INSTRUctors

CECILY CHEN (Erhu)

Ms. Chen has been a music lover since childhood. In 2010, she graduated with a Masters degree in Music education, major in Erhu at Central China Normal University.

 

She started her Erhu training at the age of seven. In 1998, she furthered her musical studies at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. She had studied with Professor Wang Guo-tong, Head of Chinese Music Department at the Academy. In 1999, Ms. Chen won the Second Prize at the “Liu Tian-hua Cup” National Youth Erhu Competition. Her performance was featured in a CD released by the Academy in 2000, celebrating the Fifteenth Anniversary of the Academy and the new millennium. She was invited as Erhu and Gaohu solo in a CD ROM produced by the Education Department for local primary schools.

 

She also participated in the performing tours to Austria in July 2001; Holland, Britain and Belgium in July 2002; Britain, France, Germany, Holland, Belgium and Malaysia in June 2003. Ms. Chen had frequently served as soloist in concerts presented by the Academy, including concerts performed at the former Governor House.

 

From 2003 to 2004 she had worked with the Singapore Chinese Orchestra and from 2004 to 2006, with Macau Chinese Orchestra and Macau Conservatory.

JIANG JIAWEN (Erhu)

Jiang Jiawen holds a Bachelor's Degree of Literature specializes in Music Performance (Erhu) at The Central Conservatory of Music (China's top leading music school) in July 2014. She started learning the Erhu Chinese instrument at a tender age and was accepted into the The Conservatory of Music at the age of 10.  During her junior and middle school years, she was under tutelage of Erhu Virtuosi, Profession Ma Xiang-hua and Yu Hong Mei. She continue to pursue her learning in university mastering the various styles of Erhu techniques under Professor Yan Jiemin and picked up the Guqin instrument under Guqinist, Zhao Xiao-Xia.

 

As early as in 1999, Jiawen won the first prize in the National Junior Instrumental solo competition at the age of 8. During her youth she has received numerous awards and prizes and also participated in various performances in her Province. She won many awards held in the university, province, city and international level.

 

Some of the achievements are:

  • 1st place in City Junior Erhu Tournament prize
  • 1st place in the  Grand Prize in Jilin Province Erhu Grand Prix
  • 1st prize in the "Stars Cup" Erhu competition
  • won the Grand Prize of the CCTV Folk instrumental national competition
  • 3rd prize at the "Zhonglu Cup" International Erhu competition
  • excellent award at the Taiwan "Zhu Qian Cup" and "Dunhuang Cup" Erhu competition

 

In 2012, Jiawen was assigned to Macau Orchestra by the university to perform a variety of performances, conduct New Year concert and also in the Portugal Music Festival. In 2013, she also participated in the China National Youth Music Festival, joining the Europe performing tour as a concertmaster to Bulgaria, Macedonia, Austria and Slovakia. Subsequently, she was also assigned to join the Central Nationalities Orchestra, Yan-Huang Chinese Orchestra to perform in various cities around the world and had received good comments. Thus she has very rich orchestra experience and also own recording of a variety of music-related programs of herself as well as foreign folk music documentaries and her own video works.

 

Jiawen was a full-time music instructor for a year before she pursued her degree course. Nonetheless, she has accumulated 4 years of experience as a freelance teacher during the course of her study. Some of these students under her tutelage had gained admission to The Central Conservatory of Music, China Conservatory of Music and some had even become Junior and Middle school teachers in their related field of study. She was widely praised and received good comments from students' parents for her ability to impart the Erhu skills and to cultivate the students' interest for Erhu and the love for music art. Currently, she is a full-time music instructor with Liberal Music & Arts School and her students range from age 6 to adults.

 

 

CHEN HUAN (Erhu)

Grew up in Hunan Province, China, Ms. Chen Huan started her Erhu education at the age of 5 under the tutelage of Shi Zhan Ze, Erhu Soloist Performer from the Chinese Military orchestra. In year 2002, Ms. Chen Huan gained her entry into Capital Normal University under the guidance of Prof Zhang An Sheng and Gao Zuo Ming and successfully graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in year 2006.

 

Ms. Chen Huan is an active and experienced musician and teacher. She had actively participated in several music seminars held in Beijing including the role of an instructor in year 2006 to 2010 (Beijing artists nurturing programme) and in year 2009 she was a soloist for the arts and cultural exchange between China and Japan.

