Pursuing My Musical Dream with the Help of the In-School Individual Instrumental Programme

Music has been my most loyal companion ever since I can remember. I began learning the piano at the age of four and took up the violin at five years old. I started out as a classically-trained musician, but in the last few years, I have immersed myself more in a completely different world, playing rock, pop, and jazz to name a few. My love for music only grows, as does my desire to learn six new instruments. It sounds unrealistic, but I have passion and determination, and the school’s music department is more than supportive – in fact, the In-School Individual Instrumental Programme (IIIP) gives me the perfect starting point.

I take three IIIP lessons a week: guitar on Mondays, bass guitar on Thursdays, and drums on Fridays. Along with my other extracurricular activities, this sounds hectic, but it’s not every day that I have the opportunity to learn from professional musicians who will guide my development. My IIIP journey has only just begun, and already I’m being exposed to things I haven’t explored before.

I’ll admit, playing the drums looked a lot easier than it really is (how foolish, I know). I’d never played an instrument involving my legs, nor had I ever attempted a percussive instrument with such an essential role in maintaining rhythm. The guitar is also a bit daunting – how do people move their fingers so seamlessly from chord to chord?! It requires serious control over finger movements and flexibility, and I’ve always struggled with that, even during my piano and violin years.

All this introduces me to other styles and techniques that allow me to become a more well-rounded musician, and to appreciate better the beauty of when everything comes together to create the music we all love.

Music isn’t just about playing the notes that have been printed on paper. It’s about the feelings you can capture and evoke, and the emotions you share with the listeners. Only through countless hours of practice to master techniques can this be achieved, and with the IIIP as my starting point, I hope to be able to do just that.

By Oi In, Year 12, YCIS Pudong Secondary

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