On listening to all these performances, kindly arranged by Alice, I am struck by two important differences from most adult student recitals / musicales. These are (a) the judicious use of the pedal. In most adult musicales the pedal is used extravagantly, possibly as a disguise for inaccuracy. Whereas in this recital there was no excess pedal, as far as I could hear; and (b) sensible decisions about speed. In most adult musicales the speed is often a metronome notch beyond what is feasible for the student. I think this is because while practising, we are wanting to challenge ourselves and so we go faster in some passages, even at the risk of coming a cropper in others. Whereas in this recital I did not detect any imprudent decisions about the pace. "The line" was maintained throughout, and the resultant performance, though sometimes a notch slower, was more convincing for being more accurate and expressive.
It is Alice's teaching approach that, over the months and years, has produced this favorable outcome.
-- Peter, adult student.
TESTIMONIAL: ALICE JI, by AN INTERMEDIATE-LEVEL ADULT STUDENT
Three years ago I began taking piano lessons again after a 45 year hiatus; I have found Alice to be a talented, knowledgeable, patient, innovative and interesting teacher, perfect for adult and young learners alike.
-- Elizabeth, adult student.
TESTIMONIAL: ALICE JI, by AN ADVANCED-LEVEL ADULT STUDENT
I have been taking lessons for two and a half years with Ms. Ji, at the rate of two hours weekly. This has been valuable because she has her own unique teaching style and content. Her chief emphasis is on the beauty of the sound created, which might not require the fastest delivery or the most powerful attack; sometimes she will slow me down and point out that one needs to bring out a particularly attractive riff which risks being lost to the hearer if one rushes. On the basis of her profound understanding of the literature, she makes proposals for repertoire which are aimed at filling in gaps in one's knowledge. Her manner is consistently gentle -- something that is of the utmost importance for adult students. She is always punctual. She has been of great assistance to me in coping with music examinations and with nerve-racking performances. One can tell right away that she loves music and delights in communicating her art to her students.
-- Peter, adult student.
REVIEW: Comments on Spring 2020 Online Adult Student Recital
A Skype message from a 7-year-old student
Ms. Ji has an extremely positive attitude that makes me more excited to play the piano. Her love of music is infectious, and I am more motivated to practice than I have been with any other teacher. In addition, she helps with all aspects of the instrument: hand placement and technique, pedaling strategy, as well as musicality and interpretation. She is always seeking out opportunities for me to improve and for me to perform. Ms. Ji makes piano fun and exciting. I am so happy that I have her as my teacher.
- Claire, a two-time winner of Honors Auditions at the International School of Music. Former orchestral pianist at Sidwell Friends School. Currently studies at the Yale University.
Our two daughters age 6 and 8 are taking piano lessons with Alice Ji for the past several months. We have noticed that both of them are taking an active interest in practicing and also doing the pieces for pure enjoyment. We believe that a good piano teacher is crucial in developing and nurturing the appreciation of music especially for us who comes from a non-musical background. Alice is not only sincere in teaching piano, she does it very efficiently. She takes great pain to ensure that the basics are learned very well and the lessons are advanced at an individual pace. She is also very patient with the children and at the same time appreciates and encourages their work. This has actually played well on our kids as they themselves have set a high expectation for their work and have started to take responsibility of fine-tuning the pieces themselves. Moreover Alice has a nice and relaxing studio with a grand piano and parents can do their work during the practice. We are extremely happy about this piano class and consider ourselves lucky that our two daughters have found the right teacher.
My two daughters (ages 12 and 8) have been taking lessons with Alice Ji for over two years and Alice is their favorite teacher (and I agree!). Not only is she a highly trained and talented pianist, she has a gift for teaching.
My girls say Alice is "always so patient, positive and kind." In fact, one of my daughters was motivated to start playing piano again once she had Alice as a teacher. Alice clearly loves the piano and takes pride in helping others find joy in music. She has a gentle way of encouraging and motivating children--I am so impressed that she attends all of their recitals, giving positive "vibes" in her own unique way.
Both beginners and the more serious, dedicated piano students would benefit from her expertise and method of teaching.
Ms. Alice has an undeniable gift and passion for teaching kids any age how to play piano. She is able to connect with kids very easily and become not only their piano teacher but also a friend who listens and understands kids concerns. She takes her time with kids and adjusts to their skills, talent and pace.
She’s been our daughter’s piano teacher for few years now, and our daughter could not be happier. She has shown a tremendous growth in all music related skills and loves the piano. Everywhere we go, she is eager to play a new piece that she has learned with Alice.
Our daughter loves to have Alice as her teacher and we are happy too.