PhD (Southampton, UK)
MMus (Reading, UK)
BA Hons (Birmingham Consevatoire, UK)

Teaching Philosophy

Each student, a young beginner or an adult learner, is a unique individual. Some students plan to make music a lifelong vocation, while others take piano lessons for pure enjoyment. My primary goal is to connect with each student's motivation on a personal level, and to tailor the lessons to meet each student's individual needs. It is by now a common knowledge that music education improves academic performance, therefore the fact that exposure to music training helps develop a child's cognitive, motivational, and communication skills needs no elaboration here. I seek to nurture the developmental skills and character of young students by providing them with a structured and well-rounded musical education, to guide them to the sense of accomplishment that can only come after genuine challenge, dedication and effort.

Adult learners are usually the most dedicated students who are relatively clearer in their minds as to where they are musically and where they want to be. Most of them decide to take lessons because they have tasted something of the beauty of music, and aspire to discover and explore more of music's profundity. I love to take adult beginners on step-by-step without neglecting the fundamentals of piano playing such as posture, sensitivity to good pianistic tone, phrasing and rhythm. Ultimately, the students will be able to play the piano not only as the fulfillment of a dream; they will also come to know and enjoy the instrument as an effective vehicle for self-expression. For my students who are more experienced learners, I aim to guide them in developing musical and technical tools that will enable them to learn their music with greater speed and ease, as well as widening their repertoire and musical horizons, thereby laying the foundation for a lifelong engagement with the piano. My teaching approach integrates technique and musicality, in the sense of striving for brilliance and craftsmanship without compromising the students' imaginative and emotional connection to the music.

Practice techniques are introduced to reduce tension in playing, and concepts involving the natural, physiological abilities and efficient management of the hand, arm and body in achieving flexibility and dexterity are explained in a common-sense manner. Emphases are also placed on the intelligent use of an array of tonal color and the students are encouraged to shape their musical phrases in the most personal and beautiful manner. Whenever relevant, I work to free students from performance anxiety by focusing their attention on the emotional content of the music; so that creatively and imaginatively, the students will be fully engaged in communicating music that is both exciting and inspiring.

In short, music training and music making at any level, promotes intellectual and emotional well-being as it encourages personal creativity and imagination. Self-discipline in study and practice, poise for performances and the ability to express individual ideas also contribute towards developing good character, patience, endurance, artistic sensitivity, and a sense of self-worth and confidence. Proper piano technique, posture and sound production will be emphasized from the very beginning, and music theory will be introduced at an appropriate stage as building blocks of musicianship. Students will be encouraged to listen, practice and perform so that music may be integrated into a significant place in the students' life. The ultimate goal is to bring the mind, body, and soul to the performing experience, an experience which will be meaningful and rewarding to both the one who performs and to the listeners.

For learners as young as 3 years of age, I specialized in teaching using the Suzuki method which is by far the most effective approach for nurturing and developing the musical ability of a child from a very young age. Based on Suzuki's "mother language" philosophy, very young children learn to play the piano through their senses after listening to recordings and observing how other children learn. A cooperative relationship between teacher, parent and student is essential for a successful learning process. A parent is expected to be present at the child's lesson and receive training as a practice partner to the child. As a result, Suzuki parents and children are often known to build strong parent-child bonds which would be treasured for a lifetime.