Wednesday, June 5, 2024

End of the year acheievements!

It has been an amazing last quarter to see students rising to their best performances! In addition to the beautiful recital on 5/19, in which I will post some of the best performances on the studio's Facebook page, we also had students winning competitions and achieving high scores in the RCM exam. Congratulations to: their achievements.

Maggie Sun and Sanyi Yao, First-place winner in the first round of the San Francisco International Piano Competition June 2024. Best wishes to both of them in the final round on August.

RCM Practical Exam:
Tristan Chang, Level 8, First Class Honors with distinction.
Rishi Ranganathan, Level 9, First Class Honors. 

Reina Lin, Theory Level 5, 92


Monday, February 26, 2024

Student Achievemnts 2024

 It was always a pleasure to write this blog about my students' achievement. They strive their best and progress steadily in both the Royal Conservatory Music program as well as the competitions! Here are the detail list of the results!

For the 2024 United States Open Music Competition:

Sanyi Yao, who has won the first places 5 times that include Outstanding Gold Medalists and Special Scholarship Awards in the Showcase Piano Solo category! This year, she also won the first place, the Outstanding Gold medalist and the Crystal award. She also invited to participate in the masterclass. Check out her performance.

Rui-Wen Lin, Eric Zeng and Larry Pham also placed 2nd, 3rd and 4th places in the Treasury of Baroque Intermediate and Classical category.

For the first half of the academic year, several students have passed the RCM exam with first class honors with distinctions: Zoey Meixner Larry Pham, Kaylee and Madison Chem. 

Some of them received perfect scores on their repertoires and etudes which means that their performance is truly exceptional:  Maggie Sun (Level 10), Larry Pham (level 5), and Rui-Wen Lin (Level 5).

Congratulations to these students achievement! I am so proud of you. 


Thursday, February 22, 2024

Studio recital

 We had our semi-annual studio recital on Lunar New Year Day! Students were well-prepared and performed beautifully considering that we had 5 weeks of winter break.

 The value of having a recital is to set a goal for the students and also provide a chance for a public performance experience. I enjoy hearing their progresses on a semi-annul basis and see how they blossoming into expressive musicians!

Here are some of their performances :) 

Monday, September 4, 2023

Pedagogy Seminar for MTAC Santa Clara Co. Branch 2023!

There will be five exciting sessions for this year's Pedagogy Seminars that encompass all levels from beginner to advanced that target techniques-practice-motivation!! 

Date 9/28-10/26
Time: Thursday at 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
  • MTAC Santa Clara County Branch members $150 
  • non-members $200.
Session 1: Teaching Scales with only four fingerings groups!! 
No more memorizing or reading boring finger numbers but understanding them from keyboard topography and theory. 

Sessions 2 and 3 feature eight tension-free fundamental techniques  
  • Establish a solid foundation and fix stiff hands, awkward hand positions, and weak fingers for beginner and elementary students. 
  • It also enables intermediate/early advanced students to achieve sound and musical expression without tension. It addresses advanced techniques such as ornamentation, octaves, repeating notes, and more. 

Session 4: Motivation through practicing habits, learning style, and selecting study goals such as festivals and exams!! 

Session 5: Q and A. I will collect your questions in advance and discuss them in this session. This is a beneficial session since there are no limits to the questions you like to submit. Great opportunities to exchange ideas! 

Friday, June 30, 2023

Upcoming Webinars and pedagogy seminar with Santa Clara County Branch

 Sept-Oct: dates TBA

"Scales and Arpeggios": in this session, we will explore 
  • the thumb rotation techniques that allow students to play evenly without twisting and turning! 
  • Fingering groups will help students to learn the fingerings from the understanding of "when to cross over and under without the need to read the fingerings printed on the page!

"Pedagogy Seminar for the Intermediate Students": teachers can review the seminar on Youtube.

  • Fundamental Techniques for Tension-Free Playing: This topic is in high demand and the most popular among the workshops I presented. It provides a systematic approach that enhances your teaching and students' playing! It has been featured in both the MTAC convention and the CSUEB piano pedagogy symposium. I will discuss challenging techniques such as ornamentations, balance, pedals, and coordination that target intermediate-level techniques.  
  • Musicality
  • Standard repertoire literature survey
  • Practice skills and habits
  • Performance preparation and anxiety issues
  • Group discussion: great for deep diving into individual concerns
  • Online lessons and studio management

Friday, June 23, 2023

My presentation on the intermediate techniques for the MTAC 2023 Convention

 It is a great honor to present for the MTAC convention this year on 7/1, Sat 3:30 pm. This presentation, "A Systematic Approach of Teaching Tension Free Techniques for Intermediate Students," will help teachers to instruct these techniques to the students in an organized and effective way. 

This is a continuous session from the one I presented four years ago, entitled "Eight Elementary Techniques that Help Students Build a Solid Foundation for the Future." in 2019, before the Covid!!

Since then, I have developed and presented workshops and seminars to promote this systematic Fundamental Techniques Teaching Method in both workshops, pedagogy seminars, and webinars.  This session will surely bring you a deep insight into how to teach intermediate students these quintessential techniques that will allow them to fulfill the musical expression they dreamed of!

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Winter updates for students' achievements 2022

We have had a good season so far, and I am proud to see many of our students accomplish so much in the mid-academic year! Dr. Chang Piano Studio: Studio

Many students have been studying with me for years, and I have enjoyed seeing them grow. Most of them are now pre-teens or teenagers!! Here is a little tribute to each one of them. 

Sanyi Yao: 1st Place Winner, Outstanding Gold Medalist and special scholarship. This was the third time that Sanyi won the Gold medal in the Sat Winner Concert, in which all the first-place winners will compete again for the best performance and the gold medal. Previously, she also received Grand Prize Showcase Award in the Pelican international music competitions. 

Cindy Liang: 2nd Place Winner. Showcase Piano Solo Category 12, Junior Division; Cindy has previously won first and 2nd places in other categories. This is her first time competing in the Showcase category, a 7 min free program with age limitation. This category is intended for "exceptionally talented" students, according to USOMC. 

Evan Qiu: 2nd Place Winners the Treasury of Romantic and Contemporary Composers Category 4 and 5, Junior Divisions. This is Evan's first time participating in the USOMC! 

Rishi Ranganathan: 3rd Place Winner the Treasury of Contemporary Composers Category 5. Rishi has previously won 2nd place in various categories in the USOMC.

Maggie Sun: 4th Place winner Showcase Piano Solo Category 12, Junior Division. Maggie has previously won first and 2nd place in the USOMC. She was also a 1st place winner in the 2021 CAPMT Honors competition and Pelican international music competitions.

Nov-Jan 2022 RCM EXAMS
First Class Honors with Distinction 90-100
Veronica Zhu Level 2, this is Verionia's first RCM Exam!

First Class Honors 80-89
Shari Walczak, Level 6, has previously achieved First class honors with Distinction and the Royal Conservatory of Music State and Center Certificate of Excellence twice!

Judy Liang Level 2, Judy has also completed level 1 with first-class honors. 

Congratulations to these students, and I will keep updating other students' achievements in the next quarter!