The Wenjen Piano Studios achievement awards are meant to encourage growth, dedication, achievement, persistence, and hard work in the art of learning to play the piano.  My goal is not to try to create concert pianists, but to help students learn, play, and appreciate classical music for the rest of their lives.  I believe that most things that are worth doing take time to learn and can take a lifetime to achieve at an expert level.  Therefore, my awards are based on progress and achievement over a long period of time.  Unlike many youth team sports, I do not give out trophies to each student every year. It typically takes at least 4 years to earn a trophy.  We enjoy and focus on the journey of learning the piano, and the main goal is not to “win.”   I think that there are many life lessons to be learned in conjunction with piano lessons, and I have crafted my awards system to reflect a few of these thoughts:  Not many people receive every job that they apply for.  There is a process of application and growth.  Maybe you don’t get the job, but the important thing is that you don’t give up and keep trying to get that job, or a better job!  


Learning music is not an instant-gratification hobby.  It requires discipline, time, and daily effort to be successful.  I consider all students in my piano studio to be above average in some capacity.  As a teacher, I feel that it is my job to help each student be the best that they can be, and I find that many of the skills learned as a piano student carry over to their academic and personal lives.  I would not be doing any favors by rewarding students for just “showing up.”  So please do not be disappointed if you or your child does not receive a trophy.  Be happy for all that the student has achieved this year, and look forward future growth.


Please note that students do not have to perform at a competitive level to receive my “top” awards. Students are not competing against each other.  Each student has a different capacity for learning music.  I consider each student’s individual musical growth and overall achievement from when they started piano lessons at Wenjen Piano Studios.




Consistency practicing six days week, length of daily practice, completion of weekly lesson assignments, and recording practice times.  Progress in musical development, personal growth in repertoire, performance, announcing pieces, following directions, taking criticism during the lesson, giving the best possible effort.


The students’ positive attitude, desire to learn, good listening skills, enthusiasm, and willingness to try suggested pieces or new ideas during the lessons, showing maturity by suggesting pieces they have heard to learn themselves.

Total length of piano study, with a minimum of six months at Wenjen Piano Studios, and age is taken into consideration.  


Participating monthly performance workshops, from September through May, missing no more than two workshops.

Participating in non-competitive events such as National Guild Auditions, Certificate of Merit, MTACLB branch recitals, and the WPS June recitals.  Participation in competitive events such as CAPMT Piano Auditions, Southwestern Youth Music Festival, Southern California Bach Festival, and Sonatina/Sonata Competitions.


Giving back to the community through performance in Music Student Service League or senior homes, school performances, church, parties, or other outside performances.  Interest and support for the other students in the studio, attending other students’ performances, displaying courtesy while listening to others play and complimenting others for other enjoyable performances. 


Log into for an interesting article “The Millinnials Are Coming.” (CBS)  This story was originally broadcast on Nov. 11, 2007. It was updated on May 23, 2008....It’s graduation time and once again we say “Stand back all bosses!” A new breed of American worker is about to attack everything you hold sacred: from giving orders, to your starched white shirt and tie. They are called, among other things, “millennials.” There are about 80 million of them, born between 1980 and 1995, and they’re rapidly taking over from the baby boomers who are now pushing 60.  They were raised by doting parents who told them they are special, played in little leagues with no winners or losers, or all winners. They are laden with trophies just for participating and they think your business-as-usual ethic is for the birds. ...“You have got a guy like Mister Rogers, Fred Rogers on TV. He was telling his preschoolers, ‘You’re special. You’re special.’ And he meant well. But we, as parents, ran with it. And we said, ‘You, Junior, are special, and you’re special and you’re special and you’re special.’ And for doing what? We didn’t really explain that,” Zaslow says.  “But isn’t this generation, particularly of middle class kids, really quite special? Aren’t they, in some ways, much better than your generation, certainly mine,” Safer remarks.  “Well, except, when we were younger, you had a piano teacher who expected you to practice your piano and work hard at it, and the parents expected it. And now, the parents say, ‘Have fun, learn the piano, practice a little bit.’ So, there’s not the expectations that they will achieve and work hard,” Zaslow says. “It’s not the same work ethic.”  


I am happy to report that I AM the piano teacher who expects you to practice your piano and work hard at it, and YOU are the parents that expect it.  Your children are developing the same work ethic that we learned as children.  Thank you for being part of Wenjen Piano Studios.  The success of the students is a reflection of your own expectations and effort.