Categories
Music Teaching

Student Spotlight: Tan Bao Xiu

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Following on the mini interview with Annabelle, here’s Bao Xiu’s version of it. I first met Bao Xiu when she was auditioning for the first Piano Idol. Since then I have seen this reticent young lady mature in her piano playing; she’s yet another very obedient student. It’s really students like her that make my piano teaching life less stressful (and believe me, as far as I’m concerned piano teaching can be stressful) So on with the interview.

When did you start learning piano with Mr. Yeoh? How old were you then?
Ummmm…I don’t really remember so clearly…. It was sometime in early 2010 I think, when I was…14?

What certifications have you achieved in your piano so far?
Eh, if you count the Yamaha piano exams that’d be quite a lot of certs….but for ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music) exams I’ve done theory till grade 6, and I just took the practical grade 8….but since I haven’t gotten the results for that yet, I guess it doesn’t count? (Ed note: Bao Xiu scored a Merit for her Grade 8 piano exam taken in July 2011)

How do you find Mr. Yeoh’s teaching?
Hmmm. Honestly, (and I really am being honest here), he’s quite an awesome teacher. He’s got lots of stories to tell, about basically anything. But—he can be very strict sometimes…. I wouldn’t actually use the word mean though, cause even though he gives me intimidating tasks (like lots of sight reading), it actually does help me quite a bit.

Have you enjoyed your piano lessons so far?
Well yes, except for times when he starts playing some piece on the piano straight from memory like it’s the easiest thing in the world….then I feel pretty disgusted by his amazing piano playing skills (ESPECIALLY when he’s sight reading something!)

What would you have liked Mr. Yeoh to focus more on? Less on?
I don’t really know…. I guess he keeps a good balance of everything. And he knows exactly what a student’s strengths and weaknesses are….so….yeah.

Has Mr. Yeoh made you more interested and motivated to learn piano, or less?
Uh, honestly, I’ve never really liked playing piano that much, it’s like, a natural thing….but after learning with him I’ve definitely built more confidence in my playing 🙂

Any other comments, complaints, etc. will be welcome here.
Hmmm. I don’t know what else to say 😛 Oh yeah, he’s a technology geek too. So I would conclude by saying he’s a high-tech piano teacher/storyteller! 😀

Bao Xiu’s interests and hobbies include dancing, drawing, reading novels, and photoshopping.

Thank you for your time in doing this interview, Bao Xiu. I’m sure you’ll do very well in your recent Grade 8 piano exam.

Categories
Music Teaching

Student Spotlight: Regina See

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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?