SPARK NURTURE ENABLE

We are a circle of music lovers, driven by a common passion

The Music Circle is a music education collective established with a vision to build a strong community of music lovers, and to make a positive difference in children’s lives.

The team shares a common passion to pique the curiosity of young minds and inspire them to reach their full potential through shared experiences in music. Our educators work closely together to provide effective and innovative programmes. Parents and students are all actively involved in our vibrant learning community as we hope to spark the family’s lifelong journey with music.

About TMC
About TMC
WHAT WE CARE ABOUT
Join us in a lifelong journey with music.

Musical learning can be a stepping-stone for wider development in children’s lives. It can build character, enrich their experiences and help them reach their full potential in all aspects of life.

Our programmes and curriculum are meticulously crafted beyond musical aspects. Parents and students, are constantly involved and engaged as part of the learning community, as we hope to guide and inspire families to join us in enjoying a lifelong journey with music.

OUR VALUES

Instrumental Academy

Togetherness

We believe the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Learning and working together as a team makes for a far more enriching experience for everyone who participates in this circle.

Instrumental Academy

Thirst for Knowledge

We value knowledge and want to propagate this thirst for learning with others.

Instrumental Academy

Generosity in Sharing

There is openness in the way we collaborate as a team. We work together to share our knowledge, but also to learn from others.

Instrumental Academy

Inventiveness

We find new ways to teach and learn. We are always interested in new ideas and using technology to make the learning experience better and more effective.

Inclusiveness

We believe that everyone should experience the joy and benefits of music. We create opportunities to ensure that as many people as possible can enjoy music and feel a sense of belonging in the music circle.

Instrumental Academy

Respect

We are enriched by the diversity of views that enable us to improve and innovate. We value everyone’s ideas and respect each other’s points of view.

MEET THE TEAM

Clarence

Clarence Yap

Director

Clarence is a music entrepreneur driven by his passion to make a positive impact on music in Singapore. As Head of Music Programming at Esplanade-Theatres on the Bay till 2015, he helped to define the national arts centre’s musical heart for 8 years. He worked with his team of Programmers to provide a range of music experiences for Singapore audiences, from the Mosaic Music Festival and Baybeats to daily free performances at the Esplanade. Working with talents from around the world inspired him to play a part in developing Singaporean musicians, and he has set out to draw on his arts management experience towards this goal.

Clarence started The Music Circle with like-minded music educators to introduce innovative approaches to music education. He works with the teaching team to create a warm and nurturing learning environment, so that every TMC student can truly enjoy a lifelong journey with music. He also co-founded Foundation Music LLP with fellow music industry colleagues to help propel exceptional Singapore talents to the international stage, and develop viable careers for them.

Managing Director
Clarence Yap
Alyssa

Alyssa Koay; DMA Piano Performance

Head of Piano

Dr. Alyssa Koay is a music educator who has performed extensively as a soloist and chamber musician internationally. Alyssa holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance from the University of Colorado at Boulder (USA) under the tutelage of Doris Lehnert.

Alyssa has held lecturing posts at the University of Colorado-Boulder and the International College of Music in Kuala Lumpur where she was responsible for devising new programmes that bridge both classical and contemporary musical idioms. As an advocate for the use of music technology to enhance learning, she has also developed and taught online music courses.

Alyssa regularly draws from a variety of classical, popular, jazz, and folk music to develop individualised curriculum that meet the needs and interests of her students. Alyssa enjoys the time she spends with her students and fosters a sense of family in her studio. She firmly believes in instilling a passion for learning and performing among her students and encourages them to be skillful and courageous learners in music as well as in life.

Aside from performing and teaching, Alyssa is also actively involved as a volunteer in several community projects. She strives to promote musical programmes as a ministry to minority groups and at-risk youths.

Head of Piano
Dr. Alyssa Koay
Dr. Tang Tee Tong

Tang Tee Tong; DMA Violin Performance

Artistic Director, Head of Strings

Dr. Tang Tee Tong, Artistic Director of TMC, is a devoted violin pedagogue with more than ten years of teaching experience. Dr. Tee recently graduated with a Doctoral of Music Arts degree in Violin Performance and was named the Outstanding Graduate of Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts at Arizona State University. Her violin pedagogy and teaching philosophy has been highly influenced by her wonderful teachers and mentors, Dr. Jonathan Swartz, Prof Andres Cardenes, Dr. Margaret Schmidt, Dr. Lina Bahn, Foo Say Ming, Leslie Tan and Lim Soon Lee. She has also learnt from music educators such as Mimi Zweig, Brenda Brenner, Sherry Sinift and Rebecca Henry from the Violin Teacher’s Retreat at Indiana University and Paul Rolland String Pedagogy Conference. Tee has also received Suzuki teacher training with Mr William Starr, former President of Suzuki Association of Americas.