 

Ms. Chen’s personal achievements include the following awards:

 

- 1st Runner up for “Dunhuang” Cup Erhu competition in Hunan Province, year 2000

 

- 2nd Prize for Erhu ensemble “Dongting” Cup Instrumental competition in Hunan Province, year 2000.

 

Being a music instructor, Ms. Chen Huan is patience and committed in helping her students to develop and hone their skills and talents. Her students range from age 6 to adults.

 

JU YANAN JESSICA (Guzheng/Pipa)

 

Born in Liaoning, China, Ms. Jessica Ju started learning the Pipa at the age of 4 and was awarded first prize for her first National competition at age 7.

 

At age 18, armed with excellent result, she was accepted into Shenyang Conservatory of Music and came under the tutelage of Professor Yu Chunzhe, who is now a U.S. resident, receiving much attention from the local media as he often times gave Pipa lecturing at the Los Angeles Chinese Association.

 

In 2011 Jessica graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Musicology (Chinese Lute education). She also took up Guzheng as her second instrument during her course of study and is versatile in other plucked string instruments such as the Liuqin and Ruan.

 

Jessica has represented “Huawei” of China, a large telecommunication provider to Spain for performances in 2015.

 

She worked as a music instructor from 2012 to 2016 in private and government school (Dalian and Shenzhen, China). During her employment she has taken role to organize medium to large-scale school concert and was involved in the development of the teaching method of different levels, the fusion of Orff music teaching and traditional teaching and has gained recognition from the school. Her students range from 5 to 17.  

 

Jessica has won numerous awards in her teaching career. Students under her tutelage achieved excellent results and were also awarded gold medal in Youth Arts Festival.

 

Jessica’s personal achievements include the following:

 

  • 2013 – did a special music performance for the Chinese premier
  • 2014 – awarded “Outstanding Tutor” in Nanshan, Shenzhen
  • 2015 served as a judge in the Pipa juvenile competition in Malaysia
  • 2015 – special Pipa guest artiste for Mid Autumn Event in Malaysia
  • 2015 – one year engagement as a Guzheng artiste with Shangri-La Hotel, Liaoning, China
  • 2016 – served as one of the panel of judges in the Chinese Youth Arts Festival
  • 2016 awarded "Excellent Instructor" in the Asian Music Competition
  • 2017 awarded "Excellent Instructor" in the 2nd Singapore Raffles Cultural & Arts Festival

 

JOE TAN (Guzheng)

Locally born, Joe Tan was acquainted to music since he was 9 years old. Started as a member of Mayflower Primary School Chinese orchestra, Joe was exposed to the plucking and the woodwind instruments under the baton of Mr. Liu Bin (graduated from Paris Conservatory of Music). At the age of 11, Joe started his Guzheng journey with Mdm Huo Ruo Wei. Under Mdm Huo’s tutelage, Joe achieved a strong foundation and musicality of playing the Guzheng. In 2007, he finally graduated from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and holds a Diploma with Distinction in Music (Performance) major in Guzheng.

 

Joe later furthered his Guzheng education with Professor Mdm Yin Qun (Xi’an Conservatory of Music). Under her tutelage, Joe was exposed to the different styles of the Guzheng such as the concerto style and the modern style of Guzheng music, as well as the different techniques not widely used in Singapore.

 

Joe also furthered picked up his second instrument “Pipa” under the tutelage of Ms. Yan Yu (Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing) and achieved a Grade 7 with Distinction. Under the guidance of Ms. Yan Yu, Joe was able to gain a deeper understanding of the Chinese music. He was able to cross reference the knowledge taught by Ms. Yan Yu and apply on his Guzheng performance. In 2010, he was awarded 1st runner-up when he participated in the 2nd Zhong Xin International Music Competition in Singapore.

 

Joe, a versatile and committed individual, is currently teaching Guzheng and music theory and performs when opportunity arises. His students range from age 5 to adults.

PU WEI (Pipa)

Born in Shenyang, China, Ms. Pu Wei has been studying Pipa at the age of seven with lead artiste of Liaoning Performing Arts Group, Mr. Wen Lian Gui who was a former student of Pipa maestro, Mr. Liu De Hai. Hence she possesses strong and solid fundamentals of playing the Pipa since young.

 

From her college up to university, she was under the tutelage of Ms. Wen Bei, the daughter of Mr. Wen Lian Gui. Ms. Wen Bei was also the group lead artiste with Liaoning Performing Arts and the former student of Pipa master Liu Gang. Under her tutelage, Ms. Pu Wei excelled in her Pipa performance skills and techniques.

