Interview with Ms Lynn Dee : Insights From 15 Years Of Piano Teaching
Hi! Welcome to our seventh series of our “Interviews with Teachers”.
In this series, we have interviewed piano teacher, Ms Lynn Dee.
We have worked with Ms Lynn Dee since start of this year by recommending her quite a number of piano students based in Choa Chu Kang area. It’s always a pleasure working with her because of her friendliness and passion to help students to learn the piano better.
Ms Lynn Dee has more than 15 years of experience in piano teaching, and music generally. Hence, we interviewed her today to find out more about her music journey, her music experience, and some music advice for our students how they can improve their piano skills.
1. Share with us a little about yourself, and your music background
I started to learn piano at the age of 6. Along the journey, I met many dedicated and committed teachers. They had helped me a lot in mastering the techniques in playing piano. That was very motivating and I spent a lot of time in practice.
During my high school time, some of my seniors approached me after seeing my playing in a piano competition. I was asked to join the choir and be the choir pianist.
It was during the years accompanying for school choir that had lightened up my full passion in playing piano. I accompanied for the choir in performances and competitions. Till now, I still find it a nice memory.
2. How did you get started learning the piano?
It was my birthday gift actually. I fell in love with piano immediately after watching some piano recitals on TV. I kept bugging my parents to enroll me in piano lesson but they said I was too young.
I guess I must be very persistent and they gave in at the end. But they insisted that I had to wait until I was 6 years old. So, during my birthday month at 6, they enrolled me in piano lesson!
3. What motivates you to teach piano?
To pass down the joy of making music! To be surrounded by many little angels (children)!
Most importantly, when students show improvements and develop skills in making music and musical understanding slowly, it brings me a sense of satisfaction.
Although different students encounter different problems. But I see it as a challenge. And most of the time, it has driven me to develop new teaching method to assist students to overcome their difficulties.
4. You have taught piano for more than 15 years. What are some of the interesting teaching insights you have learned as a teacher over the years?
A successful piano lesson doesn’t rely on the teacher alone. It is a collaboration between the teacher and students. Although most parents will tell me they are only a layman when comes to music, parental involvement is a must for very young beginners.
A good rapport must be established at the very beginning between teacher and students/parents.
For teacher’s part, each lesson must be carefully planned to accommodate the ability of each student. A good lesson plan has clear learning goals and learning objectives.Having clear learning goals and objectives help students to understand what to achieve in their practice.
For students’ part, a commitment to practice regularly, or even everyday is a must. With teacher’s feedback on student’s playing, student should work on and overcome the problems during practicing.
Effective practice is important when students have heavy “workload” in school.
For a very young beginner (e.g. preschoolers), they may not have awareness in their problems.
In this case, teacher should feedback on the student’s playing in a communication book or feedback directly to the parents. Parents are to follow up the child’s problems by guiding and assisting the child in everyday’s practice.
(Below is a compilation of piano duets by Ms Lynn Dee and her students)
5. You have lots of experience in teaching kids piano, and even had experience in coaching children’s choir. How do you help your young students to learn and love music?
Young children have relatively shorter attention span. Important learning content has to be taught at the very beginning of each lesson, incorporating in interesting learning activities.
For young piano students, their motor skills are still developing. It takes time to build up their little hands’ muscles. Therefore, teaching very young students by using materials that progress in small, very gradual steps helps to build a strong foundation.
This allows them to make music independently and enjoy music in long run.
Besides, creating a stimulating and relaxed atmosphere provides the opportunities for positive learning. Constant observation on the young kid’s behaviours and responses is required throughout the lesson to ensure they are not stressed over the learning content.
Positive feedback and encouragements are needed as well.
(The conducive area I have lessons with my students)
6. You have attained your diplomas in music, played accompaniment to different instruments, and you played violin too! What’s next in your personal goal in music?
Continuous learning is important as a piano instructor.
Currently I am preparing for my LTCL examination. I also plan to complete more teaching diplomas, attending music workshops and masterclasses.
7. What’s your view on learning for examinations, vs learning for leisure?
The ultimate goal of learning for examinations and learning for leisure is to make music independently and to learn to play the piano for long-term enjoyment.
For students who learn for examinations, the short term goal is clearly the examination. This means that students are motivated to practice for the exams. The examinations provide the opportunities to access the student’s learning outcome, and also access the teacher’s teaching outcome.
For students who learn for leisure, there is no clear short term goal. However, I organize family concerts, annual concerts or bi-annual concerts for students. I also require students to do recordings after they complete certain pieces.
8. If a student wants to go as far as you in his/her music journey, what are the 3 advices you will give him/her?
1) Practice hard
2) Enjoy music
We would like to thank Ms Lynn Dee for her generous sharing about her music journey and experience.
My Lynn Dee does graded and leisure piano lessons at her place at Choa Chu Kang or around the area at student’s place. If you’re keen to find out more about her lessons, just drop a message in the form below.
We hope that you have gained lots of insights about learning and playing the piano.
Stay tuned as we will bring you more interviews of our piano teachers!
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For some, music is more than a mere requirement to soar in this immensely competitive world. For some, music is truly a passion, an inborn talent and a genuine interest like that of no other- a skill that can only be evoked and polished by not just any ordinary music educator, but one whom has within him/herself the exact same genetic predisposition to the deep love music has to offer.
One can only fully develop a deep link with the power of music from someone whom has herself dwelled into music to an extent that it is her second nature. That person would undoubtedly be Ms. Lynn Dee.
Her love and patience for her disciples not only instills self-discipline in them, but nourishes their inborn untapped talent and passion for the art of music and the science behind it. What sets her apart from the flocks of music educators flooding other institutions? Simple, really. The love for her music, all 88 keys of the piano and for her students.
Her dedication would be evident instantly to all that cross her path. In fact, in all my years of learning from her, I realise what a priviledge and honour I had to now call myself her student.
Also as a side note, she’s amazing with the little ones with her techniques of positive reinforcement (cartoon stickers) and her capability to transform even the most technically challenging pieces into great fun was always the push me and my peers needed to pursue on to higher grades.
Forever grateful to the best teacher to- date.
Music is a choice. I¡¯m glad that I have chosen to walk on this path together with Ms Puah, who has been my teacher for more than ten years. With her, I get to learn more than just piano. I get to learn music. We played pieces ranging from classical to modern, allowing me to get a taste on each phases of this music evolution, which I truly enjoy. She is a very responsible teacher who at the same time is very passionate in music. She knows her stuffs well and will selflessly share every single bits of her music knowledge to students. Learning piano under her care is essentially one of my favourite moments in life.
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