“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination
and life to everything.”
A musical education plays a very important role in a child's upbringing. Learning to play an instrument not only helps develop physical coordination and the ability to multitask and organize oneself, but more importantly, gives a child the tools to freely express his/her emotions in a healthy and productive way.
Dr. Jing Yang, trained in The Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music, is sought after both as a performer and as an up-and-coming pedagogue. A recent New York Magazine review of her teaching described Jing as “so young, but so accomplished.” Currently teaching at Manhattan School of Music Distant Learning Program and leading its new thematic program "Singing Legend, Dancing Lion", as well as at Extension Division Rutgers University, Dr. Yang is experienced in multiple educational settings including private lessons, classroom teaching, distant learning through internet, and public lecutres and masterclasses. Her familiarity with both Chinese and European teaching methods has provided her with a broad palate from which she creates a fun, effective, and inspiring experience for her students. Her students have won prizes in multiple piano competitions and have performed in pretigious venues including Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall, Kauffman Music Center, Symphony Space, and Harvard Club, etc.
Teaching is truly one of the most sacred jobs on earth. A teacher has the power to touch his/her students tremendously on both professional and personal levels. Therefore a positive attitude and high self-esteem are the first things that I try to establish with my students. The field of music is fascinating and exciting, so my goal is to help shape happy and self-motivated students who enjoy the process of learning, whether they do so as professionals or simply as music lovers.
My teaching is infused with joy and positive energy. Throughout lessons, I will often have students sing, clap, or dance, for example, because I believe this type communication is very important. It is imperative that my students and I understand one another, so I strive to tailor lessons to the learning style of each individual student. We discuss the music, play pieces together, work on problems, and listen to recordings together, and through the comments and observations my students make, I am able to tease out the best way to effectively communicate with them. My goal is to uncover the passion for music in each of my students, and to teach them the way of thinking that would benefit them all around. A happy, energetic, and engaged student always learns more effectively than a one who is disinterested and discouraged.
Solid technical training is absolutely indispensable, especially for very young students. Though good technique is never a goal in and of itself, it is the most important tool used to achieve a high level of music-making. Through our lessons, students eventually learn how to apply their technical training themselves, which opens up a world of musical possibilities. Setting up good habits early on can save years of back-tracking and undoing bad habits later; the earlier the correct method is implemented, the more quickly and efficiently a student progresses later on.
In addition to technical work, lessons will also focus on issues of style and musicality. Demonstration (both my own and through weekly listening assignments) plays a big role in my teaching, especially for younger children who tend to learn music more quickly through imitation. For older students, I teach them to distinguish one style from another and apply what they learn to their own playing by providing large amount of information on background of composers and different time periods in music history. Phrasing, articulation, and characters of the pieces are always thoroughly discussed in details.
I believe that as a teacher, constant self-improvement is required. There is never one set way to teach, thus I like to remain flexible and open to new approaches and ideas. Each student is different, and so my approach cannot be the same in every lesson; however, the overarching goals of good music-making apply in all cases. Since my first day of teaching, it has been my goal to help my students learn, improve, and, most importantly, to enjoy.
Read recent interview of Dr. Yang by Rutgers University about her career and teaching:
Watch interview of Dr. Yang about her K-12 thematic music program at Manhattan School of Music: