There are more fun parts beyond Exams in learning Music!
People say, "Music is a universal language" No matter what spoken language you use, you can still communicate with people by playing music. Music also reduces anxiety and depression. Therefore, learning a musical instrument makes us feel a sense of achievement.
However, It seems like we teach music in different ways in different countries.
A common question asked amongst students and parents in Korea is " What songs did you play lately?"
In Singapore they asked,
“Which grade have you finished?"
As a musician raised and trained in South Korea, a piano was like a toy for me, something that I like and I could play. The parents in Korea seem to want their kids to play at least one instrument. They sent their kids to a studio almost everyday and have them practice. Back in elementary school, it was lots of fun for me to learn how to play the piano and get along with other students after school.
When I first started teaching in Singapore, a few year ago, I asked myself many times "Why many student quit when they are at the intermediate level?"
Many students are stressed about just preparing a few pieces every year for exams.
But this should never be the whole part of the learning journey.
The exams, of course, can motivate students to have a sense of direction by giving a benchmark to their progress. On the other hand, putting too much emphasis on exams can be counterproductive.
A better approach to a more effective learning, we need parents to take an interest in their kids learning journey and enjoy and encourage the music making process, In this way, the kids will feel the real meaning of music making. The skilled teachers must give proper instruction in any circumstances. They should choose appropriate teaching materials and build up the kid's fundamental skills
So as they progress they would not experience difficulties in moving forward beyond intermediate levels. With interest built on grounded fundamentals, it will not be tough like pulling teeth for them with weak foundation.
I hope I can guide my students to discover the joy of learning music as well as the piano and it stays throughout their lives.