Yiyi Ku

Yiyi Ku

Yiyi Ku is a pianist and teacher. Born in Taiwan, she grew up in New Zealand and obtained her Master of Music degree with Distinction in Composition and Piano Performance from the University of Canterbury. Yiyi also holds a Licentiate in Piano Performance from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. She is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music in Piano from Music Teachers National Association and American College of Musicians/National Guild of Piano Teachers. She has also been certified as Advanced Specialist in both Theory and Piano from RCM. Yiyi has maintained a busy private studio for many years, and enjoys teaching students of all ages and levels.

I am inspired to write this blog entry after reading Valerie Kampmeier’s great post “Music Exams – What do you think?

I have always believed in the benefits of assessment opportunities for students. They can be called exams, tests, auditions, festivals, or other names, but basically involve students playing for a judge or examiner and receiving feedback on their performance. In my previous blog article Benefits of Music Auditions I listed the many benefits for both students and teachers. I am further inspired and feel the need to write more on this subject, after reading the comments on Joy Morin’s Q&A Forum about standardized music testing on her wonderful blog Color in My Piano; it seems many teachers are reluctant to participate in testing programs.

I feel strongly that we as music teachers need to understand the differences and requirements of various exam/testing systems, before deciding in general that testing is not “healthy” for our students. While it is true that some systems have strict syllabus requirements, there are many programs available in the US that are quite flexible. I would like to give my personal opinion about the different music audition/festival/exam systems I am aware of. [···]

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I am inspired to write this blog entry after reading Kristin Phillips great article “A Teacher’s Job is more than Teaching“.

Independent music teachers are ‘supermen’ and ‘superwomen’. Yes, I am talking about you and me! We do so much more than just teaching, and understanding the nature of our business is important if we are to remain successful and sane. Our job description is but a unique one. Here are some thoughts I would like to share as a private music instructor: [···]

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A couple months ago I developed a Studio Etiquette. With a large number of students and their family members coming and going every week, I decided that it was time I put something in writing. It has worked very well!

My Studio Etiquette is different from Studio Policy. It does not deal with payment, cancelation, or make-ups, but addresses student and family behavior at the studio. Many of my students are very young, with even younger siblings, and it was becoming more and more frustrating and time consuming to clean the studio at the end of each teaching day, not to mention wipe off ghastly finger marks off my beloved piano! Since implementing the Studio Etiquette, my cleaning time has reduced, and I am much happier at the end of a busy teaching day. I have fine tuned the details, and would like to share my updated list with the MTH community. [···]

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