Profile of Piano Teacher

Ms Fenny

  • Teaching piano since 2008
  • DipABRSM in Instrumental Teaching (Piano)
  • ATCL Diploma in Piano Performance
  • ABRSM Grade 8 Practical (Merit)
  • ABRSM Grade 8 Theory
  • Minor in Music from Indiana University Bloomington, USA
  • Teaching location: Home studio at Balestier, and lessons at students’ place at Toa Payoh, Novena and Newton

About

Hi, I am Ms Fenny. I have been teaching piano for more than 12 years. I believe that there is music in every child and my job is to find and nurture it.

It is my teaching goal that my students develop lifelong enjoyment of music that goes beyond the exam syllabus. While I specialize in preparing students for graded piano exams and music theory, I also teach adult students who learn for leisure.

In my lessons, I acknowledge each of my student’s unique individuality and learning style. I do not assume that students can be taught and motivated by one approach alone.

For example, preschoolers generally have shorter attention span. To sustain their interest, I change activities frequently during lesson.

I would have an outline of activities I would go through eg. start with rhythm clap-back, then play piece A and B, followed by aural activity such as singing in solfege and differentiating rhythmic and melodic pattern and lastly music theory activity.

The way I teach teenagers and adult students is entirely different. I would give teen students plenty of repertoire options and give them the autonomy and control over their learning.

Occasionally, I would ask my students to choose a piece that they want to play. When the piece they choose is within their musical and technical abilities, I would give my approval.

When it is not, I would give them a list of pieces which they can choose from.

I also troubleshoot student’s learning challenges, be it technique or sight-reading. For example, I have taught students who started their learning with Yamaha and I realized most of them are quite weak in their note-reading.

I have helped these students transit smoothly from Yamaha to ABRSM syllabus and they have excelled in their sight-reading section of the exams.

I believe in building musicianship and a holistic approach to music. Weekly music lesson with me includes technique, classical/jazz/pop repertoire, aural, sight reading and music theory.

I also love to play duet with my beginner students and I often pair siblings to play together. I see the benefit of playing duet to help develop students’ sense of rhythm and focus. This also keeps the lesson fun and varied.

I believe that to learn well, one must put in dedicated amount of practice at home so that each lesson moves one’s playing up from strength to strength.

Often I found many students do not know how to practice effectively. Hence, during lesson I teach them how to maximize their piano practice at home given the busy schedule they have.

While graded piano exams are a good benchmark to measure a student’s playing ability, I do not believe that learning piano is merely restricted to the learning of the exam pieces.

Instead, I let my students sit for milestone grades only so they can work on a wider range of repertoire. Piano lessons with me will include music of all genres: Classical, Jazz and Popular. Students showcase this variety at the Annual Recital.

In addition, I conduct Mini-Recital for students to perform in front of one another prior to their exam date. This gives my students the opportunity to present pieces they are working on and teaches them to take an interest in the performance of others. Such session also reinforces that listening is as important learning tool as playing.

For more able and confident students, I encourage them to join competitions. In Nov 2020, one of my students made it to the final of a piano competition, The Happy Pianist Festival 2020.

I am especially proud of this student as when he started lesson with me he mentioned that he did not like learning the piano but he had no choice because his parent made him do it. But over the years, I have helped him found the music in him. He is now a self-motivated student who enjoys playing a variety of music genre. You can watch his performance below:

 

 

With my dedicated and all-rounded teaching, most of my students achieve high scores and distinction in examinations. And most importantly, all of them find joy in music.

Hope to see you at my class!

Here’s some ‘love letters’ from my students and their parents, and their results:

ABRSM Grade 6 Piano Practical – Distinction

ABRSM Grade 5 Piano Practical – Distinction

ABRSM Grade 2 Piano Practical – Distinction

ABRSM Grade 1 Piano Practical – Distinction

ABRSM Grade 6 Piano Practical – Distinction

ABRSM Grade 3 Theory – Distinction

Languages

English, Mandarin

Lessons

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