Michael Yang – National University of Taiwan

‘我收獲最大之處,不只是鋼琴技術的提昇,而是對於音樂的全新想像:所謂音樂,是超越形式的、來自內心的情感的傾訴,唯有理解了自己,才能理解音樂。’

‘My greatest satisfaction was not only the development of my piano technique, but my understanding of music – which has taken on a new dimension: Music is the ultimate form of human expression, the source of heartfelt confessions. In order for one to understand music, one must first understand oneself.’

小時候我認為,鋼琴老師的形象總是如電影裡所描繪的一般,專業、嚴厲而不苟言笑。這樣的認知在劉老師身上被徹底推翻了。我第一次見到劉老師是在小學時候,他和藹親切的笑容以及深邃、具穿透力的專業眼神讓我印象深刻。從那之後,每一堂鋼琴課,都是在適性自在的氛圍中度過。我認為劉老師不是那種放任學生玩耍而不認真練琴的老師,更不是施加壓力逼迫學生以期有超標表現的老師;他因材施教、循序漸進、輕重有度、重視基本功夫的紮實、教學嚴謹而不嚴厲,對於學生人格的理解先於音樂知識的傳遞。劉老師曾問我:你未來要把鋼琴當職業,還是把鋼琴當興趣?他說,兩種不同的選擇,需要完全不一樣的教學方式。劉老師對學生的用心理解,實跳脫了傳統師生關係的單向知識傳授,在在顯示他並不只把學生當做學生而已,更把學生視為能相互對話的朋友。

與劉老師學習的幾年裡,我收獲最大之處,不只是鋼琴技術的提昇,而是對於音樂的全新想像:所謂音樂,是超越形式的、來自內心的情感的傾訴,唯有理解了自己,才能理解音樂。我非常慶幸能夠遇到劉老師,我也相信,劉老師憑藉著專業深刻的見識和以理解為基礎的教學,必將成為鋼琴家的典範。

When I was a boy, my perception of piano teachers was exactly like those in the movies – formal, serious and distant. That was until I met Dr Michael Low. I first met Dr Low during my primary school years, his gentle smile and quick-witted expressions left a profound impression on me. Since then, every piano lesson with him was conducted at a self-paced tempo. In my opinion Dr Low is not a teacher who sees music lessons as merely a ‘fun’ subject, nor is he the type of teacher who puts enormous pressure on his students in order to achieve outstanding results. But instead, his teaching method is progressive, well-paced, meticulous yet versatile, and is fundamentally concerned with the development of the student as a whole, rather than just the teaching of music itself. Dr Low once asked me: Do you wish to pursue a career in music or do you prefer music as a hobby? He explained that the decision I make will determine a difference in approach in his teaching. Dr Low has a novel and unique way of relating to his students to the extent that they are able to talk to him like friends.

Within a few years of studying with Dr Low, my greatest satisfaction was not only the development of my piano technique, but my understanding of music – which has taken on a new dimension: Music is the ultimate form of human expression, the source of heartfelt confessions. In order for one to understand music, one must first understand oneself. I am very fortunate to have met Dr Low. In my (humble) opinion, Dr Low’s profound knowledge of music and his perceptive-based teaching philosophy should become the living benchmark for pianists.