In our teacher profile this week, we want to get to know more about our talented and fun-loving piano teacher, Dickson Goh. Dickson brings much laughter to the classroom, and our young talents have been learning much from his energetic classes since April 2018. When asked about what they love most about his classes, students have said that he is funny and colourful, bringing music to life through his patience and passion.
Hailing from lovely Ipoh, Malaysia, Dickson has been interested in music from a young age. Picking up classical piano at the age of eight, he completed his ABRSM Grade 8 Piano and Theory some years later. Throughout his learning, he developed a strong interest in jazz through the pieces he played. He compounded his passion in jazz after listening to stride legends such as Art Tatum and Fats Waller. Since then, his fascination with the piano and jazz led him to pursue a degree in jazz performance with LASALLE College of the Arts. In LASALLE, Dickson was actively involved in cross-disciplinary projects such as sound painting with Walter Thompson in 2017, working in a workshop with Michael Pigneguy in 2016, as well as collaborating with the Dance students for their showcase in 2017. He has also participated in music competitions placing First in the We Love Jazz Battle 2017 competition.
We sat Dickson down for an interview after one of his classes.
What does music mean to you?
Music is a universal language that enables anyone to communicate with other musicians irrespective of race, language or culture. It gives me a language express myself whole-heartedly.
Why did you choose a career in music and teaching?
I have always believed that a meaningful career should be rooted in something that I like to do. I have always been surrounded by music - be it performing, composing, sharing my knowledge with others. I also derive great joy when my young students are equipped with a language to enjoy music. So this choice was simple.
What kind of music do you listen to?
All types, and I am an easy-listener. I love hearing new sounds and textures, particularly music that moves me emotionally or makes me tap along.
I always enjoy Michael Jackson, Duke Ellington, Joe Hisaishi and Kitaro to name a few.
How do you inspire your love of music with your students?
I like to introduce a lot of listening and aural into my classes because I think it is important for students to listen to enjoy and understand. I also encourage my students to sing in their classes. I have always found that singing develops musicianship.
For my older students, listening to recordings of great pianists is always a good way to cultivate a ear for what is good. It is also a good chance for them to emulate phrasing and articulation.
Do you have any advice for prospective students?
Music has always been a journey of practice. Those who are keen on picking up an instrument, do prepare to sacrifice some of your time to hone your skills on the instrument regularly. As one of my professors used to say, “There are no shorcuts in music. It’s just sufficient practice.”
Dickson teaches classical and jazz piano at D-Flat Studios. Do have a chat with him the next time you see him in the studio!
Play on and Tinkle Away!