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Dr. Eleanor Ai Ling Tan

Programme Leader, Degree Programme

Principal Lecturer



Doctor of Philosophy (Musicology),
University of Queensland, Australia

Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education (PGDHE),
Nanyang Technological University,
National Institute of Education, Singapore

Master of Music (with Distinction),
Indiana University, Bloomington, U.S.A

Bachelor of Music (with Distinction),
Indiana University, Bloomington, U.S.A

FTCL (Fellow of Trinity College, London),
LRSM (Performing, Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music, UK)


Dr Eleanor Tan is Vice-Dean (Administration) and Programme Coordinator for the RCM Bachelor of Music (Hons) degree at the School of Music, NAFA. Since joining the Academy in 2002, she has played a significant role in the development of the music diploma and degree curricula.

Dr Tan is actively involved in teaching and research, and has been a committed mentor to students since her first appointment at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University in 1991. Her teaching responsibilities include historical studies, performance practices in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, aesthetics and music criticism, and applied music (piano).  Apart from her full-time commitment to NAFA, she is also an adjunct faculty at the Singapore Management University.

Dr Tan embarked on her doctoral studies with the support of the National Arts Council Overseas Bursary, Tan Kah Kee Postgraduate Scholarship, and the University of Queensland Graduate Scholarship. She also received support through a Fellowship grant and as a Teaching Assistant at the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester, where she undertook postgraduate studies with Nelita True. Dr Tan has performed and presented papers at the ISME World Conference of Music Education in Tampa, Florida (1994), Kuala Lumpur (2006), and Bologna (2008), as well as contributed documentation work on Cultural Medallion recipients Leong Yoon Pin, David Lim Kim San, and Kam Kee Yong for the National Library Board and National Arts Council. She has been commissioned to write about the SYC Ensemble Singers for their 50th anniversary and has also contributed a book chapter to World Scientific Publishing Company on Music Education in Singapore in the 21st Century.

Dr Tan is a member of the Tan Kah Kee International Society, and a national representative of the Southeast Asian Directors of Music (SEADOM). She has also served as a member of the Arts Resource Panel with the National Arts Council, as well as panel member for the Cultural Medallion and Young Artists Awards, Major Grants Assessment, Scholarships and Bursaries, and the NAC Piano and Violin Competition. She is frequently invited as an adjudicator for events such as the Singapore Youth Festival, IASAS Music Cultural Convention, and Vivace National Inter-JC Piano Ensemble Competition, amongst others.

Dr Tan studied the piano with Mr Ong Lip Tat, Professors Susan Starr, Karen Shaw, Menahem Pressler, and Edward Auer. Her mentors also include Dr David Pear, PhD supervisor Professor Malcolm Gillies, and Dr Ben K. C. Chng.