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Lang Lang, piano superstar, offers his secrets to musical success

03/18/2015 03:26 EDT | Updated 05/18/2015 05:59 EDT
Chinese superstar pianist Lang Lang will perform at a sold-out show in Vancouver on Wednesday night, teaming up with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, for an evening of Beethoven and Mozart.

On his tour across North America, he's also been spending time with music students, as part of his work through the Lang Lang International Music Foundation, which promotes music education around the world.

Most notably, in Vancouver, he hosted a public performance and class called '101 Pianists', playing alongside 100 students, who doubled up to perform Schubert and Brahms on 50 pianos at the Orpheum Theatre.

Music education is a passion for the celebrated classical musician. He offered The Early Edition's Elaine Chau a few words of advice on how to pursue that passion.

A tough practice regime is needed

"We need to go through some hardship. Technique doesn't come like eating a candy. You need six hours of practice every day no matter who you are."

A good mentor helps

"You need someone to push. In my case, my father was my 'personal police', to push me a little bit. You need to constantly practice, and work hard."

Discover how best you work

Lang Lang says he's had bad teachers, tough teachers, and good teachers. Getting better at the piano is often about discovering what works for you personally.

"I hope when we practise, we use our brains, we use our imagination. I just take the things which worked for me; the sound, the ideas, the way to get us into the water."

To hear the full interview with Lang Lang, click on the audio labelled: Lang Lang performs with Vancouver music students.

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