Teacher Feature: Helen Tjioe
The Music Abode is very pleased to have instructor Helen Tjioe as part of our teaching team. Helen brings a warm, patient attitude to her students with great expectations for their growth using her creative teaching methods.
Helen comes to us with a well rounded education; she has studied philosophy at Stanford University, Piano Performance at the Prague Music Conservatory, and has her B.S. in Physiology. Helen has performed concertos of Beethoven, Schumann, Beethoven and Mozart with several orchestras throughout California. She has also received numerous awards for piano performance, writing, and science and mathematics. In addition to her volunteer work over the years, Helen has held several teaching, tutoring, and piano and violin private teaching positions.
When I asked Helen the values she likes to impart toward her students in studying piano, she said,” I would say that it’s important to have fun at the piano and not make it drudgery to practice. It’s important to enjoy yourself while practicing, and to try to create something beautiful every time you sit down to play. The process of getting a piece ready to perform is like building a beautiful home from the ground up. At first there are preliminary (“architectural”) plans, then the gradual working out of details, and a commitment not to stop “half-way” but to see it to completion.”
She further elaborates the importance of song selection as “It’s also important to only start on pieces you like and enjoy playing, that fit your personality, and to avoid anything you can’t relate to.”
When you are fully immersed in learning a piece from beginning to intermediate to professional, it is important to remember the gift of music. “Music is wordless poetry, and conveys a message that springs from the heart and spirit of the composer or performer. It is also a universal language that is able to unite humanity in a way that crosses all normally restrictive and divisive (cultural, racial, and social) barriers.”
Thank you Helen for being an outstanding teacher!