Over the last few months, many of our pianists have entered competitions both locally and internationally. On many occasions, these players have walked away with tremendous praise and recognition for their efforts.
Under the tutelage of Ms Irina Novikova, Head of Keyboard at Shrewsbury International School Bangkok, Riverside students are encouraged to enter competitions to enhance their ability in pressure scenarios. Ms Novikova's connections throughout the world have certainly helped our players build their profile among international judges.
This is undoubtedly the case for Year 8 student, In-In, who has recently entered no less than four competitions both at home and abroad. Second place at the Thailand Steinway competition has certainly been her highest placing, but she also received commendations for performances in competitions based in France and Russia.
Other students who work closely with Ms Novikova such as Ana, Duoding and Gene all entered an online competition based in Rome where they were judged by pianists from all over Europe - all receiving commendations for their efforts.
Ms Novikova says there is no magic formula when it comes to tutoring Shrewsbury's pianists to success.
"I have been teaching piano for 27 years in total, and 11 years at Shrewsbury. I have a method that is based on hard work and practice. It is very rare to have a 'prodigy pianist'. However, ensuring students stay diligent and understanding each pianist's method of learning is the way to success," she insists.
Concerned that her students would lose any gains during COVID-19, Ms Novikova scoured online music competitions and used her contacts in the industry to enter her pupils into as many contests as she could to keep their enthusiasm levels high. She has been delighted with the results.
"I am especially happy for my younger students such as Cheetah, who won third prize in the Italian' Stay Home International Piano Competition' and Kate, who received commendations for the 'Little Creators' competition based in Japan".
Meanwhile, closer to home, Year 12 Poom scored the third highest marks in the country on his Trinity Awards Examination with 88% and Year 7, Sean finished 5th in Thailand's Steinway competition.
All students and their long-serving teacher, Ms Novikova are commended for their efforts over the past year, especially as much of this period was during the uncertainty of the global COVID-19 pandemic. This school year looks even brighter.