Tag: PianoEducation

[:en]The Responsibilities of a True Piano Teacher[:zh]一個真正鋼琴老師的責任[:]

[:en]Teaching students, especially young children, requires a lot of patience and compassion on top of expertise. As a piano teacher, the way you communicate directly affects whether the student receives your message or not, regardless of how well qualified you are as a music scholar and piano performer.

One important idea I have learnt from the music workshop I attended last year in Tokyo is that, students can feel insecure and vulnerable at times in their lessons. When they feel unsafe – note: not physically, but rather, emotionally, as there are chances of being criticized and pointing out their mistakes they make in their playing (or answers), they stop focusing on their music and instead on trying to be “correct”. They spend more time and effort worrying about their potential failure rather than expressing and enjoying themselves and the music. They would stop trying because they do not want to make more mistakes (especially after being told they were wrong or even yelled at in a disapproved tone).
One of the teacher’s many responsibilities is to show the student (again and again) that s/he can feel safe and supported during the lessons and the music journey together with the teacher, that s/he can feel free to ask questions and explore in the playing and practice. Therefore, building a great relationship between the teacher and student is crucial for ultimate success in music learning and achieving great results. And in order to do that, the teacher who truly cares about his/her teaching would put in utmost effort and patience in every single lesson with each student s/he has, because every lesson/student matters, young or old, “talented” or not.



Watching the students grow, young or adult, beginner or advanced, is the greatest pleasure a teacher can have.


Teresa Wong





我從去年在東京參加的音樂工作坊中了解到一個重要的概念是,學生在上課時有感到不安全和脆弱的時候。當他們感覺不安全 - 注意:不是身體上,而是情感上,為了避免在彈奏(或答問題)時有被批評的可能性時,他們就會開始努力做「糾正」錯誤而非專注於上的表達。他們花費更多的時間和精力去擔心潛在的錯失,而不是表達音樂和享受自己的彈奏。他們因為不想讓更多的錯誤發生而開始停止嘗試,(尤其是在語氣不佳甚至大聲呵斥的情況下被告知他們是錯誤時)。




[:en]On becoming a great teacher [:zh]On becoming a great teacher [:]

[:en]On becoming a great teacher [:]

Piano Beginner Series: (2) Piano Technique and Body Movement

Piano Beginner Series: (2) Piano Technique and Body Movement

Miss Teresa Wong writes about the importance of body movement and awareness in piano playing.

A funny thing (or three) about my teaching

This morning I wake up early. And I think about my teaching, as usual.

I recall sometimes when I talk to people about how much love my work and how much I care about my students, they would give the seemingly strangest response to me. “Of course. You get paid for your work.” First of all, I have finally taught myself to understand and accept the idea that getting paid for my teaching is not an evil or shameful idea : there was once I sent a student away after a few years of teaching because the parent never paid until I reminded her, on top of the main reasons of extreme tardiness of the student on his practice and the seemingly disrespect of my teaching by the parent – she was playing mahjong with the family when I came in to teach her son and was rather dismayed to find that they had to stop for 45 minutes for my student’s lesson (as a matter of fact I think she tried to keep playing at the beginning of or even halfway through the lesson). Perhaps people think if I feel teaching is such a noble job that I should teach for free? (I guess being in the financial, legal and property fields are not that is why they get paid so much to compensate their feeling of loss in the lack of nobleness). I do need money to survive in this world (rather unfortunately), just however much it is would be is another issue

Secondly, and more importantly, I have thought about this wild notion (read further at my article here): what would I do if I were so wealthy that I didn’t have to work for a living? Ok, I would go travel more often than now, but still, I would keep teaching, even for free, so that I can take away the money factor out of my teaching and people can stop judging me about getting paid for my teaching.

Another thing is about my website. When I tell people about this website (rather reluctantly at the beginning to those I first met since I thought I wrote so much about myself here), some of their responses would be, again somewhat bizarre to me, “oh, this is how you promote your ‘business’. ”

Hmm, ok. I never thought about that add-on advantage of this site. Certainly, I had and have been gaining students through this channel here, but my original and still my main goal of upkeeping this site is to share my knowledge and experience in music/piano to anyone (not just students) who is interested in knowing more for free (yes not for money). I hope I’m sounding quite noble now.
The third thing about my teaching is my idea of constant learning and self-improvement in every aspect of me. This includes not only knowledge in music and piano, but also in other arts, other cultures, about humanities, the world, psychology, how the brain and mind work, how to maintain good physical health and how that improves the mental work that helps to achieve more efficient brainwork and more focused mind (important in piano performance) etc etc. When I tell my dear mother (or others) that I have to practice more often or all these goals I want to achieve for my teaching and beyond (again, sounding even more noble now I figure), her response is, “why? You are just an ordinary person. You don’t have to do so much.” Really mom? Interesting. I don’t try to think I am someone very special, but I do believe that I am here for a purpose, and that purpose is to teach and inspire others. And in order to do so, I will have to keep learning and improving myself, and set an example to others who learn from me.

That is what I would define as: “integrity“.

Teresa Wong