Saturday, July 31

Life at ICOM... / July 2010 update

OK, apologies for not having updated for quite some time... I've been very busy with school! Taking a short break now from work...

For those who are still wondering, I'm currently doing my Bachelor in Music at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It's a transfer programme whereby I spend 2 years here at the International College of Music (ICOM) and then move on (and transfer credits) to Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA, where I spend another 2-3 years for my Bachelor's (single/double major). It's fortunate that Berklee ties up with schools worldwide as part of the "Berklee International Network (BIN)", about 30% of Berklee's student population are transfer students. In Asia, 3 colleges of music are in the BIN - one each in Japan, Korea, and Malaysia (the nearest).

I find ICOM a viable route for regional (especially Singaporean/Malaysian) students who wish to pursue their musical dreams at one of the world's most prestigious contemporary schools of music, Berklee. Especially for those concerned by the high costs of education at Berklee (Boston), they would get to save a substantial sum of money by going through the ICOM-Berklee 2+2 year route. Indeed, current exchange rate conditions (Singapore vs. Malaysia) mean that the cost of living is generally cheaper here. The near-familiar culture/food has also enabled me to settle down in a foreign country faster, so I can devote more time to studies. Still, I do realise that my future is also not everything in life; the proximity of being near(er) to my friends and loved ones (a.k.a family) while in Malaysia means that home (in Singapore) is just a half-hour flight/5-hour bus ride away.

My stay so far in ICOM has been a much enjoyable and fruitful one; being surrounded by people who are so passionate and talented in music and audio technology really provides fertile ground for networking, and challenges me to take my own musicality to greater heights. The facilities and resources (especially a really huge and neat collection of library books!) just keep me in school daily till 7pm (closing hour) - I'm either at class, jamming at a rehearsal, researching in the library, or in one of the 38 practice rooms! I really love the faculty here too; a number of which are Berklee alumni themselves, or even my polytechnic lecturer's former teacher! Oh my gosh, the intimidation/awe of being taught by a lecturer's lecturer! But seriously, one just can never learn enough from these masters in their field... oh, did I mention the MacDonald's with free WIFI that's just a few steps away from school? *excited look* I love my new MacBook Pro and Logic Studio!

I will try to post more updates on school life (modules I'm taking, etc.), and also photos/videos here or on Facebook soon; but meanwhile, here's a quick update of my life's happenings in early July 2010:

Jul 1. Attended a "Music Publishing & Copyright" seminar by COMPASS and an "Artiste & Event Management" talk by Music & Movement, as part of the DMAT Masterclass Series (DMAT-MS) in which prominent industry experts were invited down to Singapore Polytechnic to share their experiences/knowledge with current students/alumni. T'was also an informal reunion:-

Jul 2. A full day of workshops and performances by the incredible Juwita Suwito and her band from Malaysia. Found out that their drummer was an ICOM alumni! Also dropped by camp mate Mark's 21st birthday chalet at night...

Jul 3. Attended a "Musical Script & Songwriting" workshop (as part of DMAT-MS), conducted by Musical Theatre Limited. Later at night, had a reunion-farewell dinner with secondary school besties Huiling and Shaun at MOS Burger, Tampines Mall, before heading to Starhub to terminate my local (Singaporean) phone line. =(

Jul 4.Independence Day! - in another sense for me - goodbye Singapore! I took a morning coach up to Kuala Lumpur with my dad to settle down in preparation for my new life...

Jul 5-9. Orientation week begins at ICOM with talks, briefings, and placement tests/auditions - I managed to get the "advance standing" into Semester 2 (2 years/4 semesters instead of 2.5 years/5 semesters)...

And so a month of school has passed by so quickly; assignments, research, projects, practice and more all clamouring for my attention! Till my next update; take care everyone!


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