Chopin’s Fantaisie Impromptu
Posted by Wei Min Tan on July 21, 2018
Chopin’s Fantaisie Impromptu played by 12 year old Jeffrey Tan, second place winner, at the New York City Rondo piano competition 2018.
This article has nothing to do with New York property but has everything to do with the opportunity that is New York.
Jeff started learning the piano 5 years ago. He was with one teacher for 2 years and then with his current teacher, Karlo Begiev for the past 3 years. It was Karlo who noticed his natural gifts and pushed him to progress and jump grades. The first year with Karlo, Jeff jumped 4 grades. Then he started participating at piano competitions.
New York has the best music teachers
Jeff attends Florentine Music School where all teachers have doctorates.
When I was growing up in Malaysia, I too learned the piano but the standard in Malaysia was very different. Jeff’s teacher has a doctorate from Tbilisi Conservatory. But in Malaysia, teachers typically have an ABRSM Grade 8. ABRSM is the British system of music grading where Grade 8 is the highest and equivalent to pre-college level.
Being a New Yorker, Jeff got exposures that I never would have gotten as a kid in Malaysia. He learned in a good music school where he gets to meet other piano students, is being guided by a very experienced teacher, and is fortunate to attend competitions. The opportunities of simply being in New York is tremendous.
These New York competitions are attended by highly talented prodigies. With parents who are very committed to their kids’ success.
The competitive playing field makes kids perform even better. Over the years, we have come to know other music families and children. They lift up one another in a healthy, competitive environment. The competitions is also attended by foreigners who come all the way to New York to compete.
He doesn’t practice 5 hours a day
Jeff only practices for 30 to 40 minutes a day. Definitely not hours a day, which may be common in Asia. Balance is appreciated here in the U.S. and this balance is another very important part that contributes to the quality of life.
Chopin’s Fantaisie Impromptu is one of the best known piano pieces of all time. His being able to play it so well at 12 years old, while partly due to natural talent, is also because of the opportunities being afforded by this great city of New York.
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