What are the difficulties faced by the adult student & the teacher when preparing for a diploma?
I believe many teachers will say that the main challenge is for the adult student to find adequate time to practise the piano. Having a full-time job means practically the whole day of every weekday is occupied, leaving only the late evenings and nights for practice. (and perhaps just a little more practice on weekends).
Discipline is the key. One must allocate a regular time for practice every day. (At times one may not feel like practising due to exhaustion from work. You can give yourself an odd day of rest occasionally).
Recently in June 2015, William Ng took his LTCL recital exam and passed. An Engineer by training, he is the Section Manager of a Semi-Conductor company in Singapore. He is also studying a 7-year, part-time degree course in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), on top of learning the piano. He had to attend the TCM course on alternates days of Tue, Thu and Sat. And on these days he usually reached home at 10pm. He still made sure he had 1 – 2 hours of practice on his digital piano (so as not to disturb his neighbours).
Adults are generally more self conscious and nervous when performing in public. We did a fair bit of psychological and mental preparation and pep talk to try to overcome this. And we organised several mini and public concerts for him and other students to perform in. This did help him cope in many ways. He was still nervous during the exam, but it was manageable, and it subsided as the exam went on..
Above all, William says: "You must have the interest and passion in music". Well said, with these, practising will not be so much of a chore and it becomes more fulfilling and enjoyable.
William’s case is a testament of how the odds can be overcome with the right attitude, training and consistent, regular practice. I am needless to say, ecstatic about his achievement, which could not have been easy. Heartiest congratulations to him! To those working adults out there, continue to work on your dreams. It will come true one day…
William, at a concert at Library@Esplanade