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Fang Yuan, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts’ (NAFA) Principal Mentor of School of Young Talents and Head of Junior Music, said that musical talents must be raised through longer periods of time, and a true child prodigy should have a strong sense of music and empathy in their hearts. NAFA School of Young Talents accepts students from young ages of four or five, and the programme terminates when students reach at the age of 18.

She revealed that the students are not allowed to participate in competitions without arrangements with the school, and the parents may not interfere with the teaching syllabus to maximise students’ long-term training. However, Fang Yuan noted that many students who studied music abroad later change their careers, due to stressful job search in Singapore.

Local music educator Vivien Goh, have established Goh Soon Tioe Centenary Award to recognize and support outstanding Singaporean local musicians. In 2021, Goh established Goh Soon Tioe Leadership Award, which will be given to third and fourth year students from NUS Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music to support their participation in international music festivals, internships programmes, or orchestra instrument courses.

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Source: Lianhe Zaobao © SPH Media Limited. Permission required for reproduction