Tag: teresawonghongkong

How to Set Up Your Music Studio: Purpose of Your Teaching

[:zh]鋼琴文憑考試預備: 樂曲分析和口試 (巴哈觸技曲E小調, BWV 914: 第二節) [:]

[:zh]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k788YnGQ-To[:]

[:en]Freedom vs control : are they mutually exclusive?[:]

[:en]

I always talk and write about freedom in piano playing. In fact, I am working on publishing my book entitled “Piano Freedom”.

When I say freedom, it does not mean there is no control. The same goes for a great piece of music. Think about all the great musical works you have enjoyed so far: they all make sense to you of something, something with structure and order, and none of them keep introducing new ideas without repeating ideas presented earlier on. 

Freedom and control are not mutually exclusive; indeed, they go hand in hand and complement each other. Without control there is no freedom, and without either freedom or control, there is no music. 

But just how much freedom and control do we need? 

The answer is, “to each their own.”

One has to explore one’s freedom and control, one’s boundary and flexibility. It’s like rubato: how much time does one need? 

Does that mean it’s futile to learn from others about the skill set required for freedom and control? Not necessary. There are always something to learn, apply, and modify to one’s own devices. 

And that is why I wrote my book “Piano Freedom”.

I once was very frustrated with my limitation at the piano. No matter how hard I tried, I didn’t get to the point I wanted : feeling free at the same time controlled. Gaining the new skills by reading, exploring, practicing, breaking down the old habits and acquiring the new ones was not at all an easy path. But I knew I must do it to get closer to where I wanted. And I did. That had been why I wanted to focus more on teaching others and that also has become why I have decided to publish my book this year after finishing it for almost three years now. It is time to get it out there.

Accompanied with this book (text and illustrations) comes with a DVD / series of videos to demonstrate on the various techniques and an exercise book for readers to work on the techniques described. I hope this will truly help anyone who is eager and ready to have a real breakthrough in one’s piano playing – just like I did over 10 years ago.

I can’t wait to share with you all this in a few months’ time. 

Much blessings,

Teresa 

Forearm-Finger Alignment, figure 3 from my upcoming book "Piano Freedom"
Forearm-Finger Alignment, figure 3 from my upcoming book “Piano Freedom”
[:]

[:en]Merry Christmas, My Readers![:]

[:en]FullSizeRender (8)

Dear Readers,

As this holiday season is approaching  (I am already celebrating after the first week of December!), I have been looking back and reflecting on what I have done and achieved this past year, which is full of joy, challenge and adventure. 

FullSizeRender (4)It has been a wonderful year for me, in not only the fact that my school has been growing surely and steadily, my teachers and staff have been doing a great job educating and inspiring their students, but also that I have grown so much personally through work and connection with people around me.

Building a school is not exactly what I would call the easiest job in the world. Hardly. There have been struggles, failures, conflicts, false accusations, stress and sadness. Yet there have also been joy, success, realization of new ideas and projects, wonderful sharing and communication.

FullSizeRender (5) The connection among me, my teachers and staff, the connection among me and my students, the connection among me and you my readers, is priceless. Working through all this helps me to build stronger relationships with people around me, in work, family and friends. Working through all this helps me to build a stronger relationship with and understanding of myself.

FullSizeRender (7)

This year, whenever I discuss my work with friends and staff, it always comes back to one term: CORE VALUE. Why am I doing this? How did I start it all? It goes back to the origin, my love for piano /music, my passion in sharing this magnificent gift in life with others, my belief and purpose in helping others and inspiring them to achieve their innate potential.

FullSizeRender (3)

I believe in giving and sharing. I believe in giving more than I think I can give. Pay it forward like how others have done for me. I am deeply grateful for those who have inspired and encouraged me in my life, past and present. I want to continue this line of tradition and bring others light in music and life. That would be my Christmas wish this year.I believe in giving and sharing. I believe in giving more than I think I can give. Pay it forward like how others have done for me. I am deeply grateful for those who have inspired and encouraged me in my life, past and present. I want to continue this line of tradition and bring others light in music and life. That would be my Christmas wish this year.

I cannot finish writing this without giving thanks to all of our students and their parents (mine and my school’s), and everyone whom I have interacted in my teaching career, past and present.  I sincerely appreciate your support and your trust in me (and my teaching staff).

1IrisFullSizeRender (2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last but not the least (cliché but true), I would like to give thanks to my dear Mother for her long-term support. Without her, I would not have been able to start this journey. Thank you Mother. And thank you Grandma who is in my heart always.

Last but not the least (cliché but true), I would like to give thanks to my dear Mother for her long-term support. Without her, I would not have been able to start this journey. Thank you Mother. And thank you Grandma who is in my heart always.

My Christmas Card to My Mother - It says in Chinese: "Thank you for letting me choose this journey in music, which has been truly magnificent and tremendously awe-inspiring."
My Christmas Card to My Mother – I wrote in Chinese: “Thank you for letting me choose this journey in music, which has been truly magnificent and tremendously awe-inspiring.”

Have a wonderful and blissful Christmas!

Warmly,  

Teresa[:]

Practice Guide for Piano Beginners

I always get asked about how much time a student should spend on practice. For me, I understand the busy schedule of a kid /adult, and frankly, I do not expect anyone to spend lots of time only at the piano as there are just so many things to do every day! Also, I am all about efficiency and effectiveness now, that I want the maximum result in the shortest time. But that can only be achieved by maximum level of focus, awareness and determination to succeed. So, it is not just about what the teacher can do in a lesson, but also how the student would do in a practice session!

Now here is a rough guideline to those (students AND especially parents) who are new to this whole music instrument learning journey.

For our Piano Beginner Course, I recommend this:

Semester 1 

15 minutes a day, 5 days a week

E.g. Monday to Friday

Instructions: Set a regular time for daily practice 

It is a very important matter that students know they need to have a regular routine for their practice, so setting the same time for daily practice is a great way to go. When sometimes it might not be plausible to log in the same time every day (like 5pm SHARP is completely ridiculous and out of line probably, we are not in a military camp here!), simply set a time for piano practice after a certain daily task is completed would do the trick.

E.g. 5-5.15pm (after homework /before dinner) or 8-8.15pm (before bed)

I never try to pressure anyone into having a DAILY practice, which really means seven days a week. Certainly I would be glad that any student would do that, but it is not really necessary or strict like that (unless of course you are getting trained to become a professional musician/your child is a music prodigy! But then you/your child would just do it out of the love and passion for music without anyone urging you/him/her to do so already). So here is a sample practice schedule:

Sample practice schedule-

M T W T F

5-5.15pm

T W T F        S 

5-5.15pm      10-10.15am

Students should go through all elements in each practice session, and that includes songs, scales, and sometimes writing/reading (as in our piano beginner coursebook). We have a very clear guidelines in our student book on what and how much time to spend on each element, so both student /and parent can follow the guidelines and practice accordingly to get maximum results.

I hope this is clear enough for anyone who has just started with us (or with someone else) on their piano journey, and even to the teachers who feel lost when telling their students to plan their practice routines. I am always glad to see anyone starting to play the piano NOW, from 4 to 104!

Teresa Wong

*This is a minimum requirement of daily practice routine. Students are encouraged to either do two 15-minute sessions (morning and evening) or one longer sessions of 20-30 minutes if keen to learn and progress faster, and have more fun at the piano!