Music is probably one of the most misunderstood careers, and to me, studying music is probably the most challenging things I’ve ever done. Many a time things do not turn out the way I want to, and I start doubting myself and my choices. They say that as long as we have a burning passion for something, nothing and no one can stop us from pursuing and working hard for our passions, no matter how difficult it may be to do so. That’s exactly why I am still not giving up just yet, and still continuing to work super hard and do my best in everything. I don’t understand people who hate what they are doing but still do it, I guess they have other motivations, but nah, I wouldn’t want to sacrifice my happiness, life is way too short to do so.
My passion for music is the foremost reason why I decided to major in music in the first place. I’m writing this post (or maybe a series of posts) as a reminder to myself why I decided to study music in the first place, and if I ever feel like giving up, I can always look back on this to motivate myself to press on. Also, I never really documented this yet, so it feels nice to be able to put this in words 😀
I should start from when it all began. Can’t really remember exactly how old I was (11, perhaps?), but when I was really young, my parents brought me to my first piano recital, I think it was a solo recital by a Singaporean pianist who just won an artist award. Couldn’t remember exactly what was her repertoire, but that recital was probably the most unforgettable experiences ever. The whole time I was basically in amazement, as never in my life have I ever imagined music to sound like that, so virtuosic, so beautiful, so dramatic, so emotional! Imagine how a kid would react when he or she listens to such beautiful music for the first time. I was ecstatic, and got very much excited. From then on, I became obsessed with listening to music and attending concerts. I became more aware of the music whenever I was practicing my own pieces at home. For weeks I couldn’t stop thinking about that concert and the kind of sound she was making. I had never imagined a concert would have such a huge impact on me. From then on, I started to seek solace in music. I listened to a lot of music, and whenever there’s something I liked, I would listen to it over and over again. I remember there was a period where I was listening to the whole of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons every single day on repeat mode, what the hell was I thinking.
Around that same period, my parents brought me to my first SSO concert (my parents are the best), and it was my first time listening to a live orchestra. At that time, the resident conductor was Lim Yau, and he was the conductor for the concert I was attending. During the entire concert my eyes were shimmering with joy and excitement, you know, like those anime eyes that reflect light? HAHA. I’ve been only playing and listening to piano music all my life, of course I would be excited to see so many instruments performing together, led by a conductor! The whole time I was in awe of the entire orchestra, being able to play together so beautifully, and also the composer who is able to compose such music. Mind you, my eyes were glued to the stage, and when it was all over, I have the urge to keep coming back for more. The whole time I was thinking “Wow, the conductor is damn awesome la”.
My experiences as a kid got me very excited and curious to learn more about music, and I kept wanting to know more about things beyond what I am currently learning in my own music education. I listened to more symphonies and chamber works, read about the backgrounds of composers which made me empathise with their emotions and understand their musical styles. These experiences opened my eyes to a world that I would never have imagined, it’s like I have entered utopia. I may sound like I’m exaggerating, but this feeling was so surreal for an 11-year-old me. It was from then on, that I wanted to do something in my life that is related to music. I didn’t know what I wanted to do exactly, but my experiences as a kid definitely impacted me a lot in wanting to study music and pursue it as a career today. Looking back at these moments really give me a warm feeling in my heart :’)