Tee’s teaching approach is also shaped by her teaching experiences as well as in-depth exploration of other pedagogy and music education methods. Recognizing that every student blossoms in a unique way and possesses distinct learning styles, interests and strengths, Tee organized her pedagogy into a doctoral research paper “Violin Curriculum Incorporating Visual, Aural and Kinesthetic Perceptual Learning Modalities” which she has been adapted for her teaching in Singapore. Tee believes that weaker modalities in students cannot be neglected and needs to be strengthened through modality strengths to prevent a child’s violin learning from stagnating in future.

As a music educator, Tee seeks to work with her students and their parents to create a musical environment for her students that encourage the lifelong love of music.
She believes that music education helps build character, elevate self-esteem and confidence, as well as cultivates discipline and eagerness for excellence.

Artistic Director, Head of Strings
Dr. Tang Tee Tong

Zephany Hoe

Piano Academy

Zephany graduated with a Second Upper Bachelor of Music Degree from the Royal College of Music in London, majoring in Piano Performance. She studied under Professor Gordon Fergus-Thompson.

While in London, she gained invaluable teaching experience tutoring students of a wide age and ability range, from young children to adults. She was also regularly engaged as a music workshop facilitator in schools across London, an experience which sparked her love for community engagement projects.

Zephany has a heart for building communities, and served as a Piano Tutor at the Tri-borough Music Hub, a centre aimed at providing a holistic programme in music learning for young children living in neighbouring boroughs. Apart from piano lessons, she supported the choir, percussion ensemble and creative ensemble (focusing on improvisation, composition and music-making without notation).

With her interest in music history, she worked with local musicians and composers to archive Singapore music and organised concerts at the Esplanade as part of the Project IDIOM team supported by The Future of Our Pasts: History Reimagined programme hosted by Yale-NUS College.

Zephany believes that every child is unique and special, and can bring something to the world of music no one else can. She looks forward to sharing every musical journey with her students, and guiding them to find love and passion for music in their own ways.

Piano Academy
Zephany Hoe

Clarissa Lim

Violin Academy

Clarissa graduated with a Second Upper Bachelor of Music Degree from the Royal Academy of Music, and is also an alumnus of the Wells Cathedral School, a specialist music school in Somerset, England. During her time in London, Clarissa studied with Sophie Langdon, Gabrielle Painter and Leland Chen. Previous teachers include Catherine Lord and Lynette Lim.

She has played in various chamber groups, such as a clarinet quintet, quartets and duos, and is currently part of The Tee Trio. The trio has performed across England as Young Artists and noteworthy performances include, the prestigious St James Piccadilly Church (London), as well as a music series in Wolfson College, Cambridge. They have also been awarded prestigious scholarships to study with Thomas Ades in the International Musicians’ Seminar Prussia Cove 2018 and The Cadenza Music Course 2018. The Tee Trio has also performed a series of concerts in Singapore, including at the national arts centre Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay in August 2019.

Clarissa has also played with orchestras in both London and Singapore. To name a few are
The London Mahler Orchestra, Arch Sinfonia, Young Musicians’ Symphony Orchestra, ADDO Orchestra and The Young Musicians’ Foundation Orchestra. She has been honoured to have worked under the tutelage of Semyon Bychkov, Ed Gardner, Sir Mark Elder, Christopher Adey, Christopher Warren-Green and the late Oliver Knussen.

Currently pursuing her teaching Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music, Clarissa enjoys teaching and sharing her passion and knowledge of music with others. She believes that
everyone should experience music at some point of their lives and that it is a great benefit to
the mind and soul. She also has a strong interest in interdisciplinary art and is working with Lumia researcher, Trent Kim, to create audio/visual virtual reality works.

Besides all things music and violin related, Clarissa is also passionate about baking, cooking, handicrafts and bird keeping. She spends her days off reading and knitting, as well as bonding with her budgie. Her dream is to eventually retire on a ranch.

Violin Academy
Clarissa Lim

Gloria Parn

Violin Academy

Gloria Parn graduated with a Masters of Music (Violin) and Bachelor of Music (Violin and Music Theory) from the Cleveland Institute of Music. She studied under world-renowned violinists Stephen Rose, Philip Setzer and Ivan Zenaty who guided her through her studies in Cleveland. In Singapore, she studied with Lynette Lim, Yin Ke and Qian Zhou.

