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The thrill of being told that I was the only one in the neighbourhood who could play a piece in F Major was one of my proudest moments. That sense of accomplishment sparked a flame in my heart for music that would burn brightly for years to come.

My early life was in a public housing area until my family moved to Australia. My mother, a dedicated kindergarten teacher, had learned to play the piano to increase her income before I was born. She would often play and sing using solfege and lyrics. As a young child, I found myself fascinated by her teaching materials, covered with solfege and notation. I began teaching myself to play at a tender age.

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​ One vivid memory etched in my mind is the day I decided to spend my many hours lying my stomach on the floor counting up and down every line and space of the music score of "Für Elise" that my piano teacher initially refused to teach me.

 

When I performed it in front of my entire school during primary one, I felt a sense of triumph that words can't fully describe.​

 ​Around the age of 6, I had my very first ABRSM exam.  To prepare for the exam, I stumbled upon a radio program that discussed and broadcasted the exam pieces. Resourceful as I was, I recorded the program onto cassette tapes and practiced alongside the recordings every day. I had the volume up so loud that led to some comical moments with my neighbour, who would play his pop music loudly while I practiced classical piano along with my tapes.

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As life unfolded, my family moved to Melbourne, and regular piano lessons became a financial challenge. My school teacher recognised my talent and recommended me to Ms. Judith Lambden. She became not only my piano teacher but also a mentor who shared valuable life lessons. Her guidance and presence in my life made her feel like a surrogate mother during my teenage years. Our friendship remains till this very day.

Paying for lessons remained a struggle, and I had to endure a two-hour commute to and from Ms. Lambden's place when without a lift. However, my talent caught the attention of the school, and I earned a scholarship to learn piano at MacRobertson Girls' High School under Ms. Barbara Hyatts. During school holidays, I continued my learning journey with Ms. Lambden.

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Becoming the school pianist was an exciting opportunity, but it came with sacrifices. While my peers socialised during recess and lunch hours, I was busy rehearsing for ensembles, orchestra performances, accompanying choirs, and solo recitals. I participated in numerous music eisteddfods and won prizes. My dedication even led me to compete in the ABC Young Musician Award, playing a concerto, and I earned my A.Mus.A in year 11.

Taking occasional lessons with Prof. Ronald Ferren-Price while preparing for exams and competitions was a whole new different experience. His emphasis on interpretation and technique added depth to my musical understanding.

The day I performed at the School's Jubilee Concert at Melbourne Town Hall etched in my memory. After the last performance of the event, I couldn't wait for the applause; instead, I rushed backstage and broke down in tears. All the instrumental teachers came to comfort me, and in that moment, I realised the importance of nurturing not only the musical abilities of a student but also their mental and emotional well-being. This realisation fueled my determination to teach in a holistic manner and cultivate a lifelong love for music in my students.

Although I had been accepted into a conservatory, I chose a different path. I pursued studies in Psychology and Music, with a burning desire to understand everything about music teaching and how to nurture lifelong music enthusiasts.

During my postgraduate studies in Professional Piano Teaching at Reading University in the UK, I stumbled upon the Dalcroze approach – The idea of learning music in the body, through the body was an eye opener. Suddenly, my entire learning journey seemed to come together in harmony. I delved into exploring different teaching methods, attending workshops on Dalcroze, Kodaly, and Orff. I earned a number of teaching certificates and diplomas.

As fate would have it, I became the head teacher of the piano department at the Tom Lee Music Foundation. It was during this time that I had the chance to interact with Yamaha Music School personnel from Japan and gain deeper insights into curriculum design and structure. I assisted in designing programs that helped teachers understanding different teaching approaches and aided students transitioning from Yamaha Methods.

 

 

Adjudicating in various piano competitions, big and small, local and international, further cemented my belief in the importance of a holistic approach to music education. It was crystal clear that nurturing a child's wholistic experience was not only beneficial for their musical growth but also essential for their overall development and emotional well-being.

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Now, I found Forte Music—a program that resonates with my philosophy and values. Forte Music embraces the idea of promoting a fun and lifelong musical experience. The whole body teaching-learning approach enriches not only musical and piano skills but also strengthens the bond between children and their parents while encouraging socialisation.

As I prepare to teach the Forte Music program, I carry with me a lifetime of experiences—a journey filled with challenges, triumphs, tears, and joy. My story is a testament to the transformative power of music and the impact of nurturing a child's entire experience rather than just focusing on piano playing. Through my own life's journey, I hope to inspire and touch the hearts of all the parents and students who come my way, creating a musical adventure that will last a lifetime.

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New Junior Key Course Starts:

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