I think it deserves elaboration on the answer to such question. 

When one suffers from a bad cause, and finally gets a wonderful solution to break through from it, that person will become the best advocate of that great solution, in the biggest hope of sharing that solution to and helping those in desperate need of it. 

For example, someone who is abused during childhood would (hopefully) never want to bestow upon his or her own child the same treatment, and even to other children if he or she is a teacher or advocate other parents not to do that to their children. It is only (mostly) because he or she has suffered and do not want others to suffer again like he or she did. 

Another instance may be someone whose child suffers or dies from a terrible illness. That person will naturally become the best spokesperson to educate other parents so that they can be better equipped (than him or herself) to help their own children go through that illness, to get proper treatment and medication, or just to be well prepared for the day to come. 

I can tell you that is exactly how I feel about piano teaching, and I believe in teachers providing and students receiving the proper kind of teaching.

You might think I am using extreme examples. But I can assure you in the past I myself also suffered from terrible teaching: the insensitive mean-for-the-sake-of-it teachers, the ill-informed teachers, the under-educated teachers, the overrated teachers, the jealous teachers (yes there is such a thing), the I-know-how-to-play-but-don’t-know-and-don’t-care-about-how-to-teach teachers, the simply I-hate-teaching-but-I-need-the-money-to-pay-my-bills teachers. And the list goes on. 

In short: I have been there, done it, recovered from it and excelled beyond it.

Then I met the most wonderful teachers albeit less than a handful. But they were(are) some of the most inspiring, most encouraging and most wonderful human beings I- with much fortune and pleasure – have ever encountered and learnt from. And with my own experience, I can only describe to you a fraction of how big and positive that impact had(has) on me in terms of my playing and my teaching as well as my ideology and belief of both. Needless to say, it was ME that they changed for the better forever.

Of course, I have also learned A LOT on my own by myself, meaning I (have) searched wide and far- crossing the various continents to many countries – to learn to experience to listen to observe and, to READ. One thing if you don’t have a great human teacher around, you can always resolve to BOOKS in libraries. And I can tell you, the most useful knowledge that transformed my playing (and my life in many aspects) is learnt by reading on my own. Knowledge can be free monetary wise but must be gained with much effort put in. It is only by reading and experiencing (trying and failing and succeeding) that one would become better and better in every trade and every aspect of life.

I want all the wrong kind of teaching and learning to stop. I know, that is the Utopia I innocently want to be in and would never happen. But I will make sure that utopian environment happen in my world, in my school, in my teaching, with my books and writings and videos, with my teaching staff, with our students, online and offline, reaching to wider audience who wants the same locally and internationally. 

That’s a big dream I know. But I am happy to work for it and I am excited to wake up to it every single day. Besides, what did Eleanor Roosevelt say?

The Future Belongs to Those Who Believes in the Beauty of Their Dreams - Eleanor Roosevelt

The Future Belongs to Those Who Believes in the Beauty of Their Dreams – Eleanor Roosevelt

 

Teresa Wong

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *