Tag: #music

Music and Self

Today I had a rehearsal for my upcoming concert. After the first run for one of the concert pieces, a member in our group jokingly said to me, “are we good enough to play in the concert?” I was a little startled by her comment.

After I got home from the rehearsal, I thought about what she said. I remember long time ago when I was still studying, I realized one thing, and I believe it was one of the most important ideas I needed to play better. And the idea is,

“Music before me.”

If I am to explain it, I would say, “I have to put away my ego to better the music I make at the piano.”

The “me” is not important when I am playing music. Not in the way we usually think.

Of course there is self expression when we play music. But, when we focus on ourselves, we worry how well or how bad we play, and then how great or how embarrassed we feel accordingly.

Instead we need to focus on how to make the music better. So we do all these things (learn the music, practice, go deeper, and repeat the cycle) and hope we are worthy of the music.

We, when we play the music, are the servant. We are the tool. We, are not important in the music. The music itself it.

So when we play bad, it’s not us that are bad. The music is bad now. We should feel bad about playing the music badly, but not feel bad about ourselves.

When we play well, the music is great. It’s not us that are great. We should feel great about the music, that we have done the music justice.

Taking away ourselves, our ego, is a huge step towards making great music.

I almost forgot about it. I was experiencing it again lately but I was grateful that my friend reminded me today.

This would make me a better musician, to make better music.

Teresa Wong

[:en]The Importance of being Authentic[:]

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I hope I have always been true to my students and my readers here.

Frankly I think I have.

But there were certainly times i doubted if it was the way I was supposed to be, if I were being truly authentic, perhaps to myself more than to anyone else.

I didn’t want to be too straightforward or outspoken at times because people might not like what i write and i would be ridiculed and criticised for that. Or i simply didn’t write it.

I didn’t want to write in a too serious or philosophical or academic or deep, meaningful or spiritual way that people might not understand what I was trying to say and think I am being pretentious or cheesy.

Well, sometimes I can’t help myself but just write it still. But I do know I had reservations. 

I think it’s time to just write what I want to write and say what I have to say, and there’s no better time than now.

It’s like playing the piano or getting your practice done: there’s simply no better time than now.

Or anything else you want to do in life really.

There’s no time to waste or miss out on things you really want to do. Or even to have fun!

I love teaching, but I don’t love teaching people who don’t want to learn and practice (and keep saying it’s hard and there’s no time), who don’t want to do the heavy lifting but want the result straight away.

I love playing, but I don’t love playing music I don’t want to play, no matter how popular a song is to everyone in the world.

I love writing, and frankly I don’t really care if there’s a lot of people reading this (it turns out to be quite a lot of you do so THANK YOU!). But I certainly hope those who do would find this blog helpful in the past few years: I have certainly spent loads of time and effort maintaining this and hope it would reach out to more people because I genuinely think I have great resources here.

I love to mentor others, but I don’t love mentoring those who are lazy and don’t put their heart and soul in their teaching and their career, those who just want to do the minimum in the most ridiculously imprecise and inaccurate way and ask me for the reward thinking that’s the way to do things. I say no to that and them.

I love precision, dedication, and passion. And there’s no other way to live and do things. 

I love integrity. That’s the only way to be.

So there you go.

I hope you have a wonderful week ahead. Today is a brand new day for a brand new week! Enjoy!

Teresa Wong

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