Month: January 2017

Life with Music is Beautiful

Of All these years I have been organizing student concerts, this is definitely a very special one. Of course, in my mind and heart, every concert is unique, just as every one of our students at my school is.
Everyone gets nervous before, during and even after they perform on stage; it’s a normal reaction. Who isn’t worried about their own performance? But in order to get more comfortable and be better at it, one must go up that stage over and over again, sometimes even they have performed rather poorly in their last act. It’s the same in life: you get back up again and again after you fall. That’s how you grow and become better and successful in something that matters.

In all these years I have been teaching, building my own studio and school, one thing that is always dear to my heart is, that I inspire my students to believe in themselves, to truly shine as who they are meant to be. Today in one of my lessons, I told a student that she must “own it”, that she must truly believe she was performing in a way she and her audience would enjoy. That’s simply the only way for a pianist to perform on stage: to be completely comfortable in their own skin and show people what they’ve got.

As a woman myself, I want to especially encourage my female students to be confident in themselves and their own playing. Whether they be young or adults, female students have a hard time owing up to what they’ve got and show it. They feel intimidated and are lack of confidence, trying to be “humble” and not “showing off”. That kind of performance sounds however just like the way the performers feel: intimidated and lack of confidence. It’s not a kind of performance an audience would enjoy and can appreciate.
It is a “good” quality for one to be “humble” in traditional Asian culture, and therefore being confident in oneself seems to the others rather arrogant or “too full of herself”. I would like to stress nonetheless that being confident in oneself as a performer is an important quality one must possess. Either you have it or you don’t. And when you don’t, you should simply refrain yourself from going up the stage. If you feel you are lack of skills, then you must go practice more before you go up on that stage. And there you must go back up there again and again.

I hope you all are having a wonderful Chinese new year holiday. May this new year bring you prosperity, harmony and above all, joy.

Much love, many blessings,
Teresa Wong

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New Short Courses 2017

We are introducing new short intensive courses this year:

Sight reading
Ear training
Song writing
*Piano teacher training

Whole course duration: 10 classes
Format: group courses, 3-6 people
Original Fee: $3600.
New student special price: $3400.
*Piano teacher training ($6000 whole course 10 weeks)
**sight reading + ear training ($4600 whole course, special: $4400)

Schedule

*1030-1145am piano teacher training level I (Teresa Wong)
*12-1245pm fundamental sight reading training (Teresa Wong)
*1-145pm fundamental ear training (Teresa Wong)
*715-830pm sight reading + ear training (Teresa Wong)

Saturday
4-445pm fundamental sight reading training (Teresa Wong)
445-530pm fundamental ear training (Teresa Wong)

Wednesday:
4-450pm sight reading for kids (Carol Yip)
5-550pm ear training for kids (Carol Yip)
6-650pm church pianist training (Carol Yip)

Contact us today at twsomusic@gmail.com for registration and questions!

Piano Technique Transformation, 鋼琴技巧改造

PIANO TECHNIQUE TRANSFORMATION INTENSIVE COURSE

NEW COURSE 2017: PIANO TECHNIQUE TRANSFORMATION INTENSIVE COURSE

This is going to be the BEST course I am going to teach, and you are going to take, ever (well until the next best one for sure :D).

I will “warn” anyone before signing up for this course, that you will get amazing result after completing it. BUT, there is a catch: 

You must be COMMITTED to doing all the work and all the thinking while maintaining willpower during the whole course, RIGHT FROM THE START (Actually, BEFORE you start).

You must be DEDICATED TO YOURSELF when you take this course. You take it because you truly want to transform your piano playing (and subsequently your teaching too if you are a piano teacher) forever completely for the better. 

I can even promise you on that one.

But only if you really make it happen for yourself. I can’t do it for you. 

I will however do everything to help you achieve your goal. 

So think seriously about it before you sign up, because it is going to take hard work, I don’t mean all the heavy lifting and muscle strain (quite the opposite: you are going to feel LIGHT and EFFORTLESS and EASY), I mean tough mental work, and keep your cool and keep working through the whole process.

If you are that kind of student, then I am the kind of teacher you have been looking for. 

See you soon!

TW

Course duration: 10 weeks

Course module: group or individual program

Group class (3-5 student small group setting) starts in February 2017. Early bird special deadline: January 21, 2017.

This is a ten-week course: it is the same for individual course (schedule arranged accordingly to meet individual candidate’s need). It focuses primarily on transforming candidate’s existing piano technique, therefore it is NOT a diploma exam preparation program. If you are interested in diploma exam prep course, please contact us for further information.

Technique Transformation
“Technique Transformation Exercise Book” is now available on Amazon.com

Amazon paperback:

http://www.amazon.com/Technique-Transformation-Exercise-Book-Teresa/dp/9887708313

Kindle ebook:

http://www.amazon.com/Technique-Transformation-Exercise-Book-Teresa-ebook/dp/B01EWKUI14

The Desire to Succeed 

I hope you all had a good holiday. 