 

In 2006, armed with excellent result, she was accepted into Northeastern University and graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor’s degree in Performance music, major in Pipa. As the top student in the department, she served as the string group leader and the chief Pipa player in the University Chinese Orchestra. In 2009, she participated in the Nationality Instrumental Competition organized by the Liaoning Musicians Society and won an outstanding award.

 

During her academic years, she was a part-time Pipa instructor at the Sujiatun district of Shenyang Cultural Theatre. Her students age range from 5 to 17. She also participated in numerous indoor and outdoor cultural performances both in a regular and large scale.

LI XIA (Yangqin)

Born in Guangxi, Nanning city, China, Ms. Li graduated from the Central University for Nationalities with a Bachelor’s degree majoring in music performance in 2009.

Ms. Li started learning the Yangqin since she was little under the tutelage of Professor Cai Yang from Guangxi Arts Institute. In 1999, she enrolled in Guangxi Arts Institute and went under the guidance of the same professor, Cai Yang.

 

In 2005, armed with excellence result, she successfully entered the Central University of Nationalities and went under the tutelage of Professor Gao Zheng Pei. Meanwhile she also received exclusive guidance from Yangqin masters such as Professor Huang He from the Conservatory of Music.

 

She has also actively participated in various performances and events particularly the Opening of “Shanghai Expo” in 2010, CCTV China studio recording in 2007 and Yangqin conference in 2005.

 

Ms. Li Xia’s personal achievements includes:

- Distinction for China Arts Award in Instrumental competition ~ Year 2008
- 1st Runner up for Guangxi 4th “Hong Tong Gu” competition ~ Year 2004
- 1st Prize for “Yue Hai” cup Yangqin competition ~ Year 2003

 

After Ms. Li’s graduation, she was employed as a music instructor with Beijing Qing Shao Nian Gong from 2009 to 2011. Being a responsible and enthusiastic individual, Ms. Li is keen to impart her skills to those who are willing to learn.

ZHANG YI WEN (Piano)

China, Hubei-born Zhang Yi Wen started learning the piano at the age of four and vocal at the age of ten. She graduated in 2008 at Hua Zhong Shi Fan University with a Bachelor’s Degree in music education, majors in piano and minors in vocal. During that period, she has also been under the tutelage of many renowned masters including pianist, Mrs. Wang Pei Hua; professors from Wuhan Conservatory of Music, Mrs. Zhang Yan and Mr. Wang Jian and his wife, Shen Qian.

 

She has also participated in numerous competitions in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Wuhan and has won many awards. In 2007, she won a Gold award at the Beijing Dandelion Art Competition and in 2009, a Platinum award at the International Youth Piano Competition in Hong Kong.

 

She is a dedicated teacher and has worked with students from as young as 4 years old to adult to prepare them to sit for the ABRSM graded exam. Though classically trained, she also teaches Pop Piano to adult students who wish to learn for personal enjoyment.

BAI XIAO JUAN (Piano)

Ms. Bai Xiao Juan graduated from the Royal College of Music (RCM), London with a Bachelor's Degree in Music performance.

 

Ms. Bai began learning piano and started formal music classes at a tender age of 4 years old in Tianjin under Wang Yibo, who is a professor from attached middle school of Tianjin Conservatory of Music. At age 7, she received a grade 4 certificate in piano from China Central Conservatory of Music. In the same year she was also invited to perform at Tianjin TV station. By the age of 11 years old, she achieved a grade 9 certificate with Central Conservatory of Music, China.

 

In 2003 she went to attached middle school of Tianjin Conservatory of Music to start her professional music career under Professor Wang Yibo and Xieyuan and successfully graduated in 2009 before coming to Singapore to further her music study.

 

Ms. Bai was trained 5 years at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) under pianist Professor Ong Lip Tat and Rena Phua before she went to London for an internship in 2013 at the Royal College of Music.

 

During term of her study in NAFA, she has also performed in concerts and festivals in Malaysia, London, Thailand, etc.

 

She is currently teaching Piano, Theory and Aural at Liberal Music & Arts School and her students age ranges from 6 to adult.

 

 

NAKONECHNA ANASTASIIA (Piano)

Born and raised in Nova Khahovka, Kherson region, Ukraine, Anastasiia began her musical education at the age of 7 with piano lessons. She participated in her first competition at the age of 9 and was awarded the 3rd prize. She played her first solo concert at the age of 14. In 2004 she entered Kherson Musical College and passed with excellent results.

