Being a student is great

This is what happens when you’re on the final stages of recovery after being sick for weeks. You go on a shopping spree:

Oiishi okashi!

I went for my first singing lesson last Friday. Had to postpone a week because of laryngitis. By Friday, I had most of my voice back but it was still a little off.

My teacher said, “You shouldn’t be singing when you have laryngitis! You must take care of your throat because it’s your tool as a singer.”

So, on my first lesson, we merely talked. I told her my singing background and goals while she explained all the basic things that singers should take note of, like posture, breathing and enunciation.


I’ve wanted to sing professionally most of my life. When I was 16, I picked a singing school at random and signed up for classes.

At my first lesson, I arrived to discover that the lessons were conducted with a karaoke machine. We picked a song for me to sing and the teacher supposedly corrected my mistakes.

He said I shouldn’t do falsetto and that I should strain my throat to reach the high notes even if it kills me. Do enough of this and your voice will improve, he said.

So, in my first lesson, I screamed my throat raw and he said “well done”.

I never went back again.


After that, I never signed up for anymore lessons for fear of encountering another crook teacher. Until now, that is.

I mean, I’ve been tempted all these years. I know crook teachers are probably the minority. But it’s always either the lack of funds to pay for lessons or the fear of finding out that I have no talent or skill and therefore can never reach level I want.

But now, since I’m on a roll signing up for classes, I thought I might as well give singing a go, finally.


I decided to go with Lily Anna Nuris at The Music Lab where I was learning drums. (I’ve quit learning drums for now because I found I couldn’t progress without being able to own my own drumset.)

I like The Music Lab, and Lily teaches Olivia Ong (the singer who sang the theme song for The Little Nonya and who enjoyed an illustrious singing career in Japan become returning to Singapore last year).

Lily is a very respected artiste in Singapore with a resume a mile long so hopefully she can fix me. Haha. She will be performing a solo concert this Friday at Esplanade, performing songs by Alanis Morissette.

All I Really Want by Lily Nuris

I think I might go check it out, even if the timing is kinda late, at 9:30pm. She sang several lines for me on Friday to demonstrate her lessons and I think her voice is really sweet.

And my drums teacher Alvin Tan will be part of the band! =D

Besides singing, there are the two dance classes (Hip Hop and Jazz) I’ve already started on. I’m working on my childhood dream of acting in musicals. I think I’ve left it kinda late to start developing skills but that can’t be helped; lessons are expensive.

Anyway, one can still be an actor-performer when one is old and grey right? Surely there are old characters in musicals!

Japanese classes start this Thursday. Erm, this is to indulge in my love of the Japanese language, acquired through reading manga and watching anime.


I totally love my classes! It’s such a good life being a student and spending all your time learning things you like.

Oh, OH. I watched The Karate Kid last night. It’s freaking amazing. Jaden Smith is freaking amazing. He’s a heartthrob even at the age of 12.

Jaden Smith

(He is Will Smith’s son, in case any of you don’t know. Wang Wang didn’t know until the end of the movie. Duh.)

Of course, it’s making me want to get a jump on signing up for wushu classes now. I’ve been holding back because I thought I had signed up for too many classes already as it is and wanted to see how I deal with the current curriculum first.)

(Also because, a couple of weeks ago, I paid a visit to the school I wanted to learn at, all ready to sign up, and it was closed for the night. -_-)

Oops. It’s almost time to prepare for Jazz dance class.

I’ll just need to go hide all the snacks I laid out to take that photo earlier. I’m not allowing myself to eat any until I’m totally cured.

Yeah, like real.

World’s Screamiest Person

There is, of course, no such word as “screamiest”.

But I’ll bet some of my friends will gladly testify to the fact that I’m an aural personification of that word, producing as hard evidence their burst eardrums.

Screaming, for your information, is just a way of relieving tension and stress. I can’t help it if my body’s preferred method of stress relief is screaming, can I?

For example, I was engaged in this very stressful activity yesterday.

Sure, sure, it looks like I was having fun, especially since I even had the presence of mind to smile for the camera.

But it was really quite stressful.

I was giving the World’s Fastest Drummer competition a shot.

Held at the Singapore Drumfest 08 at Youth Park yesterday, the WFD comprises two segments: Fastest Legs and Fastest Hands.

That was me on the double bass drum pedals, which explains the awkward sitting position.

You have to hit the pedals as fast as you possibly can in 60 seconds.

It’s tougher than you can imagine because, like, 20 seconds into it, your legs are on fire and you wanna smash something up in exasperation.

That was when I started to scream.

Okay, it wasn’t so much a screamfest as exclamations and yells. “OMG OMG OMG shit I can’t feel my legs anymore hahahaha OMGOMGOMG aaaaaiiiiiieeeeeeeee.”

After 60 seconds of that (I mean kicking the pedals, not screaming), you will hardly be able to walk because both your legs will have turned to water.

You have to understand that it was my first time trying out double bass pedals.

I scored 616, meaning 616 strokes in 60 seconds. Fastest in Singapore is 778. Fastest in the world is 1034.

I believe I can do a lot better if I can just channel the energy I expend in screaming into hitting the pedals. But you know me, I’m into dramatics.

I tried the hands, too. You bust your gut in single rolls on this pad for 60 seconds.

I totally sucked at it and gave up in disgust even before I reached 60 seconds. I decided that I was generally better at posing for photographs.

I scored like 300 because I wasted 30 seconds laughing uncontrollably instead of hitting the pad.

Fastest in Singapore 1067. Fastest in the world 1247.

These people are crazy lah.

I’m going to train up and take ’em on next year!

This all happened at the Singapore Drumfest 08. Yesterday was the preliminaries of the Drum Challenge Asia and Singapore Band Challenge.

I loved those drum solos performed by the contestants.

And I took photos with some of my favourite drummers in Singapore!

Brandon Khoo (who drums in The UnXpected, with Shirlyn Tan):

Well, to be honest, I’ve only seen the UnXpected perform once, a couple years ago, so I cannot really claim to know anything about Brandon’s drumming, but I’ve heard his name so often since I took up drumming that I’m starting to get the impression that he’s somewhat a legend.

Edmund of PeepShow!

Incidentally, his surname is also Khoo. Here’s Edmund doing the double bass. Can’t remember what he scored.

By the way, this is the fast hands that scored 1067, Alex Tey:


Here’s Eric, my senior at The Music Lab.

We’re both taught by Alvin Tan, who is also one of the judges for the Drum Challenge Asia.

Alvin testing the drumometer:

I don’t have a picture with him because he’s camera shy, so I snuck a picture while he was otherwise distracted. Haha.

Alvin is a fantastic drummer and instructor. He’s totally cool. And I hope he’ll be totally cool when he learns next week that I haven’t practised in two weeks due to my insane schedule. (I had to skip a lesson last week.)

The Singapore Drumfest 08 is ongoing till September. Semi-finals will be held at The Arena, Clarke Quay, on July 26.

I wonder who I will meet there next!

No more screaming, unfortunately, since the WFD competition was only for yesterday.

But I shall start training up my screaming… no, wait, I mean my drumming (duh!) for next year.

Whatever. Protect your ears!