Student of the Month, April 2022

Piano Student, Martin Chan

SMMC piano student, Martin, has been playing piano for over two years and after searching for a new instructor, started lessons with Ms. Elisa this past year. With Ms. Elisa, Martin has started working on some more difficult elements in his playing, including articulation and musical phrasing. Musical articulation can be difficult because even if you are playing the correct notes, they must also be played a specific way. Different articulations include slur or staccatto.

Musical phrasing is another difficult objective Martin has been working on recently. Musical phrasing is the way a musician allows different expression in their playing and is achieved by altering characteristics such as articulation, tempo, dynamics, and more.

In His Teacher’s Words

Martin is a piano student with SMMC piano instructor Elisa Chan. Elisa has years of private teaching experience, and has been with SMMC for over 5 years.

She writes: “Martin is currently preparing for ABRSM exam. Over the past few months, he showed consistent practice each week after the lesson, and is making significant progress. He is very attentive in lessons.

Although things are more challenging right now, working on musical phrasing and articulation, he still managed to play a very nice tone colour through loud and soft, articulate well in different phrasing, and be able to play in different styles. Moreover, he is always very patient and trying his best to do what I am teaching him.”

Martin During His Lesson

In Martin’s Words

We asked Martin a few questions to learn a little bit more about our award winner and here is what he had to say:

1. How long have you been playing your instrument and what do you like most about playing it?

I played the piano for 2 years with the same teacher. I like this instrument because it is an instrument that can be played deep, high, soft and loud.

2. Do you have someone you look up to for playing your instrument? Favorite artist or musician?

I don’t have anyone I admire playing this instrument, but my favorite artist is Tauren Wells.

3. What do you like to do when you are not playing music?

I like to play video games, soccer, and eat.

4. What other activities do you do that you take classes or lessons for? How does it compare to your music classes?

One of my classes I take is soccer lessons. I prefer soccer because it takes more skill and it is more active.

5. What is the most fun that you’ve had in the last month?

The most fun I had last month was going to my friend’s birthday party. We played miniature golf together.

Meet the Instructor

A woman, Elisa, in a blue blouse smiling and looking off camera. Piano instructor of student of the month, Martin.

Elisa Chan obtained her Masters of Music Degree in piano performance from the Jacobs School of Music in Indiana University in 2015. She received her Bachelor of Music (Honors) at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts in 2013. Elisa made her concerto debut at the age of 11 with the Pan Asia Symphony Orchestra. She has also played in many major festivals around the world and is a prizewinner of many national and international competitions. Elisa was one of the faculty members at the Indiana University Young Pianist Program and held the position as an accompanist of the Indiana University Ballet Department. Elisa currently resides in Los Angeles, and continues her studies in Keyboard Collaborative Art with Kevin Fitz-Gerald in University of Southern California. As an instructor, Elisa hopes to share her experiences and help her students build a solid technical foundation in piano and an interest in music.