He believes that piano playing embodies the best of humanity and sees the world of keyboard pedagogy through a lens of "Body/Mind/Heart." Chiu embraces what at first glance may appear to be nontraditional techniques, including cooking and meditation, but these practices perfectly integrate into the overall wellness of the student.
Chiu explains to educators that he looks for "piano-playing solutions outside of music, and for life solutions in piano playing." For his cooking class series, he designed the menu to support various techniques that students learn through experience and then apply to their playing. The result is an interactive, fun experience that highlights a holistic approach to piano playing.
"My priorities with students involve giving them a constant reminder that the solution they are looking for very often does not lie in the playing, but more often in the thinking or the feeling that they need to generate," says Chiu. "If I can teach my students to have a perspective of observing themselves, then I think they can solve their own problems more and more."
Chiu is an expert at learning to adjust the recipe when needed, remembering back to a period when he didn't have access to a piano and had to find inventive ways to learn without an instrument. During that time, he discovered that looking at a situation from a different perspective leads to more creativity, passion and curiosity. He is now able to apply this knowledge to the classroom, offering educators and students a truly unique approach to studying music.
Inspired by projects that bring a new perspective to something known, Chiu sees himself as a bridge from the known to the unknown and seeks to bring students and educators into this amazing world of possibility.
Some of Frederic Chiu's session titles are:
- "Learning Without the Instrument"
- "Emotional Practicing"
- "Stage Fright: A Practitioner's Perspective"
- "One for All: The Essence of Playing the Piano"