Breaking barriers with charity music workshop

By Danielle Sendou Ringgit
@danitbpseeds

 

WHETHER YOU SING OUT loud in the shower or blow off some steam during karaoke sessions with your friends, there is no denying that music is a great tool for stress relief.

From November 7 to 9, Maestro Music School held a charity music workshop at CityONE megamall from 10 am till 10 pm in the hopes of unearthing musical talent among members of the public and participants from 12 schools and institutions as well as promote music as a form of therapy.

 

The charity workshop which has been receiving positive feedback was officiated by Fatimah at CityONE megamall on November 8.

The charity workshop which has been receiving positive feedback was officiated by Fatimah at CityONE megamall on November 8.

 

The event was attended and officiated on November 8 by Minister of Welfare, Women and Family Development, Datuk Fatimah Abdullah who stressed that music could help elevate stress and promote calmness.

For 16-year-old Stephanie Ting Xiu Hui from SMK St Mary’s, sometimes being a secondary student is not so simple. With what seems like endless exams and assignments, it’s easy to crumble under the pressure so she uses music as an escape route.

“As a student, music helps me get rid of my stress besides give me the thrill of playing the piano. So, music is like my outlet and it helps me express what I feel,” said Stephanie.

Stephanie began learning how to play the piano at three years old under her mother’s tutelage. Back then, she recalled her first tune was ‘Mary had a little lamb’.

 

Stephanie performing with her mother, Eng, (in the background) during the officiating ceremony for the charity music workshop.

Stephanie performing with her mother, Eng, (in the background) during the officiating ceremony for the charity music workshop.

 

Despite her mother – Jennifer Eng – being the principal of Maestro Music School, it was not until three years ago that she started to get serious about music. She spent three months under the music school’s three-month music programme learning a variety of techniques and learning to play musical pieces like Beethoven’s ‘Fur Elise’.

“After those three months, I moved on to scores reading and learning songs by Kenny G and Yiruma,” said Stephanie.

Spending about 20 to 30 minutes per day practicing, Stephanie prefers to practice playing contemporary songs such as ‘All of Me’ by John Legend and ‘Kiss the Rain’ by Yiruma as well as musical scores where she can improvise and make them her own. Learning how to improvise makes practicing more enjoyable for her as well as learn to improve her technique.

 

Stephanie was performing 'Kiss the Rain' by Yiruma, one of her favourite songs to practice.

Stephanie was performing ‘Kiss the Rain’ by Yiruma, one of her favourite songs to practice.

 

In addition to being a great stress reliever, Stephanie also gets satisfaction in performing music for her friends as well as for the public as a way to express herself. Music has given her the opportunity and courage to learn and experience new things.

‘I would like to take up electric and bass guitar if I have the time because bands need drummers, guitarist and pianist, so why not be all three?” said Stephanie. Besides the piano, she can play the organ, guitar and alto saxophone.

In the near future, Stephanie hopes to fulfil her dream of becoming either a doctor or an engineer but she also hopes to continue her mother’s legacy in music since it has been a major part of her life.

Regardless of age and different background, there is no denying that music is beneficial in many ways especially among young children.

Among other benefits gained from studying music especially from an early age is the ability of young children to perform better at various subjects, be more disciplined as well as develop creative thinking and motor skills. It also helps children become more active listeners and elevate their overall health and mental well-being.

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