Categories
Music Teaching

My New Studio

The Good Pianist has moved to a new studio! Don’t worry, it’s still the same address. I have just moved from the 13th floor to the 14th (things are looking up, LOL) After some minor refurbishments, my new studio became operational in mid-April 2021.

My new studio, which features the Yamaha CLP-675 Clavinova digital piano.

This new place is brighter and more airy. I decided on the Disney pictures because they were based on music, and they make my studio look happy and inviting. Learning piano doesn’t have to be serious!

The comfortable waiting area.
Here’s another view of my studio.

I like the Yamaha CLP-675 Clavinova because it replicates the sound of the Yamaha CFX Concert Grand and Bosendorfer Imperial pianos, all in one neat and compact package. I am not fond of a teaching studio where you walk in and find a baby grand piano occupying most of the room space. Moreover, the Clavinova is always in tune and digital audio recording is a breeze.

You can find lots of information in the links at the top of the page. I do hope to welcome you in person soon. Take care and have a wonderful day!

All pictures were taken with a Canon M50 and an EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM lens. © 2021 The Good Pianist

Categories
General

A Charity Concert for the Children of Nepal

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(Top) Vincent doing what he does best.

(Bottom) Adriana playing some very polished Chopin.

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(Top) Maestros Loo Bang Hean and Ng Chong Lim playing Schubert.

Great afternoon concert at the PenangPAC (Performing Arts Center) on September 6, 2015. My student Vincent Ong played Mozart’s Sonata in B flat major K 333 and three of Chopin’s Op. 10 Etudes. Adriana Chiew played Chopin’s Andante Spianato et Grande Polonaise Brilliante Op. 22. Maestros Ng Chong Lim and Loo Bang Hean played the Schubert Fantaisie in F Minor for piano four hands, D 940.

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(Top) The four performers with their bouquets after the recital ended.

(Below) Mrs. Fong presents a cheque to the Buddhist Tzu-Chi Merits Society of Malaysia.

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(Top) The closing performance by the students of Digital Music—It Starts With Me.

Categories
General

Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence

This is the main title theme to the 1983 movie, Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence. I would like to thank my friend Susan P. for drawing my attention to this lovely music. It was composed by Ryuichi Sakamoto (who also starred in the film) who is perhaps more well-known for his music in another famous movie, The Last Emperor. Hope you enjoy this.

Categories
General

Gangnam Style!

Fooling around with Psy’s mega hit. I recorded this using my Canon PowerShot G15.

Categories
Music Teaching

Always a glimmer of hope

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The piano teaching field is always unpredictable. Making a living out of it is a gamble, a risk. Like any other job, it has its ups and downs. I’ve had some wonderful students in the past but as my piano professors used to remind me—everything has a beginning and an end. No student, no matter how wonderful he or she is, is going to remain with a teacher forever. It’s a little sad when some students drop out for one reason or another; more so if they do so suddenly and I feel they have potential. Sometimes I click with a student, sometimes I don’t. And yes, at times they surprise me with stuff…like this new student who sent me this text. She was just shy and didn’t have a high opinion of herself, so I tried my best to coax her out of it by reassuring her that her piano playing would blossom and improve, given time. Getting this text from her meant a lot to me…at least I’m helping one student along and restoring her dignity to herself—she thought she’d lost it but it was always there, inside her…waiting to emerge.

Categories
General Music Teaching

Yamaha Piano Challenge 2012

After a hiatus of almost two years I’m back in the judge’s chair—this time for the Yamaha Piano Challenge 2012. Mrs. Fong asked me to judge the Finals together with fellow judges Razif, Soo See, and Mei Ling. The format was different compared to Piano Idol, with categories ranging from YPC1 (Beginners) to YPC12 (Advanced) and there were winners for each category. All in I think there were around 60+ contestants, and there were two sessions—one in the afternoon and another in the early evening. We had an early dinner around 5 pm. I brought my Canon EOS 550D along with the Speedlite 580EX II so here are some pictures.

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(Above) The stage is set at the Penang PAC (Performing Arts Center). That’s the Yamaha GB-1 baby grand piano together with the Digital Music banner. This is a smallish hall which can accommodate approximately 300 people, but it has great acoustics. The piano sound seems to bloom on its own accord. This would be a great place for solo concerts. I took this picture handheld, resting my elbows on the judges’ table, taking a deep breath before pressing the shutter.

(Below) Vincent was one of the guest stars of the day. He played Franz Liszt’s Liebestraum No. 3 in A flat major and Chopin’s Black Key etude, Op. 10 No. 5.

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(Above) Adriana was the other guest star. She performed Chopin’s Etude Op. 25 No. 1 and Debussy’s Prelude from Pour le Piano. Both these talented pianists are my students and I’m extremely proud of them. They each won the Piano Idol in the past.

(Below) A candid view of the junior contestants in the afternoon session with their certificates of participation.

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(Above) For the Senior session the piano was moved to a different angle but the sound was still great. A slow shutter speed emphasizes the dexterity of this contestant.

(Below) A cross-section of some of the winners in the Senior category.

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(Above) Here I am, posing with Vincent after the whole show was over. The Speedlite 580EX II is fantastic; this was taken using direct flash and yet it handled the lighting conditions extremely well, exposing both of us just right.

(Below) I could recognize some budding talents today. Here I’m posing with Yeu May, the Level 8 winner. She played a scintillating Chopin waltz—I’d love to have this 15 year-old for a student.

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I have to commend Mr. and Mrs. Fong for organizing these competitions. They really foster and encourage the upcoming musical talents in our midst. I’m looking forward to more in the future.