[:en]Our piano duet concert, “80 Minutes Around the World”, will be held on October 16, 2016 (Sunday) at 730pm, at the Recital Hall 8/F of Hong Kong City Hall. This is a very fun and creative piano concert, and we would love to see you there![:zh]我們的鋼琴二重奏 「80分鐘環遊世界」音樂會 將於2016年10月16日（星期日）晚上七時半 ，在香港大會堂演奏廳8樓高座舉行。這是一個非常有趣和富有創意的鋼琴音樂會，我們希望能看到您的光臨！[:]
[:en]Prior to the “big day” aka diploma exam day, I ask my students to do three steps in terms of viva voce preparation for me (assuming they have already done all other steps I have given them in the course of diploma exam preparation). And I would like to share with you these three important steps that would give any candidates feel much more prepared and confident to perform well in the coming exam.
The three steps to prepare for a successful viva voce session are:
THINK about what and how you are going to answer the questions the examiners pose during the exam. I always give my students a bunch of potential questions the examiners will ask. It is very important to prepare ahead. Don’t just think, “oh, I will know how to answer them during the exam.” No way! Even you have the information at hand/in your head, it is crucial that you think about how to put the information together in a clear, simple presentable speech. And that leads to the second step..
WRITE. THEM. DOWN. Seriously. This is the next step you must do especially when you worry a lot about how to say what you need to say in the real exam. I hear a lot of this or a variation of this, “oh, I will know how to answer them because I have the information in my head.” Really? I don’t think so. If you cannot write them down, you cannot answer them. It doesn’t have to be written in full paragraph/sentences (although it certainly helps), but at least in point form, using clear, simple sentence structure. And for those who are not native speakers: this is NOT an oral English exam, so don’t worry too much about the grammatical mistakes or trying to sound like a native speaker or Shakespeare! – actually they might not even understand you if you speak like the latter anyway. The easiest way is to speak clearly and slowly in simple sentence (just use present tense in all circumstances to make it easier for yourself when in doubt), so that you can present your ideas through effectively and get points for that! I do advise those who worry about their oral English ability to write out everything in full sentences first, not to memorize them, but to…
SAY IT OUT LOUD! It is very important for anyone to not only practice their speaking, but also practice talking about music. I have met so many musicians/candidates who might know a lot about music yet fail to deliver their ideas through speech. It is great you can perform well for the recital part, but you do also need to speak well in your viva voce too! Therefore, I always advise my students to TALK TO ME in our lessons, especially in the last few sessions prior to the exam. I ask them questions, and they give me answers in terms of the general repertoire, background of pieces, form and analysis, composer information, etc etc. I also check their programme notes and pose some questions based on what they wrote (and help with some editing- they do have to write their own notes first!). I encourage students to practice talking out loud at home for the viva voce practice and come back with the answers so I can help correct the content as well as sentence structure. That way students feel much more prepared and confident going to the real exam session.
I welcome any questions on the viva voce/programme notes/piano diploma exams in general.
A guided video to how to revise for your viva voce exam part:
[:en]The First Duet, composed by Teresa Wong, filmed and edited by Teresa Wong, performed by Teresa Wong and Carol Yip. Oct 2015. “The First Duet”, 黃穎妍作曲，黃穎妍和葉瑞芬彈奏，黃穎妍監制和剪接。[:]
每年我們都舉行學生音樂會 (為了避免接近兩個西方新年和中國春節假期，通常在一月第三個或最後一周舉行）。 籌備學生音樂會是個大工程。每次我們需要找到一個能提供理想的地點，座位容量和時間合適的場地，並安排一切音樂會實際的實務（學生人數，場地費用開資，影音安排，音樂節目編排，場刋設計編印等等）。雖然很多工夫 （從來沒有賺錢，只有自己補錢），但是很值得。 家長和學生可能會問，為什麼要參加學生音樂會（與音樂聚會）？在眾多的觀眾面前表演的目的是什麼？ 在舞台上和觀眾面前表演可以很可怕，令人望而生畏，，但如果你讓年幼的孩子們習慣了趁早就好，我可以向你保證他們其實覺得這可以是一件很有趣的事情。例如，第一次我請年幼的學生做司儀，有一些小朋友因為很怕羞，從來沒有做過，害怕嘗試，又不知道會發生什麼事，所以不太願意這樣做。但做了這一次後，他們覺得好好玩！因此，下一次我甚至沒有問他們，他們便自己向我要求給他們機會再做一次MC！為了讓小孩子能夠在舞台上有勇氣和信心，我們必須給他們灌輸正面的知識、給他們機會，並支持他們這樣做，好讓他們充分發揮發展自己的才能才藝，無論是在鋼琴演奏和表達能力上，公眾表演和演講令學生發揮自信，令個人魅力更上一層樓。通過自己的演奏和講話，小孩子學會了與他人更有效地溝通。有什麼方式比實際站在一個輝煌的舞台上來磨礪這樣的技能更好呢？ 2015 音樂會
最深刻的 2008 音樂會 :) 黃穎妍