Helen Cheng Music Studio
When a 5-year-old saw a piano for the first time, he/she could not wait to touch it, to press the black/white keys, and was amazed by the sounds. It instantly became his/her new favourite giant toy, on which the child could spend hours making the “music”. The parents saw this with joy and thought, our kid might be the next Mozart, we should get him/her a piano teacher… Sure enough, after 6 months of “professional” training, the eagerness in the child’s eyes are gone and practicing piano had turned into a burden or even torture, instead of joy and fun…
As a music teacher of more than 25 years of experience, I have heard so many stories like this. I feel for the parents, and even more for the kids. Since day one of my music teaching career, either in private lessons or a school teaching environment, I was determined to bring fun back to music learning, while providing my students with solid and sound techniques and fundamentals.
Here are some key points that I emphasize in my music teaching:
Appropriate selection of teaching materials
There have been hundreds of piano method books and series, but most of them are outdated. The improper selection of outdated teaching materials will undoubtedly suppress students interests in learning.
Bring fun back to practicing
Practicing piano should be a fun experience, and only when a child gets as much joy in practicing piano as playing his/her iPad, he/she will voluntarily spend time practicing piano. My job is to help my students discover the fun and joy in practicing piano.
Importance of score reading
One of the most important factors contributing to the students’ lack of interest in practicing piano is the inadequate ability to read the scores. Helping students to improve their score-reading ability is essential in bringing fun back to their piano learning.
Development of stage manners and etiquette
Through entering exams, competitions, and recitals, I have been helping my students dealing with stage frights, and developing solid and proper stage manners and etiquette. It would greatly benefit their later life and career development, regardless of what their life style or career choices will be.
Development of music interpretation ability
Each musical piece has its own background, history, and life. I teach my students not only the technical skills to a piece of music, but also help them to understand its background and proper execution of musical phrases, so that they will not play a piece of Mozart like Chopin.
Most importantly, my teaching is tailored to fit each student's needs
Whether a student’s goal is to become a professional musician or just playing music as a hobby, the student will be taught according to his/her ultimate goal, in an equally enjoyable learning environment.