Christy Yau: Developing the Student Teacher, a piano-teaching programme for Grade 8 graduates

Completing Grade 8 is no longer uncommon but most who do so will then stop music-making. In 2001, I started the ‘Student Teacher Programme’ in Christchurch for my own Grade 8 piano graduates so that they could experience the joy and fulfilment of passing their own knowledge in piano playing to the younger generation; and most importantly, to allow them to make full use of what they know and continue making music. Most are in their late teenage years and go through a 6 to 8 months training which consists of observation sessions, teaching practices, discussion sessions and attending pedagogy courses. The teaching training continues while they are teaching in my studio because they will be consistently facing real life challenges in their own teaching practices. When they reach the age of 18, they take the Trinity College or ABRSM Teaching Diploma, followed by the application to become an Associate of the IRMTNZ.


Over the years, I’ve witnessed how the ‘Student Teacher Programme’ helps these teenagers to become confident, responsible young adults through teaching. In the presentation I discuss how to create the gateway to let your Grade 8 Graduates explore the world of teaching.

Christy Phang-Yau was born and educated in Malaysia where she gained her ATCL, LTCL, LGSM, and LRSM. After moving to Christchurch, she completed a B.Mus in 1995 and gaining her Dip.Tchg  for secondary schools in 1998. Teaching at the Technics Music Academy broadened Christy’s horizons with contemporary rock and pop music, improvisation, sequencing, arranging music, and working with digital instruments. She now teaches the jazz syllabus as well as classical piano.

Besides teaching, Christy is also actively involved in community music, conducting choirs at church and from 192 to 1995 accompanying the Christchurch Junior Choir. Gigs as an occasional keyboard player with the Canterbury Philharmonic Orchestra led to cello lessons and eventually playing in the orchestra cello section. Beside cello, she also took up saxophone and bass and regularly performs at Christchurch Branch Mature Student recitals.

Christy is currently running her music studio (Dorayme Music Tuition Studio) in Christchurch with 8 teachers on board including herself. This is a teaching-learning studio where all teachers learn from each other and have monthly teaching training meetings to handle on-going teaching challenges.


How long is the presentation? 

40 minutes


What do you need to view the presentation? 

A browser capable of playing YouTube video.

Audio output (speakers)



Prices: All prices listed include GST

Membership LevelPrice
Institute of Registered Music Teachers Free
Non-members $35.00

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