Month: July 2010

New Announcement 最新通告

[anti-rclick]Dear Students and Parents,

I will start working on the Student Reports to indicate each student’s past learning progress and future learning plan. There will be more recordings and instruction videos coming up to further enhance students’ learning and practice experience. I will also have to decide soon when and where the next student concert will occur.

I am certain all these efforts will both further accelerate students’ progress and enhance students’ learning experience.

Let’s work hard together!

Sincerely,
Teresa Wong

親愛的學生及家長,

我將開始撰寫學生報告。它們能顯示每個學生過去的學習進展情況和今後的學習計劃。我亦會製作更多的教學錄音和錄像,進一步提高學生的學習和練習經驗。我還必須盡快決定何時何地舉辦下一個學生演奏會。

我深信這些都能將加快學生的進步速度和提高他們的學習經驗。

讓我們共同努力吧!

Teresa Wong


[ad#Google Adsense]

Choosing A Piano Teacher For Your Child: Part I

[anti-rclick]Finding a suitable piano teacher is crucial for a student’s progress. But it did not occur to me that the piano teachers a student met in the childhood would change his/her piano life forever. Let me tell you a true story here:

***
Once upon a time there was a little girl called Sara. She was a very timid child. She started her piano lessons since she was 4, as her mother told her to. Her experience in piano learning could be described as “traumatic” and “dramatic”.

Sara’s first piano teacher was a young woman, who was inexperienced and lack of piano expertise, however compassionate. It was not certain what had gone wrong during the piano lessons, but Sara hated playing the piano right from the start. When the young teacher went to the little girl’s home for the piano lessons, Sara would hide anywhere in the house- under the bed, in the closet, behind the curtain- or even do something more drastic, like spitting at the teacher and fighting with her, just to get away from playing the piano. Under such intolerable circumstances, Sara still studied under this teacher for a few years.

Sara quickly passed grade 8 piano exam during the first few years of her piano life, while at the same time she found playing the piano a total disaster. As her level of playing progressed, her mother felt the need to find her a better teacher. Sara’s second teacher was quite a famous teacher, whose primary aim was to produce star students and therefore had a long waiting list even though she charged an astronomically high tuition fee. Nonetheless, Sara did not have much luck studying with this teacher, whom she found was not particularly fond of her musical growth and did not teach her much at all. Eventually she had to leave this teacher even though the place as a student of the star teacher was so hard to get through tremendous threads of connections.

Sara did not progress in terms of her technique and musicality, while her hatred towards playing the piano grew increasingly. Although she did make it to grade 8 in a comparatively short period, there were many basic music rudiments she did not learn throughout the years. She did not know how to play many pieces, and so her sight-reading skills was accordingly poor. She was particularly terrible in counting even the simplest rhythms, and thus keeping a steady tempo, a skill quintessential to make a good musician. Most importantly, her experience in piano and music learning was traumatized to such effect that her detest over playing the piano was cast deeply in her heard and could not be easily erased.

***
*This is the first part of the story.

**Sara is a fictional name.

(To be continued…)
Choosing A Piano Teacher For Your Child: Part II

[ad#Google Adsense]

Choosing A Piano Teacher For Your Child: Part II

[anti-rclick]Choosing A Piano Teacher For Your Child: Part I

Sara then went on to hunt for other teachers, but without success. Finally, Sara found her Teacher.

Sara clearly recalled the first time she met her Teacher. She went with her mother to take the first lesson with the Teacher, whose teaching method she found completely different from the others. Sara thought, “This teacher is an Angel!” Since then, Sara and Teacher worked together.

It was not exactly a smooth path during their time together: it was not a struggle between them, but a struggle together on Sara’s musical journey. Sara found this Teacher whose was some Sara could trust in, and whose expertise in teaching and performance, together with patience and compassion, helped her progress in her playing dramatically. Indeed, Sara was not a bad pianist. She was just a little girl whom did not receive the proper training as she should have. She could have been more passionate with her piano playing and built a much more solid foundation of technic and musicality should she have started off in the right way since the first piano lesson.

As she finally passed her diploma exam under this Teacher’s guidance, Sara started to appreciate the beauty of piano music. She was free from burden that had been cast on her for the longest time a child should have never suffered from. She had played by her own choice the most technically and musically demanding repertoire the Teacher could never have imagined her work on. She would practice frantically on her own and stay up all night just to listen to recordings by her favorite pianist and read books about her favorite composer.

Teacher felt her ceaseless effort was finally paying off: Sara had reclaimed her right and ability to love playing the piano again after all these years. Nonetheless, Teacher found there were many problems she could not fix on Sara, who was always in self-denial of her own ability and talent. Sara did not know how to appreciate her own playing. She would be at times negative to herself, telling the Teacher how bad her playing was no matter how positive and encouraging the Teacher would be. Such behavior and attitude, cast upon by all the other “teachers” Sara had during her childhood, might stay with the little girl for the rest of her life. Sara, who could have been able to enjoy music of a lifetime, might be deprived of such privilege forever.


This is the end of the story.


I am the Teacher.

***

I am telling this true story here to let you Parents understand that it is of utmost importance to choose the right piano Teacher, especially the first one, for your precious Child. Although a student might have many piano teachers in life, the first teacher can almost determine how s/he feels, thinks and responds to his/her musical training. It also depends on what kind of piano training you want for your child. Do you want your child to feel joy in making music? Or do you just want your child to pass exams in the shortest period? It is all up to you.

Think hard and think twice before you choose a piano teacher for your child. And it is never too late to change to another teacher who might be more suitable for and compatible with your child.

[ad#Google Adsense]

三個“W”的問題

[anti-rclick]原文: The Three “W” Questions

高效率的鋼琴練習需要大量的腦力勞動。 (因此,我有很多白頭髮。)

當你練習、尤其是遇到障礙時,你需要問問自己三個基本“W”的問題:

1。”What” – 什麼?
究竟是什麼問題?什麼阻礙了你順利的彈奏?鎖定問題。這是否音階?指法?節奏?技術動作?兩隻手之間的協調?踏板的運用?等等。你要知道到底是什麼問題,然後再開始解決它。

2。”Why” – 為什麼?
問問自己在每一個特定的地方發生了什麼事。你為什麼會卡住呢?

3。”How” – 如何?
要解決每一個問題,可以嘗試不同的方法。古語雲:「 條條大路通羅馬。」同樣說法可以放在練習上。每一個問題是有很多練習方法來解決的。

在未來的文章中,我會以一些作品為例,去更精確的解釋如何作有效的練習。

[ad#Google Adsense]

The Three “W” Questions

[anti-rclick]Chinese Version: 三個“W”的問題

Efficient practice requires a lot of brainwork. (Therefore, I have a lot of grey hair.)

There are three essential “W” questions you need to ask yourself when you practise, especially when you are stuck.

1. What?
What seems to be the problems? What hinders you from playing the passage smoothly? Identify each problem accordingly. Is it the notes? The fingering? The rhythm? The technique motion? The coordination between the two hands? The pedaling? Etc, etc. You have to know exactly what the problem is before you start solving it.

2. Why?
Ask yourself what is happening in each of the particular spots. Why would you get stuck?

3. How?
Find a solution to each problem. Try different ways to solve it. As the old saying goes, “All roads lead to Rome.” The same can be said in a practice. There are always many ways to a solution and thus various practice methods to a problematic passage.

In the coming posts, I will give more precise explanation on how to practise with some selected pieces as examples.

[ad#Google Adsense]