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Title: ‘Informal learning’: Lessons from third generation composers for the wind ensemble in Singapore
Authors: Lai, Jinxing
Issue Date: 2011
Citation: Paper presented at the 4th Redesigning Pedagogy International Conference, Singapore, 30 May to 1 June 2011
Abstract: The musical practice of the Wind Ensemble in Singapore dates back to at least the 19th century. Dairianathan (2006b: 31) noted how historically "references to the presence of the Band in Singapore seem to have been caught between apparent absences to relatively little known activity among military bandsmen as professionals". In recent years, the musical practice witnessed a new breakthrough from its enigmatic past, as Dairianathan (2006a: 313) observed that “Band Music underwent a transition towards Music for the Band.” Within the first decade of the new millennium, works for the wind ensemble have been written by young Singaporeans. Two outstanding names are Wong Kah Chun whose compositions are published by Tierolff Music and Benjamin Yeo, whose compositions are published by C.L Barnhouse and Beriato Music. The notable achievement of Wong and Yeo as third generation Singaporean composers was to have their works published by international publishers. Wong and Yeo are currently music undergraduates in local universities where rudimentary knowledge of music are formally taught to them. Two interesting points were observed: first, they started their creative endeavors as early as 12 years old and second, their compositions were published prior they entered university. Without any formal education in music composing, how did they manage to write compositions that are internationally recognized? This paper hopes to shed light on how informal learning (in the perspective of Lucy Green) has enabled Wong and Yeo to produce musical works of excellence. I also hope to elucidate a number of issues which are vital points of drawing a conclusion to this paper: 1) how the works of Wong and Yeo are found suitable for publication as international wind ensemble repertoire 2) The impacts of formal compositional education to the composers; and 3) Wong and Yeo’s attitude towards their creative endeavor.
Appears in Collections:CRPP - Conference Papers

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