Welcome! This is Clara Ong, a private piano teacher in Singapore, a Fellow of the Trinity College of Music in piano performance and a Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music with distinction in piano teaching.
I love music and believe that everyone deserves a chance to learn it well.
This Singapore site is dedicated to all parents and students who would like to learn the piano well and give themselves an opportunity to enjoy music to the fullest.
There are many types of talents that music students have. Some are gifted in their aural skills, able to hear note pitches, others have a great sense of rhythm (these are usually the more obvious gifts) and still others are very relaxed and coordinated in their movements at the piano (just like how a runner can naturally run fast). Others have a gift of expression, able to feel and communicate to the listener.
Working with the different gifts of the students and nurturing areas where students are weaker at is very key to success in music. Most students have some basic interest in music - be it pop or anime music, songs from musicals, worship songs in church or a favourite classical tune.
Nurturing that interest while reducing students' challenges helps students to progress well, enjoy music and complete their studies at least up to grade 8 or higher level.
The teacher plays the role of inspiration and motivation, setting guidelines for practice and planning the lessons. Customising lessons effectively to eliminate roadblocks in technique and musical understanding makes music learning engaging and fun.
Students can feel the progress from lesson to lesson and are clear about learning tasks and objectives.
While not all students want to be concert pianists, I believe that most students are happy to be able to play piano with confidence and joy, to share their favourite music with their loved ones.
Finding the right piano teacher is important to eliminate as many potential difficulties as possible and equip students to go far in music.
To practice more without knowing how to correct difficulties - be it coordination, reading or musical problems makes students struggle at the piano and think they are untalented and give up music. It is a real pity.
Some other students do not get to their full potential but live with their challenges all the way to grade 8 which they can perhaps get through, thinking they are not good at piano. This is also very sad.
It is never too late to find a teacher who can help you go further in music whether you are a beginner, mid-grade or higher level student.
A good teacher imparts valuable skills beyond playing the right notes and helps you to correct poor piano playing technique and develop listening skills to bring out your hidden potential in music.
Finding a good teacher can be tricky but here are some qualities to consider in making that critical decision.
My first teacher sadly did not love music nor teaching. Even though I spent many years with her, I did not grow to love the piano.
Two other teachers, on the other hand, had a passion for music and teaching which inspired me to love the piano. That motivated me to practice a lot allowing me to improve tremendously.
Good piano technique is crucial to playing the piano well. The piano is capable of producing many beautiful tones or types of sound when played in different ways.
What is involved in learning the beautiful tones of the piano?
With some of my teachers, I learnt little about piano technique as the focus was on playing the right notes.
I was elated when I later discovered the beautiful tones of the piano learning new piano technique.
Finding a teacher that you or your child gets along well with is important.
I was motivated to practice most for the teachers I got along well with.
Qualifications give a good indication of the musical standard of the teacher.
There are 3 levels of music diplomas: associate, licentiate and fellowship; licentiate and fellowship levels demand standards comparable to degrees from music conservatoires and universities.
There are 3 levels of music degrees: bachelor (undergraduate), masters (postgraduate) and doctorate.
These qualifications usually specialize in performance, teaching, theory or research.
Find a teacher with the right level of qualification and specialisation to suit your learning needs!
My most-dedicated teachers were committed to practicing and perfecting their pianistic and teaching skills.
They regularly performed as soloists or accompanists, attended masterclasses and watched good concerts. Always evolving musically and giving fresh perspectives, they were a constant source of inspiration!
There are informative write-ups to help piano students with their learning choices under the following sections:
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