作為Lambda音樂和美術學校的校長，我很高興每年我們都有更多的學生在國內外的比賽和演出中取得佳績。學生們從最開始時對音樂和鋼琴的一無所知到一年後開始在各大演出和比賽中有著卓越的表現，我為能見證他們的成長而感到自豪。連續六年，我們的學生不僅獲得國內外的各大獎項，同時也每年在世界級的知名演奏廳：如美國卡內基音樂廳、倫敦皇家阿爾伯特音樂廳中演奏。學生們還即將登上蒙特利爾的“Place des Arts”音樂廳為蒙城的人們獻上他們精湛的演奏。
校長Dr. Angela Chan向人們闡述Lambda的教學理念：我們為學生們所取得的成就而自豪。我們的很多學生成為了鋼琴表演專業的學生，這其中有被McGill（麥吉爾大學）本科钢琴表演专业錄取；如今還有一些優秀的學生也正在申請世界名校如柯蒂斯、皮博迪和茱莉亞音樂學院等。一些Lambda的畢業生，雖然還是青少年但已經開展他們的鋼琴表演職業生涯：與美國大都會交響樂團合作演出和連續兩年在“Virtuose國際大師比賽”中獲獎等。
但這些成績僅僅是優秀指導下的“副產品”。Dr. Chan說道：“Lambda的教學目標是激發和鼓舞學生發掘他們對於音樂的興趣和熱愛。鋼琴學習是一個對於音樂的準則、專註力、耐心和毅力的不斷磨練的過程。經歷了一次次成功和失敗之後學生們會用積極樂觀的態度直面生活中和學習中的挑戰。”學生們通過努力變得更有責任心，同時他們也更接近成功和贊譽。這有助於他們學習如何正確看待贊譽，而不是因為驕傲而自負 。從根本上來說，學習音樂是一門讓人變得更加謙遜、自知和自省的學問 。 Lambda的精神是：一個人的目標是要以自己的最高要求來挑戰自己、追求卓越且不斷完善直到達到一個新的水平。 這是當代年輕人都需要知道的重要人 生課題。同時這也將是年輕人無論在任何領域想取得卓越成就的要素。
Translated by Tian Zhuang
3 February 2017
As director of Lambda School, I am very happy to see every year, we have more students achieve at the national and international level. I am so proud to see our little ones grow, many of which started from scratch, who knew nothing about music and piano. And within a year or so, we see them flourish, excel in their performances and competitions. In the last 6 consecutive years, we have a growing number of students winning national and international competitions, and on an annual basis, students frequent world-class performance venues like Carnegie Hall, the Royal Albert Hall, and soon at Place des Arts in Montreal.
When asked about what is the philosophy of Lambda, director Dr. Angela Chan said, “We are very proud at the achievement of our students. Many graduates even have moved on to become professional musicians, entering bachelor’s music performance program at McGill, and now some of our students are applying for American universities such as Curtis, Peabody and Juilliard. Some alumni, still in their teens have developed an early career, performing in the Metropolitan orchestra, winning attention on the limelight, such as winning contests on Virtuose for two years in a row.
But this is only the “side effect” of outstanding training. Dr. Chan said, “The goal of Lambda is to edify, and help students develop an enjoyment and passion towards music. In the process, to enculturate a sense of discipline, focus, patience, and perseverance – and along with the successes and failures experienced, students learn to face challenging situations with a positive attitude. They become empowered through their hard work, and they get a glimpse of success and recognition. This helps them learn how to handle recognition, and not to feel excessively overwhelmed by self-importance. Ultimately, learning music is a discipline, and one becomes humble, more self reflective, and also develop a stronger sense of self-awareness. One aims for excellence, constantly improve to challenge oneself to reach the next level. One is competing with one’s highest possible standard. This is the Lambda spirit, and these are also very important elements that a young person needs to learn. And these are useful tools for young people to develop in order to excel in life, no matter what discipline they embark upon. Through music, one can gain these experiences in a positive atmosphere at Lambda School.
When Dr. Chan is asked if her prize winning students will become concert pianists, she adamantly remarked that one has be to really careful that one does not pigeon hole these early achievers. They can outstanding in their music performance, but the bottom line is that, they are still kids. They have not yet developed the level of self-understanding and experience to decide on taking music as a career at such a young age. Also, it is dangerous to channel these students at an early age simply because they display early achievement. The fact is that, pursuing a musical career is not necessary the path for everyone. The truth is that, the classical music industry is already saturated. They have not yet developed the level of self-understanding and experience to decide on taking music as a career at such a young age. Also, it is dangerous to channel these students at an early age simply because they display early achievement. The fact is that, pursuing a musical career is not necessary the path for everyone. The truth is that, the classical music industry is already saturated. How many Lang Langs, Yundi Lis and Yuja Wangs can this world of classic music support? Surviving a livelihood as a classical solo concert pianist is a very difficult path. And it is not necessarily for everyone. I would not channel children exclusively to musical performance just because they did well in performance. They all have multifaceted potential. I would encourage them to develop in a more all rounded manner. They should experience life, all areas of studies and then pick an area of their choice. Life will be more fulfilling that way. Our young Lambda music students, although they play like experienced concert veterans, they are still very young. We encourage them to do things they love – besides piano, they read widely, learn skiing, skating, drawing, painting, swimming, go to the gym to work out… In fact, I suggest boys to go to the gym when they reach puberty, and girls do a lot of swimming to work out the body.
In the last 3 decades of my teaching, many of my former students have become professionals. They spread all over the world, some are doctors, dentists, pharmacists, lawyers, university professors, researchers, but they share a common life long passion, that is, to play the piano. My goal is to share with them the passion of a lifetime. Piano performance is a lifetime’s passion, as Rubinstein said “It takes a whole life time to refine your art”.
The danger of channeling at too early an age into music performance exclusively is that, the young person has denounced other possibilities in development. Life becomes exclusively locked up in the practice room, coping with demands of examinations, auditions, and competitions at the conservatory. There is much more outside. At an early age, one is supposed to develop and experience the world, and learn. Ultimately, one is able to learn, and integrate what one has experienced into their music.
There are practical elements too. In this current world, it is difficult to make a secure livelihood working exclusively as a musician. Opportunities are limited and it is a risky investment. I have seen some musicians graduate from doctoral program and can barely make ends meet. I don’t want my students to suffer. Rather, I would hope to see that they do well in life being a professional, and that they can afford the time and energy to play music and perform, and maintain that as a lifetime passion. There is a common misunderstanding that if you don’t study music as a performance major, then you preclude your chances of being a top-notch performer. This is furthest from the truth. Every year, outstanding professionals win competitions such as the Van Cliburn Amateur piano competition. They are by no means any lesser musicians. In fact, many of them play at a world class level and even better than many professionals. The word “amateur” does not mean that one is second rate – rather that from the word, “amateur” meaning one does it for the love of it. I hope that our Lambda graduates will pursue music as a lifetime passion, and live a life full of music that goes beyond Carnegie Hall.
By Dr. Angela Chan Ph.D.
Director & Founder of
Lambda School of Music & Fine Arts