Tag: Teresa Wong School of Music

Training Piano Teachers

Lately I have been preoccupied with training piano teachers on my online teaching platform and one-to-one private consultation basis.

I find it very fulfilling and satisfying to train piano teachers (and music teachers) to become successful in their teaching career. After years of my own training and teaching students in the area of piano performance, I realized how important it was to help piano teachers to become better in the way they understand and teach music/piano. I personally can only teach that many students privately; but if I could train others to teach well, we would have a lot more wonderful piano teachers out there to educate, inspire and encourage students to learn, enjoy and flourish in their music journey.

The first thing I want to get piano teachers understand is that they need to get themselves “out there”, especially when they are new in their teaching career. What that means is that they need to find their own channels to promote their teaching. It can be a blog, a Facebook page, or a YouTube channel. It is important for the teachers to share their thoughts, knowledge and experience on piano teaching and performing. It is a great way for the teachers to not only let new students know about their availability, but also to educate and connect with current students outside their lessons.

Another thing about training new teachers is to show them that there is a huge difference between learning to play piano and learning to teach piano. Surely there are some similarities between the two, but knowing how to play doesn’t mean one knows how to teach. There certainly is a lot to learn when it comes to the art of teaching. Other than all the music books I have studied throughout the years, I have also educated myself by reading a lot of books on communication and psychology. Learning how to communicate with students (and parents), encourage them and inspire them to learn and succeed, and above all, understand each student’s personality and their strength and take advantage of that knowledge in one’s teaching are all very powerful tools for a successful piano teacher.

Before I teach my piano teachers anything, I always ask them this question, “why do you teach?”. I want them to really think and feel deeply, and understand the reason they want to start their teaching career. For me, I was inspired by a couple of the most amazing piano teachers during my formative years: their passion in piano, their expertise in teaching, as well as their compassion for students (which I truly cherish till this day). They showed me how a real teacher could dramatically change a life for the better.

A real teacher is inspiring, caring, and respectable. I hope I am one and I can train many more in years to come.

Teresa Wong

网上钢琴课程

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教授:专业美国印第安纳大学音乐学院毕业、钢琴演奏硕士、黄颖妍音乐学校创办人黄颖妍老师

出版书籍包括: Technique Transformation Piano Exercise Book / 钢琴技巧改造练习书册,Piano Freedom(暂定: 钢琴真自由),Music on Wings Piano Beginner Course Book 钢琴初阶课程。

网上课程内容:钢琴技巧改造训练,英国皇家音乐学院级别及文凭演奏考试训练,英国圣三日音乐学院文凭演奏考试训练,美国音乐学院面试预备训练,音乐历史、音乐乐理、听力、视唱、键盘技巧、钢琴即兴和伴奏、音乐创作、钢琴演奏等训练,以及音乐学术文章写作。

黄老师的學生遍佈全球各地,包括香港,澳門,中国大陸,新加坡,馬來西亞,印度,斯理蘭卡,澳洲,美國,英國,法國等等。

有兴趣跟黄老师上课的话,请直接联络我们。电邮是twsomusic@gmail.com. 

课程可以以广东话、国语、或英語上课。

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初學鋼琴系列: (一) 坐姿

初學鋼琴系列: 暑假來到了!我準備了寫一系列關於初學者學琴須知,讓家長了解多一些小朋友在初學鋼琴時要留意的事項,希望可以幫到大家啦!

Creativity

Let your imagination run FREE!
Let your imagination run FREE!

 

When some people think about taking lessons at the piano, they think “boring”, “classical”, “time and money wasting”, “useless”, “it’s not a school subject anyway, totally unrelated to any academic work”, “what does that have to with the real world anyway, it doesn’t help me with making more money (and friends) and getting promoted”, “I just don’t know what it is anymore for after finishing all the grades already”.

What a downer you said. Hey, I am just being realistic here, in fact, I remain completely neutral when I hear any of these comments and alike. I understand perfectly why they think like that. Because they have never experienced JOY in that part of their musical lives (and also that they never have a teacher like me hahaha…)

For me, of course, playing the piano has brought me so much into my life, which would be otherwise so dull and boring. Playing on my own is one thing, performing and sharing music with others is yet another. Writing about it and listening to it are both enjoyable and satisfying in so many beautiful ways. And now teaching it and teaching how to teach it adds an even newer and fuller dimension to this – how should I call it – “adventure“? :)

But I can tell you, the best thing is the connection it has brought to me with other people, locally and abroad. It has brought me to get to know so many beautiful people who love music and piano. For that I feel truly blessed.

