Come and meet Miriam - the 2nd place winner of 2013 Piano Improvisation Contest.
You will learn about her musical journey in this blog video post.
Location: Hong Kong
Song she improvised: Spring Of Hope
How long have you been playing the piano?
I have been playing the piano over forty years.
What was the first song you learned to play on the piano?
I forgot it.
What is your favorite song to play on the piano?
The Love of God
What is your favorite musician?
No specific musician
What inspired you to learn piano improvising?
I have been the church pianist for a long period of time. I play both traditional hymns and contemporary hymns. A few years ago, I became aware that my music techniques were so limited, they affected my playing. So I learned piano improvising to improve my skills.
How did you learn piano improvisational techniques?
I searched through the internet and found someone who taught advanced piano improvisational techniques. Besides, I purposely found someone who taught traditional hymns with new arrangements. I bought some DVDs from different teachers, and tried to learn their skills one by one.
How did you like Yoke Wong’s piano courses and free newsletters? What did you learn from them?
Yoke Wong is one of my favorite teachers. I really like her piano courses and newsletters. The newsletters were so helpful, the piano tips were so practical yet easily to learn. I loved her piano improvisational courses. She explained the technique in details, students could follow easily. After learning for a while, I have great improvement on my keyboard and my piano playing is going to the next level. I would like to give big thanks and honor to my teacher Yoke Wong. I used all the techniques she taught to create the song “ Springs of Hope”. I never dreamed of myself could create such a beautiful song. It is really amazing.
What advice would you give to all the piano players out there?
People learned classical music usually play from sheet music. Their talents were limited by the pieces and music notes. I trust the piano improvisation is the key to open our music mind and creativity. It helps us to play freely on the keyboard. Learning improvisation benefits both young and experience ones. For beginners, I suggest they learn one technique at a time, until they master the technique very well before going to the next one. Since It will help to improve the learning curve. For experience keyboard players, do not be afraid to apply what they have learned, they will amaze their music creativity far beyond their mind setting. Enjoy playing!
Comment from Yoke Wong:
Big congrats to Miriam!
Beautiful expression and great techniques shown throughout the piece. I love your left hand rolls starting at 1:00 minute - this brightens the whole piece.
Thank you for sharing your piano playing experience!
You may consider adding more complexity to your melody line. It gets mundane after repeating several times. But I think your left hand variation makes this piece interesting!
Admire your determination and desires to continuously learning new skills. May the Lord expands your musical skills as you continue to serve Him.
The techniques she used are covered by the piano lessons in Definitive Piano Improvisation course, the award winner of "Best Tool for Improvisation".