He felt he was off-pitch and sounded horrible. But he persevered. He worked on his singing every single day. Feeling frustrated at times then, now he was glad he worked at it!
All was rewarded a decade later when he finally made singing his career.
If he gave up and never started improving himself, he wouldn’t have gotten his dream job!
At which age did you decide that you wanted to pursue music professionally? What made you decide to do so?
I started singing since 8 years old. But it was only until Secondary 2 when I really started dreaming of being a singer and doing music full-time. That’s where I formed a rock band with my friends at school! I’ve also participated in many singing competitions and that was where I picked up my performing experiences.
I believe it all starts out as a dream for everyone irregardless the profession you want to venture in. At least, that was how I started. In fact, I never really thought of pursuing singing professionally. It was just something I loved doing and I strongly believe that it was the passion and drive that has given me the opportunity to do what I love as a living!
Has anyone discouraged your decision of pursuing music as a profession as an impractical one?
My parents were concerned about my choice to pursue music. They wanted me to focus on my studies and then settle for a stable job. They did not stop me from joining singing competitions as they knew that it was what I enjoyed doing. What they did though was never failing to remind me not to treat each competition too seriously. Which of course I did not! Haha!
I was not fortunate to have professional vocal classes when I was younger and therefore I joined competitions to gain experience.
I am thankful for my parents for their constant guidance in ensuring that I did not neglect my studies. Yet I am also proud of myself for not giving up and continuing to strive towards what I love to do!
What do you enjoy most about being a Vocal Coach?
I enjoy everything about being a vocal coach! Helping my students to understand how they can better their singing and eventually hearing their improvements week after week is just simply an awesome feeling!
After coaching for years, in your opinion, what is the most valuable principle/pointer that you would give to a singing enthusiast?
“Be an active learner rather than a passive one.”
An active learner will take the opportunities in lessons to ask clarifying questions when they are in doubt. This way, they will be able to understand why they need to do certain things and how they should be doing it which is key to bringing them to the next level! 🙂
Can you describe a proudest moment in your journey of a Vocal Coach?
I definitely will remember my first students when I started coaching! As a novice, I did have fears that I was not good enough to be their coach, but when they started showing tremendous improvements in just months, I started gaining confidence and was sure that I had the ability to impart and inspire! And of course, during their breakthrough performances, listening to them sing is just an amazing feeling!
What else do you do in Hark Music besides coaching?
Using the experience that I have gained in my previous job, I currently handles school’s events too. We usually have external engagements to do public, corporate workshops and performances, on top of monthly internal events, such as Student Breakthrough Performance (SBP), 3-hour Music Workshops and our Signature ExpressWay programmes!
How did you find out about Hark Music?
Wow! This is going to be a long story! Haha! I first got to know Hark Music about 7-8 years ago… Back when they had a cafe on level 1. Then, I visited the cafe to support some of my friends who were students of Hark Music. I then got ‘sabo-ed'(invited) on stage to perform a song and later was invited to join their monthly singing competition (I received an 英雄帖！It was quite fun then…)
About a year later, I then joined as Hark Music’s first batch of A.I.P. (Artiste-in-progress) Development course! After the course, as I have to serve my national service, I stopped music temporary but am glad that I am now pursuing it again! 🙂
What do you love most being a part of the Hark Music family?
Every moment spent with my fellow coaches as well as students is really enjoyable! I believe it’s simply because everyone shares the same passion for music and we simply just ‘Click’!
Besides singing, what other “secret” talents do you have?
On my off days, I love to cook. There isn’t a particular dish that I cook often cause it is usually cooked based ‘feel’. For example, I may start off thinking of cooking fried chicken…but it ends up being braised… HAHA! I consider this talent cause every dish still tastes edible even without much planning!
What would you like to share with others out there who want to pursue music full time?
I think it’s very important that you enjoy your job. It’s much more than just monetary rewards.
It will makes you spring out of bed every morning to look forward to, rather than dragging yourself daily. If you are passionate about music and wish to be part of your career, one of the way is to get a job in a music school, at least there will be more relevant opportunities that would pop by your way.
Same thing goes to those who want to pursue other things, get a job in the relevant industry, well…it doesn’t guarantee you the immediate dream job, but at least it’s a start!
Choose a song that represent you best. And why.
The song that represents me the most is definitely 陶喆 David Tao – I Believe. I think I have probably known this song for more than 10 years! haha! This song is simply all about believing in yourself and not giving up no matter what.
Hope it inspires you too! Here’s the video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aeu8yqq6kkw
Check out this music video of Leonard as he performs a Bruno Mars medley with Coaches David Chong & Wendy Ong!