Becky Yuan

I have studied with many great teachers from all over Canada.  However, Leon Karan is the one I respect more than anyone.  He is the standard I try to meet in my professional teaching career, as a performer, and as a good human being.  He taught me to look into the soul of a piece.  To play with expression and that every note written in a piece has meaning.  For example, one story I like to tell to my students is of one particular lesson, Mr. Karan and I spent almost an entire lesson working on just the first 2 chords of a Beethoven Sonata.  I would play the opening chords.  Mr Karan, sitting in his chair, one elbow on the arm rest while cupping his chin would utter the word, “no”.  I try again.  He replied. “no”.  I tried the chords a different way.  He again, “no”.  Exasperrated, I prolonged the 2 chords with a questioning looking in my eyes directed at him…and he, letting out a soft sigh said in his commanding yet soft voice, “Becky, you must play it like you are asking a question”.    All my students and parents have heard stories about him.  Several have met him in master classes he has conducted for my students and while tuning and regulating their pianos in their homes.  They know I do not exaggerate.