Sometimes my students say to me, “why do you share so much online for free?” (sorry students I know you feel unfair, and I shall cut that down a bit). Well, my initial thoughts were to spread the knowledge I had to those who might not have access to it otherwise, so why wasted all the beautiful knowledge that I have gained myself all these years? I believe in paying it forward, and in giving I shall receive (not that I have ever so focused on the latter part). And I have been receiving in so many ways.

So what about my title “creativity“? Ok I was getting side tracked as always. To go back to the starting point, playing the piano might seem boring to some at first. All the learning to read notes, counting rhythm, playing scales and technical exercises (!), learning simple songs (“Really? Twinkle Twinkle Little Star? Old MacDonald Had a Farm??”) and keeping your fingers curled do not seem fun and joyful at all. In fact, they seem to be torture to some. But once we get past the basics, it is really fun – actually I am wrong, the kids and adult beginners at our school are having fun right at the beginning even playing the easiest songs ever. It is not about it being easy and almost awfully silly at the age of 45 (or 4.5 for that matter in the eyes of a 45 – or perhaps it may well be, why can’t we be all silly at times? But that’s another topic for another day/another post isn’t it), it is rather that making music is fun, and making music with your own hands at the piano is tremendously joyful. And you might say, “hey I am just playing it according to ‘the book’ ” (the book that I wrote obviously). Yes, but YOU are playing the music, so you get to play in the way you want it to sound like (within the reasonable boundaries accordingly). So in a way you are creating the music, because there would be no sound if you don’t play it out loud ( mind you that the music sheet cannot make sound on its own). And even in our first semester of the piano beginner course, we already let students make their own choice and add their own ideas into the music and their playing. And in the second semester, students have to participate in writing parts of a couple songs. We also encourage students to start writing their own melodies at the very beginning. Needless to say, in this modern world, one can find lots of creativity in new technology and ideas as well as products. Making music especially at an early age brings out one’s creativity in so many fun and innovative ways. And for the young at heart, playing the piano can bring you so much joy and new perspectives and ideas as well. It is really for everyone!

Gaining knowledge in music is a life time of enjoyment. For those who understand this they would be reading this with a smile. For those who don’t just yet do not despair. Come learn with us ! (Or go learn somewhere is equally fine) The fundamental point is: get it a good try, really get into it, dig deeper in it, otherwise you won’t get as much joy as you would. And believe me, you totally deserve it. It would be such a beautiful thing you can do for yourself.

Now go get creative in your playing and your daily life!

Teresa Wong

香港的音樂表演場地

Music Venues in Hong Kong (Part I) 

 

我們這群音樂工作者和音樂老師常常要為自己舉行音樂會和為學生作演奏尋找場地。但是,我發覺要在香港預訂樂廳或只是一個像樣的表演場地尤其困難。

 

首先,這裡顯然沒有足夠的場地讓我們舉行音樂會。我們熟悉的音樂表演場地大部份都是獲香港政府津貼,並由樂及文化事務署(康文署)營運。看看這些大型音樂廳:大會堂有兩個主要場地,分別是劇院和音樂廳。兩處都非常理想,但都太大了(也很昂貴,即使你是以非牟利或慈善團體的身分申請)。大會堂的高座有一個小小的演奏廳,能容納百多名聽眾。私人音樂老師很喜歡在這裡舉行學生音樂會,不同團體也喜歡在這裡舉辦小型講座和音樂比賽的初賽。所以預訂這些場地的競爭會非常激烈,尤其是在旺季(例如假日)。

 

除了大會堂,還有「著名」的文化中心。那裡有專為古典音樂演奏而設的全港最大音樂廳(流行音樂會的話就有香港體育館、亞洲國際博覽館、會議展覽中心等音樂表演場地)。儘管文化中心的音樂廳是全港最大,那裡卻只能容納二千多名聽眾。這些年來,那裡的音響效果在細聽之下是出了名的不堪入耳,原因是受基礎建設的影響。坐在前排兩側某些座位的聽眾會聽到身處音樂廳內可能出現的最糟糕音響效果,這實在讓人驚訝和無奈。

 

