certain exams for a good score and a piece of paper anymore. And the reason that you choose to continue (or start) playing the piano after all these years is exactly the motive for you to go on to practice, learn, and play in this musical journey, with me guiding you along the way.

If you stay enjoying the ride on this wonderful path of piano playing with and/or eventually without me, then I think I have served my purpose of being/having been your teacher.


In the next few posts, I would concentrate on discussing about some specific techniques on their mechanism and as to how we can execute them more effectively and efficiently. The first one would be trills. Stay tuned.

Until then, happy practicing,

Teresa Wong

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