I started teaching when I was about 17. I taught at this little music store inside a municipal building in Hong Kong, in which you could also find wet market and little shops.
It was not the most pleasant experience that I quit after a few months because the teaching condition was not so good: the piano rooms were tiny, my back was literally a few inches away from the wall (also the public bathrooms were yucky!). After that I swore to myself I would provide a better and more spacious learning environment for my students.
I continued my music studies through college in Hong Kong and graduate schools in the States, and I also taught piano on the side. When in Hong KOng, I had a couple young students who were not into piano lessons, and that did not give me a good impression that I wanted to teach (I was more into piano performance).
When I was studying at Indiana University, we had a course called “piano pedagogy” and we had to give piano lessons and be observed by our professor. That was a much more systematic way of piano teaching than I ever knew – I was impressed by the vast knowledge of the subject and the professor, how one could teach piano differently and help students learn effectively. I also met a Teacher that literally changed my idea of how one could approach piano lessons and students so drastically different from others.
After I graduated with my Master’s degree in piano performance, I went back to Hong Kong and focused on piano performance. It took me long time before I realized that I wanted to teach piano, and that even I wanted to do it differently than most other teachers, I still could do it the way I wanted.
(to be continued)