I love learning, and I love teaching.
I however, did not enjoy learning that much, with my own experience earlier on.
I had way too much guidance and too many teachers trying to be tough on me, telling me that my work, or I, wasn’t good enough.
I don’t know about you, but I never liked that kind of teaching.
At first, I was like, “okay, I will do better” (because I wasn’t good enough). But after a while, I thought to myself, “if I weren’t good enough, what difference would it make even when I tried harder? I will never be good enough anyway”.
The strict, no-praise, negative reinforcement kind of teaching created that fixed mindset for me in my teens.
Then I found my first Teacher, thanks to my Mother.
She was one of the best piano teachers I had ever had. She’s not only great at the piano, but she’s also great at motivating me to become better, in a positive and nurturing way.
She opened my mind, my eyes and my ears to new way of piano playing, and music understanding.
It was the first time I realized, what drastic difference a great Teacher could make in a student’s life. It was amazing.
I went out to have a couple great Teacher – they were not only great pianists and piano teachers, they were great compassionate humans. Such inspiring experience eventually led me to become interested in starting a career in teaching.
I have taught at universities (doing lectures, music coaching and one-on-one piano lessons), and choirs (middle school choirs and children choirs), but what I found that I really wanted was to teach piano the way I wanted to.
At first it wasn’t easy – in fact it took me quite a few years to find my path to private piano teaching. I got frustrated, I had piano students hiding away from me in the house because they didn’t want to play piano (never teach anyone who doesn’t like playing piano again!), I couldn’t figure out what my way of teaching should be like.
Eventually I found that, my way of teaching was very different from whatever other teachers were doing in the area. I mean, doing exams and competitions are great, but first, you got to love to play the piano and enjoy learning music, with a solid foundation on piano technique and music rudiments. Without them, no one can get very far. They usually would get fed up before they reach the sky.
I am also all about positive reinforcement (thank you Psychology teacher at college!). Even I didn’t learn that from my own early learning experience (I was the one threatened to be fed with poison if didn’t do well!), I knew I wanted to do it differently for my students, especially for the young ones. If you open their eyes, minds and hearts to a positive way of learning (at any subject) right from the start, they would just blossom and absorb any datas like a sponge.
So here I am, after the many years of trial and error, and after the last couple years of being in Colorado, I still love to learn new things, and I still love to teach piano.
If this is your first read of my posts, welcome. If you’ve been following me for a while, I say, thank you so much for your support. Whether you are in Colorado, in the States, in Hong Kong, or in any other countries, we can always connect online, no matter how far the physical distance is. Music will always bring us closer, and of course, our love for piano too.