Having a passion for playing in the orchestra, Gloria was a substitute violinist with the Canton Symphony Orchestra during her time in Cleveland. She was also a member of the Singapore National Youth Orchestra (SNYO) that toured the 39th Aberdeen International Youth Festival (2011) as well as Young Euro Classics (2012) in Berlin.

At age 15, she was selected to be the concert mistress of the Music Elective Programme Orchestra that performed at the Esplanade Concert Hall. In 2015, she was selected to be the concertmistress for a combined concert where the Singapore National Youth Orchestra and Singapore Youth Chinese Orchestra performed together.

Gloria has had masterclasses with Ilya Konovalov and Siow Lee Chin. In the summers, she participated in Texas Music Festival and National Orchestral Institute. She also had the opportunity to perform Bach’s Concerto for Violin and Oboe in C minor in Singapore’s Esplanade Recital Hall as a soloist in 2016.

Gloria’s passions lie in performing and in music pedagogy.
“I aim to inspire those who encounter me through my performances and teachings, excite my audiences with classical music and to heal those who find peace in listening to music.”

Her other hobbies include swimming, cooking and yoga.

Violin Academy
Gloria Parn

Astrid Ng

Early Childhood Music Specialist

Astrid is TMC’s Early Childhood Specialist, developing the Music Circle Time curriculum for kindergartens and preschools, as well as planning and conducting fun general music classes for preschoolers at The Music Circle.

She believes in learning music through fun and enjoyable activities in a bright and positive environment. She has discovered in her years as an educator, tools and ways to aid this style of learning such as through singing, movement and ensemble. As a certified MOE Art and Music Instructor for 10 years, she has led and facilitated groups of children of varying ages and class sizes.

An avid chorister, Astrid has been performing in various choirs such as the International Festival Chorus, Singapore Symphony Youth Choir and Symphonia Choralis. She has combined her passion for music education and community music making working on projects with da ka:po Late Starters Orchestra and HOME (Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics).

Astrid hopes to nurture children and guide them to express themselves through creative musical moments in her classes. She hopes to inspire an authentic love for music that they can carry and share with others wherever they may go.

Early Childhood Music Specialist
Astrid Ng

OUR PARTNERS

It takes a village to raise a child, and probably more to develop musicians!

Building our learning community is a labour of love, and we believe that we would not be able to do so without working with partners who share our heart for children, passion for craft and who are just all round lovely people!

Music Warehouse

Great Performances deserve Great Sound – Music Warehouse provides musical equipment and sound systems for events, performances and musicians.

National University of Singapore Alumni Orchestra

The National University of Singapore Alumni Orchestra (NAO) is the official alumni orchestra of the NUS Symphony Orchestra (NUSSO). NAO comprises a dedicated group of NUSSO alumni who strongly believe in the NUSSO vision of bringing music to the community and allowing people to enjoy classical music.

Super Skinny

The makers of SuperSkinny shares a collective architecture and interior design background. Despite being a young firm, they form an extensive portfolio from projects of large scale hotel to small commercial projects. SuperSkinny prides in play and harmony of complimentary aesthetic palettes.

Little Day Out

Little Day Out is a Singapore-based digital media publisher of news and resources on the best of Singapore for families with young children.

Arc Children’s Centre

Arc makes the families’ journeys meaningful. It provides them a chance to escape from their confined environments, not only for the children to learn useful skills.

National Arts Council

The National Arts Council champions the arts in Singapore. By nurturing creative excellence and supporting broad audience engagement, our diverse and distinctive arts inspire our people, connect communities and profile Singapore internationally.

THE VENUES

We have designed our home to be conducive and reflective of The Music Circle’s learning community concept.

The Instrumental Academies are housed in dedicated spaces designed with different needs that are particular to each discipline. Operable walls open up to increase interaction across the school, but also to create spaces for different programmes, including workshops, masterclasses and performances.

Our Venues

The Studio

This studio room is used for group classes, ensemble practice and small workshops.

Our Venues

Piano Studio

This room doubles as a stage for used for performances and also houses our Yamaha C1 Baby Grand Piano.

Our Venues

Strings Studio

A room dedicated to the learning of string instruments. Full sized mirrors and acoustics designed to maintain the brightness of the instrument, while ensuring clarity of sound.

Our Venues

TMC Recital Space

Our Piano Academy, TMC Studio and Living area combine to create a performance space suitable for recitals, masterclasses and events.

TMC Community Cafe

A communal space where students, parents and teachers can interact over refreshments, and have access to TMC’s library of music resources
and books.