Inspirational life-affirming music-making is at the heart of who we are and what we do at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, National University of Singapore. The Conservatory endeavors to develop passionate musicians who are nurtured by their love for the art and empowered by their ability to make music.
The pursuit of music excellence does not simply encompass self-development, but more importantly, it entails the ability of musicians to touch and enrich others through music-making. The Conservatory strongly believes in this, and has been actively reaching out to the community over the past 18 months, to create opportunities for more people to have access to make, appreciate and be curious about music.
On Saturday 1 April, 3.00pm at the Alexandra Hospital Auditorium, YST Conservatory will present a performance showcasing students, alumni and community partners. Short collaborative pieces featuring performers from ages 5 to 80 will be presented, demonstrating both the process and result of the conservatory’s outreach efforts and initiatives with community partners.
The performance will feature the following Community Outreach Partners:
Sengkang Health (SKH, now known as Sengkang General Hospital) at Alexandra Hospital
With the intention of enhancing the well-being of patients and staff at Alexandra Hospital through music, YST students have been creating musical activities with staff from Sengkang Health including Allied Health Professionals and Nurses. Guided by YST alumnus Bethany Nette (BMus ’16, Trumpet), YST students will continue to work with SKH staff in a series of weekly workshops in March, where staff can learn how to use music as a tool in their work with patients as well as during rehabilitation sessions.
Senior Citizens’ Choir in association with NUS Society Choir and NUHS (Choral Singing for the Prevention of Dementia)
YST students will once again be collaborating with the Senior Citizens’ Choir, to provide instrumental accompaniment to the choir’s performance. The choir which is part of a clinical trial to study the effects of choral singing on preventing dementia and cognitive decline, meets at the YST Conservatory for weekly practices. They will be performing two songs, Tian Mi Mi (甜蜜蜜) and Kang Ding Qing Ge (康定情歌).
Founded by YST alumnus Kahchun Wong (BMus ’11, Composition), Project Infinitude’s pilot programme aims to provide children from special needs and less privileged communities, an opportunity to explore music and a variety of instruments in a fun and supportive environment.
Students from YST have been conducting workshops for children from the Superhero Me community arts movement to teach them the basics of instruments (e.g. violin, cello, recorder, keyboard and voice). Workshops are also conducted at Enabling Village, a multipurpose community space built to support the integration and inclusion of able-bodied and people with disabilities in Singapore.
This Project has been featured in TODAY newspaper. Read more about it here – 'Photography, music helps children with disabilities connect with society'.
School of the Arts Singapore (SOTA)
Guided by YST alumnus Chong Wai Lun (BMus ‘08, Trumpet), YST students have been working with SOTA music students to collaboratively compose three original works which will be premiered at the April 1st Showcase Performance. YST alumnus Danny Imson (BMus ’13, Composition) is currently Teaching Faculty for Composition and Music Technology at SOTA and oversees the First Year Creative Track music composition class.
Significance of YST Conservatory’s Community Engagement Initiatives
YST Conservatory strongly believes that students can contribute to social causes through music. By introducing compulsory Professional Integration modules such as Leading and Guiding through Music in its curriculum, the Conservatory aims to expose students to various community engagement programs in Singapore and Southeast Asia. Furthermore, through the provision of mentorship and support for student-led initiatives, the Conservatory continues to encourage students and alumni to be ambassadors for music and experience the transformative social impact a musician can have beyond the concert hall.
Performance: Sharing Gifts Through Music