Eileen showed interest in music at an early age, enrolling for piano lessons when she was just 6. She continued her lessons up till 17, where she obtained her ABRSM Grade 8 Piano Performance and Grade 6 Theory of Music. Following that, she proceeded to enrol herself into LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore under the tutelage of Mr. Frank DeMeglio for 3 years, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music, specialising in Classical Performance (Piano) in 2019.
While she was undertaking her undergraduate studies, Eileen took part in various projects such as winning the Annual Piano Concerto Competition in 2018, playing the Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major written by Mozart featuring her own lead-ins and cadenzas. In the same year, she also directed an interdisciplinary performance entitled, Piano Voyage: The Time Traveller’s Memoir held in Lasalle College of the Arts, featuring animators, and dancers who were an integral part to the performance. Eileen strives to be a better educator for her students, stemming from her personal experience with having been one herself.
We had a chat with Eileen after one of her ever-changing piano classes.
1. How did you decide on a career in music and teaching?
For one, my JC music teacher, Mrs. Chen Yi Fang from Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) gave me the push to do so! Back when I was afraid to make the leap into music, she was the one who kept on encouraging me to pursue a career in music - and so I did, enrolling myself into LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore. At LASALLE, I was fortunate to have good lecturers such as Mr. Frank DeMeglio, who made me realise that there was so much more to music than I ever imagined. At this point, I realise that I can't really imagine myself doing anything else aside from music.
2. What does music mean to you?
Now, this is a difficult question to answer! All I can say is that music makes up a much bigger part of my life than I realised, and it means a lot to me.
3. What kind of music do you listen to? Any favourites?
I like all kinds of Classical instrumental pieces. - I've recently been listening to Rachmaninoff's piano concertos, some sonatas by Beethoven, and pieces by Schubert! I don't really have any particular favourite genre or composer though, it just depends on my mood!
4. How do you inspire your love of music with your students?
I like to make things fun and engaging. That’s why, a fixed lesson plan would not work for me as I teach according to the student's pace, designing different lesson plans all the time! I also like to tap into the creative side of my students by introducing musical games and activities in class. In my opinion, I think it is essential that we do not take the FUN out of music-making - so I do all I can to prevent that from happening with my students.
5. Do you have any advice for prospective students?
Well, always be relaxed and play in time by feeling the beats and flow of the music. Try listening to what you are doing at the piano and you might just discover unexpected details to improve your playing.
Check out Eileen performing Rachmaninoff’s Etude-Tableau Op. 33 No. 4 in D Minor & Scriabin’s Etude Op. 8 No. 12 in D# Minor from her graduating recital below.
Eileen teaches Piano at D-Flat Studios. Do have a chat with her the next time you see her in the studio!
Play on and Tinkle Away!!