地點較方便大家前往的兩個熱門音樂表演場地是西灣河文娛中心和上環文娛中心的音樂廳。兩處雖不及上述其他場地那樣地處中心地帶、設置正規,但有時候這兩個音樂廳也能讓本地藝術團體和社區中的音樂教育中心用作舉行中型音樂演奏會的場地。

 

其他音樂廳大多位於新界和九龍較偏遠的地點,如沙田大會堂、荃灣大會堂和牛頭角文娛中心等的音樂廳。

 

香港科學館和香港太空館的演講廳是我們常用來舉行小型音樂會、比賽和講座的場地。這兩個地方也是由康文署營運,但原本並非為音樂表演而設。意料之內的是,那裡的鋼琴雖然能彈,卻未達用作表演的標準 。

 

除了由康文署管理的場地,還有些不是由政府資助的音樂表演場地,例如香港藝術中心。那裡的agnès b.電影院雖是個不錯的場地,但其設計目的並非為向聽眾提供最滿意的現場演奏音樂體驗,鋼琴的標準等也未能配合 ─ 但這是我想另外詳談的事情(關於音樂表演場地的鋼琴品質 : 其實,我想說的是,上面提述的大部份場地的質素也真是不堪入耳和「不堪下手」的)。另一由藝術中心管理的場地是壽臣劇院,但同樣地,那裡有點遠,也並不適合作單人鋼琴或小型樂團演奏。

 

除了直接由政府部門康樂及文化事務署(康文署)營運的場地,還有各個音樂學院和大學的音樂表演場地,例如香港演藝學院的演奏廳、音樂廳和戲劇院、香港浸會大學的大學會堂、香港中文大學的利希慎音樂廳、香港大學李兆基會議中心的大會堂和香港理工大學賽馬會綜藝館等。由於這些場地是由高等院校的音樂系管理,那裡的鋼琴品質高得多,保養得也較理想。但當然,這些地方大多是院校用於培育自己的音樂和文化人才,所以如果不是和院校合辦音樂會的話,實際上很難預訂到這些場地。

 

要在香港預訂由康文署營運的音樂廳來舉行演奏會,根據官方規定你必須不遲不早預先六個月遞交申請。走運的話,或者能在比官方規定較短的時間內預訂到場地,那是因為有人改變了主意,把場地讓給了你。然後,你就要準備閱讀大量指引和填寫多頁表格。你將要和負責場地預訂的職員在申請期間來來回回地多次接洽。別誤會,他們通常都樂意幫你申請,你遺漏任何細節時他們也會提醒你。只是在一次申請中就要處理很多東西。幸好是如果你每年都預訂同一個場地,就會習慣這種情況了。要記住,預先六個月申請是必須的(即使你偶爾走運)。如果太遲申請,那成功預訂的機會就要比買六合彩中獎的可能更小。而當他們說有空檔讓你預訂場地,就要立刻付款!不要延遲確認,不然你馬上就要失去場地了(相信我,因為我試過)。 要預訂一個設有兩座大鋼琴的音樂廳幾乎是不可能的。最近我一直在找這樣一個音樂廳,卻無功而還。最後我找到一個音樂廳,那裡有很不錯的鋼琴,卻不能在週末時使用。我不禁問,他們難道不明白音樂會通常都是在週末舉行的嗎?因為聽眾在週末才有空出席。還是他們只是不想把音樂廳開放給公眾使用?我當然希望負責推廣文化、表演藝術和教育的政府部門和機構能做些甚麼來解決這個問題。我認為我們需要一些社區會堂,那裡設有保養得宜的大鋼琴,方便定期舉行小型音樂活動。畢竟本地音樂家需要更多表演機會,音樂老師也要為學生提供累積經驗和建立自信的機會。這是其中一個主要的方式,來宣揚音樂教育的重要性,以及在任何社會中提高大眾對這種重要性的意識。

 

 

黃穎妍

 

 

*此外還有些場地,例如社區會堂和教堂,但我就不在此談論了。而如果我有機會再談西九龍海濱長廊的情況,文章的標題就少不了「商業」和「藝術在哪裡」的關鍵詞了……

 

Y-Square Theatre Technique Video Recording Session 2014

 

我最近租用了一個音樂廳來為接下來的技巧精進課程課本拍攝影片。當我發現那裡有一座漂亮的Steinway鋼琴時,實在驚喜雀躍!

 

 

Teresa Wong School of Music
www.twsom.com

Music Education that Inspires®