 

Throughout college, she performed in concerts such as the philharmonic chamber orchestra and symphonic student orchestra. She is a winner of multiple competitions and her more notable achievements include winning the Special Prize “Opening of the competition” by Polish society in 2007 when she took part in the National competition chamber music named “I. Paderevskiy in Zhitomir” (Ukraine). In 2008 she participated in the International piano competition “Vivat, Musica” and was awarded the 3rd prize.

 

In 2012 she graduated with honours and holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from the S.S. Prokofiev Donetsk State Academy of Music. During her studies at the academy, she did solo performances annually in concerts with different programs of classical music. Other than solo performances, she was also active in playing chamber music and piano accompaniments with other instrumentalists and vocalists. Her continuous participation as accompanist for her students in the National and International musical competition has won her “The Best Accompanist” title.

 

Having obtained her basic degree, she decided to further her music education. In 2013 she graduated with a Masters Degree in Musical Art and was qualified as a Teacher, performer of chamber ensemble, concertmaster and concert performer.

 

While pursuing her degree education, she has been working in musical school as an accompanist cum music teacher since 2010. After her graduation from the musical academy she worked as a piano teacher at the Donetsk musical college on the faculty of wind instruments. As a teacher, Anastasiia is patient, innovative and confident. She is deeply committed to a high standard and excellent quality of musical education.

 

KRASIMIRA NIKOLAEVA (PIANO)

BIOGRAPHY

Born in Bulgaria, South-eastern Europe, Krasimira started her musical education at a young age. She graduated and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Pedagogy of music training and was qualified as a teacher in music from Shumen University, Bulgaria in 2000. She also specializes in the methods of accordion teaching.

 

A passionate and enthusiastic individual, Krasimira is proficient in piano and vocal and has been a music teacher with over 10 years’ experience in classical, pop, jazz and folk music. On top of her teaching, she is also actively promoting and displaying her musical skills in many public events such as radio shows, TV programs and orchestra.

 

She is one of the very few talented and specialized accordion musicians in Singapore. Some of the performances that she represented as an accordion player are:

 

• 2013: Hoods Inc. Productions Pte Ltd/TV Channel 5, Knockout Production as a presenter of the Accordion as a New Art in Singapore

• 2012: Cadbury Jollyville live music promotion with Accordion Performance

• 2012: New Year’s Eve Parade countdown, Simply Orangez Pte Ltd “Events with a Zest”

• 2011: Project Intan, ARC Children Centre Charity event, Singapore

• 2010~2011: “Accordion Talk & Demonstration”, Childcare Centre, Singapore

• 2009: “Typewriter” CD, guest accordion performer in the music album, Singapore

• 2008: Singapore Art Festival Orchestra and Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra guest accordionist in “The Lord of the Rings Symphony”

• 2001~2002: Accordion Music Tour in France

 

As a teacher, Krasimira is able to bring out the best talent in the student and distinguished ability to demonstrate and encourage aspiring young musicians with high level of professionalism and excellent communication skills.

 

TEACHING PHILOSOPHY

“Music is a challenging and fulfilling intellectual, physical and emotional experience. It gives students opportunities for personal, moral and social growth in addition to the basic skills of music instruction. Creating meaningful musical experiences gives students opportunities to grow and explore music from within their soul in ways they would not do outside of school, so the experiences stay with them throughout their lives.”

 

NYEIN MAUNG (Violin)

Nyein Maung started learning violin in his teens. After three years, he played as first violin at U Tin Yee String Orchestra and he became teaching assistant of his teacher U Tin Yee at U Tin Yee School of Music, Myanmar.

 

In 2008, he moved to Singapore and continued studying violin under Alexander Souptel who is the concertmaster of Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO). He started learning music at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) in year 2009 as a viola major student under Jiri Heger, former principal violist of SSO and Tan Wee Tsin from SSO.

 

He joined The Philharmonic Orchestra (TPO) in his second year studying in NAFA; and he regularly performs under the baton of maestro Lim Yau with TPO at Esplanade concert hall, Esplanade recital studio and at SOTA (School Of The Arts) including the “TPO for Singapore’s first New Year’s Eve Countdown Concert” in December 2011.

 

As a chamber player, he performed at Esplanade concourse for NAFA composers. He occasionally performs in Lee Foundation Theatre for chamber music at “Commuter Concerts” and “Music Platform”. He recently made his final year recital at Lee Foundation Theatre successfully and graduated with a Diploma in Music Performance in year 2012.

