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Ecole de Piano Yaya - Yaya 钢琴学校 - Yaya Piano School - Школа фортепиано Лидии Жардон
Enfant au clavier

Photo: All rights reserved

Many thanks to Stéphane Boussuge,
master technician of the Pearl River piano.
(Phone: +33677592618)

Who is Yaya?

Yaya

Yaya is an 8-year-old Chinese girl with a passion for the piano. Her adventure, entitled The Ballad of Yaya, takes place in China in the late 1930s, between Shanghai and Hong Kong in the form of an initiatory journey. Published by Fei Editions, this poetic, colourful comic book is about childhood with its boundless dreams and purity, and also about courage and self-sacrifice in confronting a merciless world. It is her passion for the piano that propels Yaya into an unknown world where she must learn to fight and grow up in order to live her love of music once again. This little girl, dreamy yet obstinate and unbending, never gives up, either in life or in her passion for the piano. She thus ideally illustrates the spirit sustaining the school of which she is the mascot.

Teaching

very young children

How do you start a 5-year-old child on the piano? How do you teach him his notes in the two clefs in the very first weeks when he does not yet know how to read?

Nothing is more important than the human approach, particularly with very young children. Despite the necessity of learning his notes, the playful aspect will always be favoured, the importance being in the 'doing' rather than the 'saying'. It is necessary to occupy the very young person every second so that he discover the sound of the melodies that he sketches with his chubby little fingers, and all that in good humour and confidence. From the moment he wants to reproduce the melodies I play for him and he understands that it comes from learning notes and rhythm at the same time as learning the piano, learning comes about quite naturally. At this young age, the presence of one of his parents at his side during the class reassures him whilst giving him the pleasure of bringing the parent into 'his' musical world.

Teaching children aged 7-12

Like the children you are going to discover in the videos on this website, you will realize that there can be pleasure in effort! All these young people have understood that only daily presence at the piano, which can only increase in terms of minutes, will bring the most spectacular results in a minimum of time. I put these pupils at the piano a year and a half ago, two of them nine months ago. But when the latter two passed the Claude Kahn International Competition last March, at a level corresponding to ten years of piano, they had had 24 hours of classes with me.

Teaching adolescents

In a society where the media put forward dazzling progressions (French television shows such as Star Academy or Nouvelle Star), the young person or adolescent desirous of beginning to play an instrument imagines obtaining a good level in a few months. My role will be to make him understand that there is a minimum of effort and patience before pleasure and that only perseverance (even in homeopathic doses for the youngest), self-discipline and constancy will enable him to progress rapidly. To stimulate the adolescent's motivation, it is up to me to suggest a whole potential of film music and pop, in piano reductions or, in any case, selected pieces from the best-known classical music. There is no good or bad music, and regardless of the style, the demands will be the same. The simple fact of coordinating the independence of the hands with the rhythm, phrasing and dynamics requires effort!

Teaching semi-professionals

Music is a sovereign art that tolerates no approximation. Most of the time, those approximations result from technical and mechanical problems that generally hinder or prevent logical, accomplished musical construction. Well beyond these problems, above all there is inner listening, the very discovery of this inner listening being able to go hand in hand only with self-knowledge. This intensive work of mastery and reciprocal listening can provoke a very strong awareness. But it is with patience and determination that I decide with the pupil to build the new quality of work that he will be left to develop after class without complacency.

Conclusion

The art of the piano as I conceive it is the most structuring art there is in self- construction and esteem. In their life, all my pupils will have to express themselves in school or professional tests. These national and international competitions for which I prepare them lead them to deal with stress and acquire a flawless memory. There are three kinds of memory: visual memory (the photograph of the score in one's head), muscular memory (where, by dint of repeating all the progressions and runs a great many times, automatisms are created and interfere in the muscles almost independently of oneself) and finally, intellectual memory (in which learning the separate hands with dynamics and exact pedals by heart is indispensable). This last memory is the one that puts off children the most, demanding so much time, yet it is fundamental. All it takes is for one of these three memories to falter to be in danger onstage. From the earliest age, pupils will therefore be confronted with these constraints. But in the final analysis, the feeling of having seen it through to the end, of fulfilling oneself through a goal they have pursued for months, and their pugnacity in getting past each pitfall will give them greater confidence in themselves. 

My sole mission remains the profound and total interest in my pupil so as to help him finding his way, the best of him remaining what I will not have taught him. With kindness and humanity together we obtain results beyond all expectations.

Lydia Jardon

 

(SGDL [Société des Gens de Lettres] registered text. All rights reserved.)



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