Music Teaching

Student Spotlight: Annabelle Ch’ng

Annabelle started learning Grade 6 Theory with me barely four months ago. I’ve found her to be a very affable and hardworking person—she takes whatever advice I give to her. She’s also a piano teacher here, and I like the way she laughs whenever I give her a mock admonishment. Just like Regina, I asked her whether she’d mind doing a mini interview with me. Here are her responses.

When did you start learning theory with Mr. Yeoh? How old were you then? I started lessons with Mr. Yeoh on 5th April 2011. I’m 29 years old.

What certifications have you achieved in your theory so far? Grade 6 ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music)

How do you find Mr. Yeoh’s teaching? I am IMPRESSED by the way he taught me during the very first lesson (and until now). He has everything in his mind, he doesn’t need to look at any book to teach me. I’ve never had a music theory lesson like this before. He asked me to jot down my own notes which I find to be very useful and it really helps me to understand things. He has been very patient with me as I’m not a smart student, and I thank him for that.

Have you enjoyed your theory lessons so far? I’ve enjoyed my lessons very much!! In fact, I enjoy every lesson!

What would you have liked Mr. Yeoh to focus more on? Less on? For now, I would say everything that I need to answer in the exam. Probably questions 4 and 5.

Has Mr. Yeoh made you more interested and motivated to learn theory, or less? The answer is MORE!!! I never get bored during his lessons.

Annabelle likes to read novels during her spare time. Thanks again for doing this mini interview, Annabelle.

Music Teaching

Student Spotlight: Regina See


All my 20+ years of teaching I’ve encountered students whom I fondly regard as “classics,” and then there’s Regina See. She’s one of my students in Digital Music here in Penang, and started learning with me about two years ago. I decided to conduct a mini-interview with her, emailing some questions to her and then asking her to append her replies. Here it is, heaven help me.

When did you start learning piano with Mr. Yeoh? How old were you then? I started learning piano with Mr Yeoh when I was in form 1, that was in 2009. I was 13.

What certifications have you achieved in your piano so far? Um. Passes? Distinctions and Merits; this proves how AWESOME I am!

How do you find Mr. Yeoh’s teaching? Hmm… *thinks hard* Boring. Boring, boring. Nah, just kidding. It’s quite fun actually. He’s like a friend. I can tease him oh and I always win whenever we argue. So yeah. I feel big and awesome whenever I’m with him.

Have you enjoyed your piano lessons so far? Yeah, I always look forward to the piano classes.

What would you have liked Mr. Yeoh to focus more on? Less on? FOCUS MORE ON PIECES. Oh my god. Less on scales, muahaha!

Has Mr. Yeoh made you more interested and motivated to play the piano, or less? Um. He doesn’t really affect me that much? I play whenever I feel like it. Not when Mr Yeoh starts smacking me and putting the metronome up close to my ear.

Any other comments, complaints, etc. will be welcome here. He drags and threatens me all the time. I should call Child Services one day and then we’ll see who’ll be the last one standing. Just kidding, Mr Yeoh is an AWESOME piano teacher. As the saying goes: awesome student, awesome teacher. Trust me, it’s not the other way around.

What other activities do you enjoy besides piano playing? I like horse riding and Mathematics.

I could regard Regina as a classic but I won’t because she’s always moaning about how tough school life is and what a drag it is for her to practice all those countless scales and arpeggios. Well young lady, you’d better roll up your sleeves and get movin’, otherwise I’ll sm… oopsie. Don’t want her to call Child Services, do we?

Notwithstanding that fact above, I’ll say that Regina is the only student who wants to do a high five with me, to tell me that my skin color is so fair, to complain about how mean I can be to her (you know this is totally untrue, young lady), to promise me (umpteen times) that she’ll do her scales next week, etc. etc. You get my point.

It’s been a challenging but great experience to teach this cooperative student (a little praise there) and she does work hard, I grant her that. And oh yes, before I sign off…her favorite word (as if you can’t tell from the interview) is “awesome.” I think it’s an excellent attitude for her to have. And Regina, you will keep practicing, won’t you, wink wink?

Music Teaching

Student Spotlight: Vincent Ong

Here’s a vid of my student Vincent Ong playing his own composition, Flight of the Gargoyles at the recent Yamaha Junior Original Concert earlier this year. Vincent was the junior winner in the first Piano Idol competition held here in Penang way back in October 2008. Thanks for the vid, Sue!

Ed Note: Due to copyright restrictions I’m afraid that the above video has been marked as private by the owner. My apologies.


Music Teaching

Bao Xiu plays Brubeck

Here’s my student Bao Xiu again, playing Dave Brubeck’s King for a Day. A treat for all you jazz fans.


My wish list for the Korg KDM-3 Digital Metronome

Having used Korg’s excellent KDM-2 for a few years now, I’m hoping that the KDM-3 (at least I assume that’s what the next version will be called) will be coming out soon. Here’s my wish list for it:

  • Backlit LCD display
  • A push-button number pad AND a rotary dial for inputting speeds
  • A real metronome and bell sound
  • A female and/or male voice to count out the beats (Note: some people might see this as a gimmick but I think it’s a nice touch. Moreover it has been featured in Yamaha’s latest Clavinovas)
  • A choice of colors—black is always in fashion, but how about red, gold, brown, etc? A digital metronome could be the next fashion statement!
  • A more powerful speaker system compared to the KDM-2. Don’t get me wrong, the KDM-2 is pretty loud, but…oh well.
  • The ability to use rechargeable batteries would be nice
  • A soft carrying pouch or case

If you have any other suggestions, feel free to drop me a comment.

Music Teaching

Student spotlight: Adriana Chiew

Another of my advanced students, Adriana Chiew performing on the Yamaha Clavinova.

Adriana won the second Piano Idol competition held in 2009. Since then I have seen her progressing very well in her piano playing. Of course it helps to have a strict teacher like me, yes? Here she is, playing Chopin’s Mazurka in F Op. 68 No. 3. She’s one student that will go very far (and that’s a promise)