What’s your philosophy when it comes to music?
It must be from the heart, music is all about moving the soul.
Who can sing a cappella?
Those with a good ear and who understand voice, and are willing to learn and practice. A reasonable flair for dance and an awareness of stage are also beneficial.
Why do singers look like they have a potato in their mouth?
That’s the classical singing training. The mouth has to produce resonating sounds with proper vowels and pronunciation, and it’s also to train people to lift the uvula.
Describe a typical day in your life.
I’m free to do concert management in the mornings, and I teach performance techniques before three in the afternoon. Late afternoons are dedicated to training choirs in primary and secondary schools. I do yoga in the evening if I find the time.
What’s your favorite song?
M-Pact’s version of Caroling Caroling. It’s a Christmas song.
Which is the most interesting person or group that you have worked with?
I train Peranakan Voices, the choir wing of the Peranakan Association. The choir sings in Baba Malay, as the Peranakan language has to be featured in their repertoire. We’re composing original works for them right now.
What’s the weirdest thing someone has done during training?
It’s nothing too weird, but I’m particular about how someone presents himself or herself on stage. Holes in shirts and semi-transparent pants are not my cup of tea.
Can you sing upside down?
Sure. Underwater singing might also work, but then you get blurred bubbling sounds. And you might have trouble breathing.
Would you branch out to opera?
Maybe, although I might get kicked in the butt for it.
Who sets your musical standards?
Michelle Poh, a good friend of mine who’s a full-time singer and who also conducts school choirs. She’s a musician with ideals, pays attention to details, and has an avid dedication in what she does—which makes her an amazing musician and gifted teacher.
What sorts of lessons do you like your students to bring home with them?
I tell them that adults are not perfect people, and that I learn from them as much as they do from me.