Melbourne Violin Teacher
Jennen Ngiau-Keng: Violinist
Jennen Ngiau-Keng performs on a Graham Caldersmith violin & Matthew Coltman bow, both of which were awarded to him.
Since the age of five, Jennen has won over $100,000 in awards & prizes in music competitions.
As a full scholarship student, Jennen studied at Camberwell Grammar School from 1994 to 2001, and at the Australian National Academy of Music from 2002 to 2005.
In 2008, Jennen obtained a Master of Music Performance Degree at the University of Tasmania.
A former student of John Harding, Alice Waten and Jun Yi Ma, Jennen has performed over 50 concertos as soloist with orchestras in Australia & overseas.
He has acted Guest Concertmaster of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, Vic Opera Orchestra and has toured with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. He has also performed as a guest principal with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria, Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra Seventeen88 and is a regular violinist with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Malaysia Philharmonic Orchestra.
Jennen teaches a maximum of six students at any one time. This allows him to be fully devoted to each student and ensures the opportunity to teach is not taken for granted. He encourages all his students to video record their lessons, so they may view themselves at home and recap on their lessons throughout the week. It's also a great way for their students to document their progress over time.
Having studied the violin for over 30 years under the guidance of over 50 pedagogues, Jennen has experienced many different teaching techniques and personalities. He understands that a great teacher is not just one who can play the violin well. It's how they communicate with their students and inspire them.
As a violin teacher, Jennen's main focuses are:
1. To inspire with good communication and demonstration.
2. Inform students how to practise slowly and efficiently.
3. Encourage questions from students.
4. Teach students to listen and think more.
5. To achieve maximum results within the time allotment.
Learning the violin should be fulfilling, fun and memorable. Students need not strive to be world-class, as studying such a complex instrument will result in the attainment of general practical disciplinary skills.
Informing students of WHAT to practise and achieve by the next lesson is not sufficient on it's own. Teaching a student HOW to practise is a key attribute of Jennen's violin teaching method.
Jennen charges $150 per hour and is flexible with lesson times and regularity.
Advice on selecting a suitable violin teacher in Melbourne
Searching for a suitable Melbourne violin teacher can be a difficult task with so many to select from.
Recommendations or word of mouth can be positive influences, however, it’s also important to remember that teachers may be more suitable to particular personalities. Seek teachers who play well, are passionate about teaching and willing to give one-off trial lessons. They shouldn't require you to pay for multiple lessons ahead of time. You want to be able to switch to another teacher at any point if they're not right for you.
A violinist who performs well is obviously a good candidate. Having a reliable technical foundation is important and will allow a student to progress quickly. If students are not taught the most efficient and relaxed way to play their instrument from an early age, they may have difficulty learning more complex repertoire.
A violinist who has won competitions will generally have an outstanding violin technique. However, possessing technique and teaching technique are two different abilities. Prodigious violinists, with a steep learning curve at a very young age, may sometimes have difficulty teaching their technique to others. If a student asks a teacher how to perform a particular technique, the teacher should be able to explain the process in a way that makes sense, even to a non-musician.
A suitable violin teacher should be able to establish a rapport with parents and students, and if applicable, relate well with young children. Parents and teachers should not feel intimidated by a teacher, after all, the teacher is there to provide a service for the student.
'Jennen is an inspirational teacher who taught my daughter not only the technical aspect but the performance mindset. He prepared her for auditions and gave her confidence. He is enthusiastic in passing on his knowledge. He is no time-waster, giving more than 100%. He is sensitive to student’s mood and flexible enough to refocus the tasks. He is a great communicator. He does magic. Highly recommended.'