Tag: ABRSMpiano

[:en]Balance is the Key[:]

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“Do we have to take exams for our piano lessons?” My student of 9 years’ old asked me today after finishing his lesson.

“No, of course not.” I was surprised to hear him saying that. Sometimes this little boy would give the most intelligent comment unexpected of for his young age.

“Why did you ask that?” I asked.

“Well, I have a friend who now lives in America, and he is also taking piano lessons there. He told me he never had to take any piano exams, and at his school they only taught two subjects: English and Maths.” He explained.

“That’s interesting.”

“You know, you also don’t have to take exams too for your piano lessons. If you don’t want to, you don’t have to. But everyone here loves to take it. And it’s actually not a bad thing.” I continued.

My student has taken grade 5 exam recently and received a merit result, which made him and his mother very happy. But that happy effect didn’t stay long and didn’t help him with realizing the fact that he’s capable of doing more and that he’s not playing the piano just to fulfill his “duty”. 

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I do think there is a merit to taking some tests for a subject you have learnt and worked hard on,  just to see how well you do it so far, but it’s only good for the student if it’s just part, and not all, of the whole learning process. What I mean is, for example, if we learn to be good at English only because we can pass the tests that we are given, we would focus on how to get a good score instead of how to be good at English. By the same token, when we learn to play the piano, if we focus on how to achieve a good score in piano exams instead of learning how to understand music and play the piano beautifully, we have already lost the essence of music learning and piano playing. 

I do see there is a phenomenon that if the student is not expected to take any piano exams for their piano lessons, they have a mentality of taking the piano lessons very lightly almost as if something they can throw away anytime they want. Certainly that goes a long way by tying a close relationship between piano lessons and piano exam results. If they are children, then it is because the parents focus way too much on getting a good result in piano exams and so the children are heavily influenced to think the same way as well. If they are adults, they have had this idea of “achievement equals to exam scores” deeply ingrained in their mind long time ago and it is sadly hard to be erased. I certainly do think there are high hopes for such eradication of false beliefs and new development of positive and growth mindset in each and everyone of them, only if they believe in it /me. 

***

My student happily received the photocopy of a new piano duet I assigned to him.

“Go work on this, and be brave ok?”

I said with an encouraging smile as I handed over the copy to him. 

“Sure thing!” He returned with a big smile and left the studio. 

Teresa Wong

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[:zh]音樂和旅遊遊記 (一)[:]

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最近我在美國把電子琴 (sadly not piano, might try that next time) 搬到不同地方彈奏及錄影,另外亦到不同地方彈別人的鋼琴,包括陌生人的家當然也不少得 my favorite: 去錄音室錄音。我把這些錄影片段逐一剪接 (it really takes a lot of time editing!), 而這是其中一個。

為了要去這地方錄影,我們花了差不多三小時駕車到達。另外,承朋友的幫助,我們從她的家人家中借了這部電子琴 (trust me, it’s pretty heavy),並帶着它到這了無人煙的草原去彈奏。

我們先早一天到達,晚上在此過夜。

首先,我們在黑暗的草原上生火。It’s real campfire! 我們用真的木頭 (不是炭!),感覺很特別,很 natural (「這才是真的campfire!」)。

一望無際的天空中,我看到無數的繁星。那晚,我還是唯一一個看到 流星的人啦!

另外,我第一次在車上睡覺 (it’s a camper, 是流動的露營車),感覺很是新奇。我睡得超好的!

第二天早上,吃了簡單的早餐 (我們其實有小廚房煮野食) ,我們set up工具準備䦕工。

我花了整個早上錄影。其實說真的,是頗熱和頗曬的。但不知怎的,我一點也不覺得辛苦。相反,在露天拍攝,看着藍天白雲和一大片潦濶的草地,享受着溫暖的陽光,彈奏四個小時的鋼琴,對我來說,是十分超級高興enjoyable的一件賞心樂事。

其實,即使過了四個小時,朋友叫我「要走了」時,我實在是不捨得離去的。我是可以繼續待在那裏再彈四個小時的琴也不嫌辛苦。只不過我也不忍心要我的朋友承受更多的的暴曬,所以我唯有接受現實,packed up 走人了。

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New Piano Programs !

Teresa Wong School of Music is launching new exciting piano programs for the new academic year! Ranging from piano beginner to piano diplomas and piano teacher training, there is definitely one program for you!