Profile of Piano Teacher

Ms Monica

  • LTCL Teaching – Licentiate Trinity College Of Music In Teaching
  • Masters Of Church Music by Singapore Bible College
  • 30 Years of Teaching Experience (Children, Youths & Adults)
  • 10 Years of Experience in Yamaha Music School Group Lessons (3 Years Old Onwards)
  • 10 Years as Choral Director in Primary School Choirs
  • Organist and Pianist in Church Worship and Church Choirs
  • Teaching Location: Home Studio at Clementi

About

For the past 30 years, Ms Monica has been giving piano and theory lessons to kids, youths, and adults, as well as group classes for children as young as 3 years old.

Ms Monica received her Licentiate Trinity College of Music in Teaching (LTCL) in 1989, and has gone on to be a piano teacher to countless number of students. She taught at Yamaha Music School for 10 years, where many of her students achieved Merit and Distinctions for their ABRSM graded exams.

One student has even gone on to be an international performing music artist today.

Ms Monica also hold regular class performances and group concerts for her students. Masterclasses and piano competitions were also arranged for those who were interested in stage performance.

On top of regular piano teaching, Ms Monica also include different activities in her lessons to make it exciting and engaging for her students. Such activities include music theory games, music appreciation, story telling of music composers, rhythmic games, and Dalcroze movements.

Ms Monica currently teaches at her home studio at Clementi, specially customized to provide a conducive environment for piano and theory lessons for all ages. 

Monica is a very patient teacher. She teaches very well and explains the music theory well. She reinforces the basic well, explaining the rhythms and how to position the fingers to create a clear sound.

She writes down the homework that is supposed to be practiced at home neatly in a notebook. She is also very friendly and you can share any problems you have with her. We also have meals together after lessons.

She also teaches how to observe musical patterns to simplify and ease the learning process.

Grace Ang, Student

My music journey began with Mdm Monica Tong when I was 7.

Mdm Tong gave me one of the most enriching journeys one could ever ask for. In no other group would I have had lessons dedicated to embracing the stories of composers, watched a multitude of different concerts, and the chance to perform every year with friends.

Mdm Tong’s lessons were particularly exciting, especially during theory classes. Mdm Tong is the only teacher to have had so many different toys and tools to play with whilst learning that I have lost count. The one that particularly stuck with me throughout my life was her use of ‘Wrap-ups’. ‘Wrap-ups’ was a challenge she had for us students that really challenged my mind. It was a love-hate relationship with this toy. I loved coming in first amongst my friends, but I hated learning it. Her best practical lessons were the ones where I was immersed in the story of the composer, imagining his life in the Baroque Period, all in the very room I was in.

One thing I loved was the annual concerts Mdm Tong planned. She would invite parents to come watch me and my friends perform on stage, organised many games and even special performances for our audience. My most memorable experience was our group performance – the handbell ensemble. Our favourite song on the handbells was ‘Joy to the World’, and I remembered holding up the ‘G’ and ‘A’ bell, ever so eagerly waiting to ring them at the right time.

Before I knew it, I was already grade 4. A year later, I hit grade 5 with Mdm Tong. The pieces I was learning were so much more difficult, and they became so much more interesting and colourful. In her annual concerts, I was moving off from playing solo to duets, and then from duets with Mdm Tong to duets with her other students.

Then came the time Mdm Tong hosted a mission trip to Chiangmai, Thailand to perform for the students there. Despite their culture of music being different over there, I was glad that they enjoyed our handbell ensemble performance we prepared for them.

In almost every piano grading I had, I managed to score a distinction for it. Of course, it wasn’t an easy feat. During the trainings, I’ve laughed a lot, and I cried just as much. Practising for 4 hours at home every day for 2 months before my exams was very painful and tiring. At some time after practicing, I’d find tears dripping onto my piano keys, so I had to wipe the keys dry, wipe my tears off my eyes and continue practising. However, after those hours, I’ve always found delight when I was able to play a new section of the piece well, even if it was just in front of Mdm Tong herself.

Through all the hardship and guidance from Mdm Tong, I was able to finish grade 8 in piano with a distinction. 2 years later, I’ve found my first student to pass on her knowledge and guidance. I am extremely grateful for Mdm Tong to have found me and guided me to where I am now. I hope that I am able to provide the same enriching experience Mdm Tong brought to me to all my future students.

Grateful ex-student Timothy Tan

Languages

English, Mandarin

Lessons

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