 

As a violin and viola teacher, he has 9 years of teaching experience. He taught at U Tin Yee School of Music from 2003 to 2007. He was co-founder of “Beginners School of Arts & Music”, Myanmar. In Singapore, he teaches private students and works as a freelance teacher in music school since 2010.

 

OLENA PONPON (Violin)

Olena Ponpon grew up in Donetsk, Ukraine. She started learning the violin at the age of three and performed her first solo concert with the Chamber Orchestra of Ukraine, only one year after beginning the violin. Since then she performs annual concerts with various chamber and symphony orchestras of Ukraine. She also participated in the festival "Ukrainian Talents". 


At the age of 14, having successfully passed all required selection tests, she joined the Ukraine Youth symphony Orchestra, “Young Talents of Donbass” under the Ministry of Culture and Art. She was a persistent member in the orchestra and became the concertmaster at the age of 15.  She was also concertmaster of the Ukraine Ladies chamber orchestra and the string quartet "Bomond" at the age of 20.  She has worked with many international acclaimed artistes and distinguished teachers such as Vladimir Spivakov, Bogodar Kotorovich, etc. 

 

Olena is also proficient in the Piano. In 2000, she picked it up as a second instrument at the State Academy of Music and since then has participated in competitions and performed at concerts in various provinces in Ukraine.

 

In 2005 she earned the champion award in the international competition of violinist “S.S. Prokofieva”; and in 2006, a gold award as a violin player in the string trio in the international competition “Inside of Music”.


After graduating from S.S. Prokofiev Donetsk State Academy of Music with a Bachelor’s degree in music art in 2008, she became a professional violinist with the Ukrainian string quartet and has since performed in many concerts from Ukraine to Europe and USA. 
As a music instructor, Olena Ponpon has good knowledge of many styles of music from classical, pop, jazz to folk, and is keen to impart to those who are willing to learn. 

VERONIKA SAKHNO (Violin/Viola)

Grew up in Ukraine, Veronika started learning the violin at the age of six.

 

In 2008, she graduated from Donetsk Music Academy named after S. S. Prokofiev with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Art. She obtained her specialization as a violin and viola player and went on another year to do her Master's Degree. During the years of her education she participated in many competitions and festivals in Ukraine.  Her achievements include:

 

  • 1st prize at the International competition for young performers "The Art of the 21st Century" (Kieve, 2008)
  • 2nd prize for Ukrainian Viola & Cello competition (Lvov, 2009)

 

Veronika is very active and enthusiastic as an individual. She has participated actively in master-classes with professor Alexander Lagosha (Ukraine) and Manchin Zhang (Singapore). She was also one of the Jury members at the Thailand 4th String International competition with Dr. Steven Kruse and Dr. Penny Thompson Kruse in 2015. She worked as a Tutti Viola player at the Kiev Chamber Ladies orchestra in 2009. She was the principal viola at the Zakarpatian Regional Philharmonic symphony and chamber orchestra, Ukraine from mid 2009 to 2012. During this period, she was also a member of various strings quartet - The Lado String Quartet, Sunrise String Quartet and Adagio String Quartet.

 

Veronika, a committed and passionate individual, has been a violin/viola teacher in Singapore since 2012. Her students range from as young as age 5 to adult and is keen to impart her skills to those who are willing to learn.

LOY CHIEN THYE (Guitar/Ukulele)

Locally born, Mr. Loy started picking up the guitar at the age of 15. He took up music learning from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and graduated in 2010 with a Diploma in music performance, major in composition studies.


Since 2008 Mr. Loy has been teaching guitar lessons privately before joining Liberal Music & Arts School in mid 2014 as a freelance guitar cum ukulele instructor.


Some of his past involvement that he participated are:

  • Outdoor performance at the Esplanade
  • Sessionist for Fusion band (collaboration with strings orchestra at Victoria Memorial Hall)

 

Besides teaching, Mr. Loy has also experienced doing recording and producing sound tracks in studio setting during his free time. He is a passionate and dedicated instructor and loves to share his knowledge to those who are willing to learn. He is able to teach finger-plucking and strum-and-sing on ukulele and acoustic guitar. His lessons cover pop songs, gospel music, Chinese songs, fingerstyle arrangements, Japanese songs, etc. He will focus on the student's interest and fuse theory and aural practice into it so that the students won't get bored and have fun in the process. As every student is unique, he would do his best to cater to their level. Each student's progress will depend solely on the amount of time he put in.