Monthly Archives: February 2016


EN Music Studio Summer Piano Recital 2016 Annoucement

Recital Reception

 

The summer piano recital date for EN Music Studio has been set for June 5th, 2016!  All students will be asked to play at least two pieces at this recital. I know everyone has been working hard at their pieces and I already know that I will be happy with the results this far ahead of the date. Performing at a recital is a great goal to have when taking piano lessons. Not only does it provide an incentive to practice smart, performing in front of people helps students advance musically. When the student is actively aware that there is an audience to communicate to, their musicality will grow to accommodate that. It is also beneficial for them to hear other people play the piano; learning piano is a combination of playing and listening.

Besides the musical benefits, having the practice of performing publicly is great for developing self-confidence for other skills, such as school presentations and job interviews. Performing is sharing a piece of something you have worked on, which is understandably difficult.  To perform is to fulfill our artistic duty to create and reproduce for an audience.

As per last time, the best performer will receive a prize. Last recital’s winner, Lili, won two tickets to see the Beethoven’s piano concerto no.4 at the University of Victoria.  While there doesn’t seem to be any concerts in June, there will again be a prize for the best performer on June 5th. Prize will be announced soon!

 


Why I Teach: Teaching Piano

Why I Teach

When I began learning piano 17 years ago, I had no intention of becoming a piano teacher.  Of course, I was 7 at the time and was making no decisions on my career at that age. Today, teaching piano and studying piano pedagogy and music education has become my everyday life.  So why the change?

My Roots in Performing

I began my music journey by wanting to be a performer, although I was painfully shy in every aspect of my life. I saw a segment on TV broadcasting pianist Yundi Li’s performance and was mesmerized by the command he held over the audience with a single spotlight and a piano. No words were needed for him to express himself, when the music effortlessly spoke for him. This performance inspired me to want to become a performer, and so I asked my parents for piano lessons. For the next 13 years, I continuously engaged in performances. I performed piano pieces at recitals, competed at local competitions, and joined local talent shows. Aside from piano, I began playing the guitar and ukulele, and began singing at local gigs and fundraisers.

Performing gave me a voice, even when I was too shy to say my piece. It let me express myself, when I didn’t have the words to do so.  To this day, I cherish performing, even though it still makes my heart pound with nerves every time. When I am on the stage, I remember that I have the ability to create, to be brave, and to share.

The Turn to Teaching

I teach, because all musicians are students, and all musicians are teachers. I learn from my students every time we have a lesson, because they inspire me to think of new ways to explain musical concepts like rhythm and phrasing. I learn from my students when I see them become inspired, and I see what a difference in their playing that can make. While I have been trained for many years in music, I do not think I am at the finish line yet. I am merely another student of the great world of music, trying to tap more into what makes music so enjoyable, so emotional, and so effective. Being a teacher has been a great way to improve myself as a musician.

 

I teach, because it is a way of keeping music alive, in a time when the fine arts are put on a back burner. Of course, there will be artists creating works and sharing them towards the audience, but most musicians will begin by having someone guide and inspire them. I hope to be that teacher that inspires their students to become artists, to become emotionally aware, and to live a more meaningful life because they can communicate with music. It is the best way I can think of to contribute back to my community.

 

Learn more about Eric’s piano lessons Here

Contact EN Music Studio Here

 

 


The Bigger Rhythmic Picture

Rhythm

 

One of my pet peeves that a beginning student can do, is rushing ahead during parts that they find easy to play, and struggling to keep up with that set rhythm during the more difficult parts. Overall, the results not only show a lack of mindful practicing that hinders progress,  but will hinder the student from understanding music further.  Are they listening artistically to the music they are creating, or are they simply trying to play through the notes as if they were a finger agility challenge?

 

Why is it Important to Play and Practice in Rhythm?

Rhythm is an integral part of the form of music. It is the glue that holds everything together. It organizes sounds into what we call music by assigning them duration values, giving the melody direction and shape. When we disrupt that form (by playing the rhythm wrong), the structure doesn’t make sense anymore.  Don’t forget, audience members are more likely to notice mistakes in rhythm rather than in notes. Our eyes are great at picking up rhythmic patterns, and this is reflected into every language’s natural rhythm. By playing in the correct rhythm, the student is learning about the larger musical picture even though the notes are not perfected yet. Having the bigger picture puts everything in perspective; this is a higher understanding of the music that students can learn from the very beginning.

Is Practicing Slowly the Answer?

Absolutely! Imagine riding a bike. When you are first learning to ring, would you want to go as fast as possible, or would you want to take it at a comfortable pace? Ideally, you would be riding at a speed, and on a route, that is challenging, but easy enough to do. You need time to get used to reacting to all the things happening! When learningmusic, you are being challenged visually, aurally and physically all at once. Take your time! Give yourself a fair chance to look at what’s happening!   A speed too fast, will cause too many mistakes and may be discouraging.

It is important to note that its crucial to work on rhythm, without melody too. It is a major part of music, no matter what instrument you are playing.

Remember! This is music, not a words-per-minute typing test. Take your time and enjoy the music!