Month: October 2011






讓我告訴你們,你們所有人都可以發揮得很出色,並能在考試中取得好的成績。我對此深信不疑。我所做的這一切都是用來幫助你們達到這個目標的 : 這裏所有的文章,所有錄音,都是我為你們寫、為你們錄製的,而我們的定期聚會,每年的音樂會,參加的比賽, 都是我為你們而舉辦和參與的。 最重要的,還有我在課堂上一直告訴你們的東西。這些都是為了幫助你們學習和實現自己的目標而做的。只要你們有在閱讀文章,聆聽或收看錄音,做著那些我一直告訴你們去做的事情的話,那麼實現你們的目標就會變得很容易。




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Students, Don’t Belittle Yourselves

[anti-rclick]October 30, 2011

Dear Students,

You have to trust yourselves.

Trust your ability to play and perform well. Of course not just wait there and do nothing with only this belief. You still have to work hard for it.

Let me tell you this, you all can play well and do fine in your exams. I know so. I am doing everything I can to help you achieve so. all these articles I write for you, all the recordings I make for you and of you, the gatherings we have regularly, the concerts I organize every year, the competitions I have you signed up for, and most important of all, what I have been telling you in your lessons. These are all done to help you learn and achieve your goals. As long as you are reading them, listening to them, coming to them, doing what I have been telling you, then it is easy to achieve your goals.

Time is not of the essence. Effort is. How much effort have you been putting into achieving what you want? The reply will answer your doubt if you will pass your exam or not.

I believe in all of you. Do you believe in yourself and try your best?

Teresa Wong

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Viva Voce: What it is & how to prepare for it (II)

Viva Voce: What It Is & How To Prepare For It (I)

[anti-rclick]October 28, 2011

How should you prepare for it?

First of all, you should study your pieces one by one. To give some examples:

1) Know the background information: when it was composed, if it’s a dedication to anyone, what the composer had been going through or composing around that time etc.

2) Understand the genre: what kind of composition it is, any significance of such work among the genre, any similarities and oddities between this and other works of the same genre, etc.

3) Analyse the form and structure: what compositional form it uses, tonalities (tonal centers) and key changes, any special chords and their functions, the structure of the melodies/themes (motifs) etc. E.g. if it’s a fugue, you should be able to point out where the fugal subject is, its variations as well as the compositional techniques used for those variations.

These criteria are more on the specific side of each piece. You should mark out the different sections and tonalities on the score of each piece and study it well.

Other than the above specifics, you should also have some knowledge about the general music history/periods. For instance, if you are playing a work by Debussy, the examiners might ask, “can you name another contemporary composer of Debussy? And any works of that composer you might know of?” You should have information like this ready and prepared before going for the exam. Preparation for general information like this intrigues some students, as it seems to be quite vague and general. I would say, if a student is genuinely interested in learning about music/piano playing other than the three-four works they have been preparing for the exam, like listening to more recordings (you can find lots of good recordings on YouTube), reading more about the composers and their other (piano) works (you can read much about this on the internet as many are willing to share their knowledge and expertise for free), then it wouldn’t be that difficult to answer those questions posed by the examiners, who are only trying to understand if the candidate possesses certain musical knowledge enough to be awarded for the diploma certificate s/he desires.

For me, I never had any teacher who helped me with the viva voce before. I only studied on my own, reading about piano in specific and music in general, and analyzing the works in depth for better understanding of the music. However, I do try to help my students with this section, especially the younger ones, who have not been exposed much to the wondrous musical world/training yet. I would help them analyze each work in much detail and provide with them some reference books/reading materials/recordings etc. And as I always stress, you don’t just learn the music by playing, you learn by reading, listening and analyzing. The latter elements are absolutely essential for enhance your performance and musicality. You can always “practice” and study a piece away from the piano. And most of you, my students, should do much much more of that than you do now.

Until next post,

Teresa Wong

Jana: Military Minuet

October 23, 2011

[anti-rclick]Jana plays Pauline Hall’s “Military Minuet”.

[qt: 480 272]

Teresa Wong

Note: For better viewing experience, please click on the post’s title and have the video mostly or fully loaded before you start watching it.

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