During my holiday, I did a lot of reading and thinking (besides resting and exercising!). I found a lot of focus and clarity when I could do these two things with clear head (thanks to my regular meditation practice). 

One thing I want to talk about today is the desire to excel, and of course here I would apply that to piano playing and teaching.

Many say that passion is the key to success. I agree with passion – love for the thing we do – certainly helps a lot in motivating us to keep doing what we are doing. But only passion is not enough, as I will explain below. 

During my many years as a pianist and teacher and mentor, I have met and taught students from all walks of life, whether they be amateur or professional musicians. When I first heard someone telling me that they want to “study abroad”, “go to Germany/Vienna/France”, “take a diploma exam”, “become a great piano teacher”, I warm heartedly encouraged them and gave them a lot of advice on how to proceed with that goal. They all looked very enthusiastic and genuinely interested in pursuing that goal they held dearly on to. However, after a few months/a year, there were no signs of no follow-up actions and the enthusiasm seemed to gradually fade away. 

I thought about how I made things happen for myself in terms of piano performance or teaching career or building a business. Certainly there was a lot of passion involved. It’s the passion that prompted me to start with everything I did. I did more than having a passion. There was also the desire to succeed. And then I looked at how others succeeded in what they pursued, it’s the exact same way as I did only in different arenas. 

So what is the desire to succeed? 

There are two keywords in this question: “desire” and “succeed”. 

Let’s start with the word “desire”. Desire is a very strong sentiment and commitment to the passion one has, whether it be playing the piano well, maintaining a harmonious relationship, making a decent living, or simply, having a nice meal at a fine restaurant. 

When you have a very strong desire in anything you have in mind, you will figure out a way to achieve it, no matter how hard it is. 

Now what would you do to fulfill that desire? There are steps you would make to “succeed”, which is the second keyword of our question. 

Let’s say you want to have a nice meal at a fine restaurant, the procedure would be firstly you research about which restaurant you want to go. Then you have to make a reservation. You might even have to book very early in advance if the restaurant is very popular. You would do all that to have the nice meal you so strongly desire to have, right? And you also make sure you have enough money to pay for that meal, to make that goal complete smoothly. You might even buy a new dress/suit and bring someone you really fancy to make this fine dining experience more wonderful. Then you would feel you have “succeeded”. 

It’s the same for piano playing. In order to have some pleasant outcome out of the time and effort we are going to spend in our lessons and our practice, we must have the desire to succeed before we decide we want to pick up our playing/practice/teaching again. You must have a very strong desire to make that happen for yourself but it for anyone else. You must feel very strongly that is absolutely something you are willing to spend time/effort/money/training in for a considerably sustained period of time. Otherwise all your time/effort/money/training are wasted for nothing. 

So what exactly is the definition of having succeeded in fulfilling that desire and passion? That’s up to you. It might be learning to play one of your favorite pieces really well in three months, or attaining a piano diploma in a year, or becoming a great piano teacher in two years. The point is to make your goal as specific as possible. The time frame is for reference only. Of course it’s important to meet that as much as possible and do not create an impossible goal for yourself in a short time, that only adds to your detriment of being actually able to achieving it. And even more important is that you stick to that goal no matter how hard and challenging you find it is. If you truly have the desire to succeed, you will find help and adjust how you do it along the way. 

You must commit to what you have started. That differentiates those who can achieve what they are passionate about and those who cannot and blame others for their failure. 

People think talent/innate ability is the key. That’s only part of the picture. Most often than not those who succeed in what they do have put tremendous hard work with absolute perseverance constantly. It’s not that they don’t struggle or even at times fail, but they just bite their tongues and keep on moving forward. 

I hope you all have a great start to the new year and find what you desire to succeed in in your brand new journey ahead. 

Teresa Wong

New Year, New Hope

Dear Everyone,

I trust you all had a great holiday and a fresh start to this beautiful new year of 2017.

As this new year begins, so do us – me and my teachers at TWSOM – get back to work.

This year we will kickstart with our annual student concert (January), followed by our re-run of our regular intensive courses, some new fun programs, as well as exciting one-off workshops!

So here, I would like to announce that we will re-run our Piano Teacher Training Course (Level I) in February, and the deadline of the early bird special discount is January 15, 2017.

Our upcoming workshops will include topics such as songwriting and piano technique. They will give you some more insights into how the real courses work.

At TWSOM, we always want to provide music lovers – new or seasoned – with fun, creative, and systematic music programs, so that students not only have fun but also truly learn to master the instrument and gain real and lasting musical knowledge they can enjoy forever.

I wish you all a great start to the new year, and hope to connect more music lovers, students and parents, teachers and fellow musicians locally and all over the world!

With gratitude,

TW