The TMC Honours Programme takes flight!

By December 9, 2021 No Comments

Since TMC’s inception, we have envisioned an Honours Programme that would allow students with high ability and aspiration to flourish. The aim is to give students regular opportunities to perform and play in Masterclasses.

After preparation and with the suitable progress of students, we finally launched the TMC Honours Programme in March 2021.

To enter the programme, students had to undergo a Theory assessment, followed by auditions. The first cohort of Honours students are Elisabeth Ho, Jayden Kai, Jesper Tai and Phoebe Hamdani. 

Despite the restrictions and changes over the course of the year, the Honours students had the opportunity to play in two Masterclasses with Mr Foo Say Ming and hold their own solo recitals.

The Honours students shared their reflections on the first year in the programme below:

Elisabeth's participation in the Honours programme has seen her grow musically in the last year. The Masterclasses that she got to attend with Mr Foo Say Ming provided another perspective to her musical learning. The regular recitals also gave her the opportunity to hone her performing skills and challenged her to improve both technically and musically.
Thanks to the dedication of teacher Tee and the TMC team, the Honours programme has provided an enriching experience, despite the Covid restrictions.
Hopefully with further relaxation of Covid restrictions, there will be opportunities to perform at other venues and more activities and exposure to other events.
I look forward to more growth and music making in the new year!

Rebecca Lee, parent of Elisabeth Ho

Jesper Tai

The TMC Honours program has certainly helped me become a much more well rounded student not only musically but also helped me to learn more from my peers in the program. Through the Honours program, many opportunities are given to us to express our musical talents and even learn from the others within the small group of students. The privilege of being able to attend masterclasses twice a year has also broadened my knowledge to different musical ideas that can be incorporated into my playing, masterclasses help me achieve a higher level of playing as it can provide differentiated feedback from other musicians themselves, apart from my own violin teacher. Other than the masterclass, we are also given an opportunity to perform in our own recital, this helps us learn from each other through our performances and reflect on what has been taught during the masterclass.

One of my future goals in the Honours program is definitely to improve on the variations of sound produced on the violin and vary the colour or tone of my pieces especially at different articulation points when performing them. I have no doubt that with the support of the masterclasses and learning from my peers, I will be able to achieve my goals as a violinist.

Jesper Tai

Elisabeth Ho

Being in the Honours program is very interesting ☺️ The many opportunities of performance such as masterclasses and recitals have helped shape who I am as a musician, and provided me with a platform to showcase my musical growth. The masterclasses conducted have put a new dimension and perspective into the piece, and has enabled me to gain a deeper understanding of what the piece is trying to portray.
This year, I have improved on certain aspects of my technical ability and am (hopefully ☺️) better at portraying my thoughts and emotions through my playing, and will continue to work on next year as well. I also hope to improve on my sound output and intonation, as well as to continue striving to achieve technical growth ☺️☺️☺️☺️☺️

Elisabeth Ho

Jayden Kai

I am happy to join the Honours Program and am excited about being able to perform at Recitals. I enjoy having masterclass with Mr Foo, and when we got to go out for dinner with Ms Tee, Mr Foo and my friends. I learnt many new violin techniques. It is fun and makes me happy to learn.

Jayden Kai

Phoebe Hamdani

When I first entered the Honours Program, I was delighted as I had achieved something that was challenging for me because there were so many things I needed to prepare for the audition. During the audition, I remember feeling very nervous because there were 4 teachers judging me. Usually, there would only be 2 teachers so I felt a little stressed. Although I think I could have done better for my scales, I was very relieved to pass the auditions. Even though I am already in the program, I am not strong in music theory, but my teachers at TMC helped me.

I enjoyed the masterclass with Mr Foo because he gave me tips to improve my piece, like the phrasing. I think it was also because of the masterclass session, I was able to play confidently with Twoset during the video shoot. I was very happy after the masterclass with Mr Foo because we ate YUMMY FOOD after that.

During the most recent recital, I had a memory slip and forgot a part of the piece but the teachers including Teacher Hoylin encouraged me. Now I am also learning not to rely on my muscle memory during a performance. Even though being in the program is often tiring, but I am happy that I am learning a lot.

3) Improvements and growth you’ve made this year

Recently, I upsized to a 4/4 violin. Teacher Tee spent time to help me shortlist a few violins she thought were good for me. I also think my vibrato improved this year. Although the repertoires are getting longer, I am learning to visualize the scores to prevent memory slips. The TA lessons also help me prepare my piece for performances.

I want to improve my spiccato, better vibrato, phrasing, and practice mindful playing.

Phoebe Hamdani

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