Contributions to Colleagues, Professional Associations,
And the Profession
Our monthly official teachers’ meeting is to provide a chance for professional growth to my colleagues. I use this time to discuss the problems and share our know-how. This is a structured meeting having regular agenda. One part of the meeting is allocated for the case study. One teacher presents her stories concerning every aspect of the piano education excluding private information. Then we discuss to find a better way to deal with it. Usually, we follow up the case for one more month and give the feed back to each other. This meeting is also used to share our own musical resources such as recent articles on piano education.
I participated in broadcasting concerning music education about two years ago. I was invited to host a radio talk show program with an announcer in a local AM radio station for two months in every Saturday. The purpose of this program was to inform the audiences about the classic music so that they could enjoy more when listening to classical music. I gave the announcer frequently asked questions about classical music. During the show, I answered the questions with examples such as explaining the characteristics of Baroque music.
There is an organization for Korean language school. InHawaii, about ten of those schools exist. Every year, they have Korean art song festival. This year, there were four solo contestants, five duo teams, and six chorus teams. I have been a judge from their establishment for the six years. Since I am the only judge consistently attending the festival, I take the role of the chair even though there is no title called the chairperson of the judge. I incorporate and enforce the ten different criteria to judge fairly.
Introduction to Classical Music Appreciation
For the quality performances, need to listen often
In this time, I will suggest how to help your children developing their musical skills. Most of all, let them listen a lot. Music has close associations with the minds of people. When people are sad, sad music brings comfort. However, certain styles of music annoy the people. When you listen to certain songs repeatedly, you will get more understanding and the music will induce your mood in particular ways. As the music appreciation becomes habit, the music players develop a new basic instinct about how to induce other people’s emotions the way they want. Therefore, I would like to define a first step to be a good pianist. Listen attentively. Then you will be able to listen to your music, which you are playing. Check your inner feelings. Am I expressing enough for the important points of my pieces? Does my performance sound coherent? Likewise, sound communication is the main way of communication in music, then developing listening skill is one of the first step to take for the young pianist.
Partnerships with Our Local Communities
My students have a special master class session every month. This group is for the Hawaii Music Teachers Association state recital. It usually takes place on the second week Sunday. Students arrive at the studio and have pizza or sushi lunch. I provide all of the foods and drinks. This time is to get to know each other. I get to talk with my students and get to know about them since I stay away from the small talks during the lessons because of ethical reasons. Then every student plays their own song and I give them brief critics. I give them detailed advice during their lesson while watching the DVD, which is recorded during the master class. Through this master class event, I found that the students feel they belong to a special team. We call it here “Ohana” which means family. Although I did not ask them to do, they were asking each other how they practiced the hard part of the music.
I enjoy building partnerships with elderly houses. This is a volunteer activity. Whenever, I organize these performances, I thank the fact that I am a piano teacher. In addition, students gain the experiences of public performance too. The most recent event was held about two months ago in an Alzheimer’s disease patients’ house. They gave us the tour of the facilities while waiting for the performance. The rooms did not have room numbers or names on it since that information was not useful. However, each room had a display of the patients’ favorite memories such as pictures and postcards. When my students were playing, one grandmother was weeping. If we gave even one minute of comfort to a person or if one of them felt our warm hearts toward them, it was more than enough rewards to us.