The newly opened Medley Music School offers an impressive range of music lessons and teachers trained in the Suzuki method.
Contributed By Reuel Eugene Tay
Fancy a music school that lets you perform every two months? One that will take you in whether you’re 5 or 35?
Welcome to Medley Music School, a school specializing in providing holistic music education in the disciplines of piano, violin, as well as electric and acoustic guitar. Medley Music School also conducts MusicPlay! and MusicExplore! classes—special programs that discover and nurture the musical talents of toddlers—and Suzuki piano classes. The Suzuki method is a unique way of learning and teaching developed by skilled violinist Shinichi Suzuki that helps children to master music in the way they learn their mother tongue.
Three things set Medley Music School apart from their competitors: firstly, only teachers with a diploma or degree in music, and no less than five years’ of teaching experience are employed by the school. Secondly, students of the school are given opportunities every two months to perform outside the school, allowing them to use their music to give back to society. The students recently played at My Village mall on Easter Sunday, bringing Easter cheer to the residents of Serangoon Gardens, where the school is located.
Finally, the teachers of the school are Suzuki-trained. At the moment, there are fewer than 10 Suzuki-trained music teachers in Singapore. Parents are also encouraged to join their children for the Suzuki piano classes and participate in the lesson together.
On April 3, Medley Music School celebrated its official opening at its school premises at Burghley Drive, within the former Serangoon Gardens Technical School building. The school held an open house from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a program that included music recitals by its students. The opening was graced by district pastors of City Harvest Church, Wu Yuzhuang and Audrey Ng. Their daughter Kymberly was one of the piano performers at the recital. Over 150 people turned up and 40 signed up.
AN INSPIRED BUSINESS
Medley began in the heart of CHC member Leng Sher Lyn in December 2010. Spurred on by the message of the Cultural Mandate by Kong Hee, senior pastor of CHC, Leng shared her vision of providing excellence in music education for children. That was when her husband Jonathan Lee, along with their long-time friends and fellow cell group members Roland Lek, Woo Ern Ern, Jeffrey Kwok and Jasmin Seah encouraged and supported Leng in setting up Medley Music School. Lek, Leng and Seah quit their jobs to venture in the music school full-time while the rest provided their expertise from the sideline.
That’s why the school is called “Medley.” A medley is a piece of music from existing pieces played one after another or overlapping each other. This school is run by partners working together in harmony, each bringing their own strengths and talent to the team.
“This team of partners is a dream team as we are all part of the same cell group, share a common vision, and we can ‘flow together,’” says Leng. “It was definitely a risk to leave my previous job and start all over. I thank God for this opportunity and I trust that as He has given this dream to us, He will indeed bless us.”
It was a step of faith for the group to pool together a quarter of a million dollars from their savings to venture into the business, especially seeing that only Leng is from the music industry while the rest come from other non-related industries. Yet, what brought this unusual cast of six together was the common aspiration: to be an influence in the marketplace of children’s enrichment.
One month into its operations, Medley already has an enrolment of 60 students, from three-year-old Natalie Gabriel to adults like Yvonne Kwan, 35.
The vision statement of Medley is “to be the leader in the music enrichment industry, providing recognized first-class music enrichment programs in Singapore. Medley is committed to undertake a leadership role in music education services by building good characters, and promoting core values such as integrity, social responsibility and a spirit of excellence amongst its students.”
Alison Hui, 26, a piano instructor at Medley, shares, “Working in Medley Music School allows me to have more space for creativity and to think of new programs and classes. I teach my students in a way that inspires them to have a love for music first—I believe that once they have acquired the love for music, they will naturally want to practice and perfect it. Students are given space to make mistakes and to try again. Most importantly, I want to create a positive environment during each lesson by showering them with praise and encouragement. It is a very positive environment here at Medley Music School. I know that as I am well taken care of, the students would be too.”
Medley Music School
45 Burghley Drive Block B
#01-09 Singapore 559022
Tel: +65 6282 8636
The Medley Music School Instructors
Leng Sher Lyn, 30, principal and piano instructor
Leng started learning the piano when she was 3. After completing her ABRSM graded examinations in classical piano, she pursued her music education at the University in Melbourne, earning her Bachelor of Music. Leng learned the Suzuki Teaching Approach with the late Nehama Patkin, OAM, Director of Suzuki Teacher Training, Australia. Having worked with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra in planning children concerts and school outreaches, Leng believes that every child can learn and appreciate music, even at a very young age.
Alison Hui, 26, piano instructor
Born in Hong Kong, Hui moved to Singapore when she was 11. She completed her ABRSM graded examinations in classical piano and furthered her music education at LASALLE College of the Arts. The Bachelor of Arts in Music (Hons) degree holder has more than 10 years of teaching experience. Her passion is evident through her dedication and patience in teaching challenging children.
Joanna Lim, 25, piano instructor
Lim started learning the piano at age 6. After completing her ABRSM graded examinations in classical piano, she went on to graduate from LASALLE College of the Arts with a Bachelor of Arts in Music (Hons). A veteran performer, Lim started out as a keyboardist with two independent bands, Zero Sequence and The Oslo Castaways. Since 2009, Lim has been performing regularly at Wala Wala Cafe & Bar with club bands, Hard To Explain, and now, The Common People.
Low Hui Xin, 29, violin instructor
Low has been teaching violin for more than 10 years and has amassed a wealth of experience as a violin instructor at many music schools. As a former member of the Asia Suzuki Association (Singapore), Low has attended Suzuki conferences in Singapore, Korea and Taiwan. She has also attended the Teacher’s Training conducted by Yasuki Nakamura, Huang Kyung Ik and Cheol Woong Jeong. Low is dedicated in helping her students achieve their potential in the violin.
Simon Yong, 32, acoustic and electric guitar instructor
In 1999, at the tender age of 17, Yong founded progressive rock band Zero Sequence, an indie legend that has played at Baybeats 2009 and SINGfest 2008. Critics also raved about their 2008 album Flight Of Transcendence. Yong graduated with a Bachelor of Creative Industries and a Grade 8 in Guitar from Trinity Rock School. He has provided music and video courses to many schools. An influential figure in the music industry, Yong has appeared on numerous radio shows—Power98FM, Live93.5FM, and 98.7FM.