Lesson Curriculum @ TorGuqin

Juni Yeung, BA (Hons.)(Toronto), MA (CUHK)


  • Juni L. Yeung (Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese, English)
    (Contact: jt_revolution [at] hotmail [dot] com)
    (Phone: (647) 631-1702)

Prerequisite: Knowledge of the Chinese numbers one to ten (一二三四五六七八九十) for reading the tablature.

Learning the Guqin, Tutorial Series I ($50/hr)

Based on the first half of the Standards of the Guqin (Repertoires A, B)
– Introduction to the instrument: Structure, history, symbolism
– Preparation for playing: Etiquette and posture

– Introduction to basic 9 right hand fingerings (Mo,Tiao,Gou,Ti,Da,Zhai,Tuo,Pi,Cuo)
– Introduction to some modern complex right hand fingerings (Bo/La, Diejuan, Lun, Suo)
– Introduction to basic left hand techniques (Pressing, simple sliding, harmonics)
– Tuning the Instrument with Harmonics & Stopped Notes (Standard Tuning + 1 other simple modes)

 ([!] indicates not included in “Standards of the Guqin”, the default textbook of instruction.)

Pieces Taught:
* Xianweng Cao 仙翁操 (Etude to the Trascendent One)
* Liang Xiao Yin 良宵引 (Prelude to a Fair Evening)
* Qiu Feng Ce 秋風詞 (Ode to the Autumn Wind)
* Zhao Yin 招隱 (Seeking Seclusion)
* Liu Shang 流觴 (Flowing Goblet)
* Guan Shan Yue 關山月 (Moonlight upon the Mountainous Pass)
* Yang Guan San Die 陽關三疊 (Three Variations to the Yang Pass Theme)
* Hua Xu Yin 華胥引 (Prelude to the Utopian Land)
* Qiu Xiao Bu Yue 秋宵步月 (Strolling under the Moon in Autumn Evening)
* Gu Feng Cao 古風操 (Etude to Antiquity Style)
     * With the following as optional additions:
^ Xiang Jiang Yuan 湘江怨 (Grief by the Xiang River) [!]
^ Jiu Kuang 酒狂 (Drunken Madness) [!]
^ Daming Yitong 大明一統 (Unity of the Ming Empire)


Advancing the Guqin, Tutorial Series II ($60/hr or $120/2hrs)

Based on the middle of the Standards of the Guqin (Repertoires C, D)
– Further understanding the instrument: Literature, Pre-20th century qin philosophies
– Continuation to right hand complex and antiquated fingerings (Jiangou, Yuanlou, Quanfu etc.)
– Continuation to left hand techniques (Perfecting glissandos, vibrato variations)
– Perfecting Instrument Tuning – The System of Modes (Ruibin, Huangzhong, Qiliang, Wumei, Biyu)
– Instrument Tuning System Analyzed: Modes and uncommon tunings

Pieces Taught:
* Yu Qiao Wen Da 漁樵問答 (Dialogue of the Fisherman and Woodcutter)
* Kong Zi Du Yi 孔子讀易 (Confucius Reading the I Ching)
* Songxia Guantao 松下觀濤 (Watching Waves From Under the Pines)
     * With the following as options (2 to 3 recommended):
^ Zui Yu Cang Wan 醉漁唱晚 (Drunken Fisherman Singing to the Evening) [!]
^ Yi Guren 憶故人 (Remembering an Old Friend) [!]
^ Paoxiu Luolan (any of the 7 movements) 袍修羅蘭 (七段之任何一段) ( [!]
^ Ou Lu Wang Ji 鷗鷺忘機 (Geese Forgetting Intentions) [!]
^ Pu An Zhou 普庵咒 (Buddhist Chant of Pu-An Monestary) [!]

Mastering the Guqin, Tutorial Series III ($130/2hrs)

Based on the new content of Standards of the Guqin Second Edition (Repertoire D) and beyond
– Linking Music, Philosophy and Life: Post-20th Qin Philosophies, Perspectives
– Refining the link between technique, performance and inner communication
– Dapu: History, Versions, Interpretation, Translation and Adapting

Pieces Taught:

* Shang Yi 商意 (Motif in Shang Mode) — Student-interpreted score
* Any Pieces from previous levels can be covered
* Ping Sha Luo Yan 平沙落雁 (Geese Landing upon Flat Sands) [!]
    * Plus at least TWO from each of the following lists:

[List i. Sichuan School pieces]
^ Pei Lan 佩蘭 (Wearing Orchid) [!]
^ Qiu Shui 秋水 (Autumn Floods) [!]
^ Liu Shui 流水 (Flowing Water), either Pre or Post-Tianwenge version [!]
^ Longsuo Cao 龍朔操 (Etude to Longsuo Province, alt.name “Chaojun’s Grief”) [!]

[List ii. Guangling School pieces]
^ Da Hujia 大胡茄 (Large Barbarian Reed Tune) [!]
^ Ao Ai 欸乃 (Creaking Sounds of the Oar) [!]
^ Meihua Sannong 梅花三弄 (Three Variations on the Plum Blossom Theme) [!]
^ Guang Ling San 廣陵散 (Guang Ling Verse): (All 45 sections) [!]

[List iii. Upper-antiquity pieces]
^ Li Sao 離騷 (Grievance to Departure) [!]
^ Qu Yuan Wen Du 屈原問渡 (Qu Yuan Asking for River Crossing) [!]
^ Wenwang Cao 文王操 (King Wen’s Etude) [!]
^ Guzhu Jun 孤竹君 (The Lord of Guzhu) [!]
^ Any pieces as discovered from an original manuscript, upon request by the student and teacher approval.

* Any pieces in the repertoire can be replaced by another piece of similar level, style and technique, upon request. Please refer to the Chinese Central Conservatory examination repertoire for details. A Chinese-English version of this is provided in appendix in the Standards of the Guqin.
* Students who wish to continue studies of certain pieces after completing advanced level may have casual sessons at intermediate level pricing.

On Payment, Punctuality, and Rescheduling

Effective December 2015, lesson fees and any expected adjoining surcharges (eg. Contest fees, instrument rentals) are to be paid in full for the entire month on the first lesson of the month. Absences and deferrals must be made with at least 48 hours notice. Tuition will be charged as originally scheduled otherwise.

Same-day rescheduling due to unforeseen issues can be exempted. Rescheduled lessons due to serious student lateness are charged as an additional lesson, separate from the missed original session.

Lateness due to extraordinary, external factors can be exempted. This does not include delays due to chronic public transit logistical issues.

On travel and transit surcharges
* An additional $20 surcharge on house call travel costs may apply per lesson, within the limits of the City of Toronto, York Region, and the City of Mississauga.

On qin selection consultation and maintenance sessions
* Having your own instrument is essential. Consult with the instructor if you do not have one yet, or intending to buy one. Choosing an instrument that does not injure your hand is an essential basic factor.
* Selecting an instrument from shops with or from the instructor is possible. Appointments can be booked for a qin-shopping outing in the Toronto Central Chinatown area. Appointment rates are equivalent to an intermediate level lesson, at $50/hr.
* Replacing/repulling strings are subject to charges equivalent to a beginner level lesson, at $40/hr.


** This curriculum is revised and true for the Year of 2018, effective February 1, 2018.


June 2023
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