2013 U.S. Open Winners

UPDATED: Congratulations to my students who won awards in their categories at the 2013 U.S. Open Music Competition!

First congratulations is in order for seven year old student April who just won 3rd place in the Showcase Piano Solo category for her performance of the Dussek Sonatina Op.20 No.4 and the Prokofiev Tarantella Op.65 #4 in D Minor:

Also congratulations fifteen year old Rachel won 3rd place in the Treasury of Baroque category for her performance of the Bach Invention No.15:

Finally congratulations to Michael Tu’s 4th place award in the Treasury of Classical category for his performance of the Clementi Piano Sonata Op.36 No.4 in F Major, Con Spirito:

Chopin Impromptu

6th grader Leon Chou is playing the Chopin Impromptu:

Congrats to my 2012 U.S. Open Piano Competition Winners!

Congratulations to my students who were winners in the 2012 U.S. Open Piano Competition!

  • Ryan Chang – bronze winner in Baroque
  • Leon Chou – crystal winner in Showcase Solo
Good job guys!!

5 years old Emily plays a sonatina

Isn’t this cute? 😀

Music study improves IQ

Studies show active and prolonged study of music throughout life leads to higher IQ scores:

Music lessons are linked to higher IQ throughout life, according to research by E. Glenn Schellenberg, a psychology professor at the University of Toronto at Mississauga. Six years’ lessons lifted children’s IQ scores an average 7.5 points[…]

In a study this year, researchers at the University of Kansas found practicing musicians who are active for a decade or more continue to post higher IQs beyond age 60.

via Ways to Inflate Your IQ – WSJ.com.

Learning music in children leads to higher IQs, better grades, and improved academic capabilities. Practicing music is exercise for the brain. Music practice involves daily, sustained concentration tied to physical movement. The act of reading and playing music involves much counting and division – stimulating the same parts of your mind that process things like math and science – all the while linking it to artistic concepts such as emotional music performance and beautiful sound. The more you practice, and the longer you do this in your life, the more benefit you receive. Music lessons are one of the best things you can do for your child; it will give them a leg up in their school years and will give them a skill that they will carry for the rest of their lives.

2011 U.S. Open Music Competition Winners

My student Leon Chou won 3rd place in the U.S. Open Music Competition. Here he is playing the Haydn Piano Sonata in D Major:

Congratulations, Leon!

Another student Eric Chang won 3rd place in his category. Yay Eric!!

My other wonderful students who competed this round:

Rethink how much you make your kids practice

Reading up on posts today I came across this article in the Wall Street Journal:

Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior

Ethnicity or nationality aside, the real key to success in children is the demand for excellence from their parents, and how much practice they have at the things they need to be good at. My favorite quote from this article was this:

All the same, even when Western parents think they’re being strict, they usually don’t come close to being Chinese mothers. For example, my Western friends who consider themselves strict make their children practice their instruments 30 minutes every day. An hour at most. For a Chinese mother, the first hour is the easy part. It’s hours two and three that get tough.

Now we’re talking.

Practice at the very least should be treated as homework. You do it every day, just like your other homework assignments. To be good at anything, you need to do it more. If you want to win first place in the competitions, you need to have practiced more than your competitors, and doing your practice intelligently. Your competitors are practicing this much – three or four hours per day minimum. No, really.

Another good quote from the article worth pointing out:

What Chinese parents understand is that nothing is fun until you’re good at it. To get good at anything you have to work, and children on their own never want to work, which is why it is crucial to override their preferences. This often requires fortitude on the part of the parents because the child will resist; things are always hardest at the beginning, which is where Western parents tend to give up. But if done properly, the Chinese strategy produces a virtuous circle. Tenacious practice, practice, practice is crucial for excellence; rote repetition is underrated in America. Once a child starts to excel at something—whether it’s math, piano, pitching or ballet—he or she gets praise, admiration and satisfaction. This builds confidence and makes the once not-fun activity fun. This in turn makes it easier for the parent to get the child to work even more.

Don’t be afraid to make your kids practice, and don’t give up when they resist. This is the key to their long-term success and happiness, and while it might not seem like it at first, the results will come if you are determined and persistent.

Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet – Evgeny Kissin

This is my favorite pianist.  Last time I saw him play, it was 20 years ago in Boston.

Selecting a Student Piano

Found this page which has useful tips on how to purchase a piano. Especially helpful advice when selecting a new instrument for your student:

How to Buy a Piano – wikiHow

Avoid electronic keyboards. These are not the same feel or tone as a real piano. The keys are usually unweighted, the instruments don’t have pedals, and they sound terrible. What you need is a real upright or grand piano. These can be rented or purchased. Renting is not a bad idea for beginners if you are not sure. For my competition students, it is best to have a real grand piano available to practice on daily.

You also will need to identify a good piano tuner. You should have a piano tuner come and service your piano at least once a year, and preferably twice per year.

Fall 2010 Studio Announcements

As of August, 2010, tuition rates are as follows:

  • 30 min. – $38/hr
  • 45 min. – $55/hr
  • 60 min. – $73/hr (required for competition and certification exam students)

Currently my studio has one opening,  please contact me to get on my waiting list as openings do come up from time to time.

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