For most of us who have gone through formal piano lessons, we all have a story to tell about our experiences with piano teachers. I have heard inspirational stories of piano teachers who truly inspire, and are the most patient and understanding teachers you will ever encounter. On the flip side of the coin, I have also heard of horrible stories of students who have had teachers who threw their books out of the room, or ruled lessons with a stern hand.
I was very fortunate to begin my lesson with my mum. She has always been encouraging, patient and supportive. However when I was around 6 years old, my mum put me with a piano teacher from a music school. She thought it would be good to be taught from a different perspective, but little did we know that the teacher had a very short temper and he nearly killed my interest for the piano. I always felt sick nearing the day of my lesson, and didn't enjoy going to piano lessons at all. The 45 mins in the music studio felt like eternity.
My mum realized that this was not good for me and later took me out of class and continued teaching me. It was than that I flourished under her wings.. and later I studied with Mr Ong Lip Tat, who was a strict teacher but also inspiring. He gave credit when credit was due, and it was with his encouragement that I decided to further my music education in the USA. I had wonderful professors in the US, and I am truly grateful to them for having inspired me to continue this musical passage and to become a teacher myself. My professors gave me many opportunities to perform and made piano lessons enjoyable.
The music path is a tough and sometimes lonely road with many hours spent in the practice studios, honing your skills and making the musical passage sound effortless though it may not be so. Many students now learn music, though few may want to travel on this path less trodden, learning music is the experience of being able to produce the sounds and create the effect of musical wonder from an instrument invented so many years ago. It is the knowledge of understanding the life of the composer and how each sound is being created to weave and tell the story that the composer would want to tell if he was yet alive. That is the mark of a true musician.
I hope all of you who are learning music will find out more about the piece you are playing, because as musicians, it is your duty to bring the composer's work to life and tell the intended story to the audience. For those who have yet started on your musical journey, do think about having music in your life. Whether you do choose music as your ultimate career, just having music in your life, will create joy and provide an outlet for you in times of joy and sadness. It is indeed a wonderful journey and experience, to be able to tell your story and bring music into the lives of your audience. I have never regretted it and I know you will not as well.
So find yourself a good teacher.. ONE WHO INSPIRES....
Happy Musical Journey...