In response to the Daily Post’s ‘Strike a Chord’

I learnt how to play the piano since i was 4, and the viola when i was 13. Music has really taken up almost my whole life, as I continue to pursue it at the undergraduate level. I actually always wanted to be a medical doctor rushing in the A&E and saving lives. The occupation i detested and despised most was the role of an educator. Never would I have imagined that decades later, I would actually take up a government scholarship to be a music teacher in a high school.
The journey to become a professional musician is wrought with many hardships. I had to uproot myself from the country I grew up in and move to the UK, where I spent many days and nights alone. I pondered much about music in the past year, and even doubted my ability in excelling in it. I would say the hardest course I took in my first year in university is Musicology.
I never understood why I had to read up on Haydn’s pay at the Esterhazy court, McClary’s feminist views on works, Ingrid Monson’s (hope I remembered her name correctly) experiences as a musician etc.
I only gained what I would call ‘The Enlightenment’ right before the Musicology paper, and i only studied for that paper a couple of days before the examination.
The piano has been to me an integral part of my life. I cannot just divorce it. My ears tend to judge a pianist straight away when I pass by buskers or just anyone who happens to play in front of me. In the practice rooms in school, I enjoy the privacy behind the closed doors with the sign “Engaged” , so that no one would judge me per se for my terrible sight-reading or my habit in striking the piano harshly. Apparently, I can be heard two floors down.
While I ironically do not like to listen to keyboard works (I prefer to listen to symphonies and concertos), I do love to play the piano. However, I am such a lazy pianist I have to drag myself to the piano when I’m learning a new work.
On another note, despite many who look down on the Viola (well, there IS a hierarchy in the orchestra), I find its tone rather pleasing. Because of its intermediate range between that of a violin’s and cello’s, I realise it laments and cries with my inner soul.
When I’m sad, I love to play the viola. Its range from the bass clef to the treble makes it a versatile instrument whose voice is so much richer than the violin’s.

Music reaches to the inner depths of my soul and I know I can identify with it. Actually, anyone can identify with music. Just choose a genre you love and listen intently for the nuances.

The Daily Post

 

 

 

Cheers,
Isabel

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The birth of our avenue of expression

Today is the day we finally sought to collate all the work we have done. Some of us like to find meaning in poetry, some in music and some through photographs.

In a Singapore that has been obsessed with economic growth and advancements in science and technology, people who meddle in the arts scene struggle to survive. We are barely succeeding in threading the waters. We are most probably closer to drowning.

I recently went to Yong Siak Street just last Saturday to visit the highly recommended and raved about hipster shops. Books Actually made a name for itself quite recently and I must say I was impressed and encouraged by their faith in local writers. I believe in Singapore’s talent, not just in the scientific and business arenas, but also in the arts scene.

We hope that we would never give up on our artistic endeavours and for those out there who are looking for healthy ways to express yourselves, I tell you, art is never the wrong method.

 

 

Cheers,
Isabel