"Somewhere between the bottom of the climb and the summit is the answer to the mystery why we climb."
- GREG CHILD (ROCK CLIMBER, MOUNTAINEER, AUTHOR AND FILM MAKER)
For pianist Dr. Khoo Hui Ling, playing the piano is a reflective meditation. It is a vulnerable and precious expression of what is in the heart. Sought after as both a performer and teacher, Hui Ling has inspired audiences and students alike. Currently academic faculty at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, she is also founder and pedagogy consultant of The Music Studios where she mentors young pianists and piano teachers.
Her sensitivity to detail and ability to elicit the strengths of every student have helped students gain entry into prestigious music programmes, festivals and competitions. In 2018, she founded The Music Studios, a collective of private music teachers with a mission to help every music learner build a lifelong friendship with music. The Music Studios has since grown with her creations of innovative programmes for both students and teachers.
Having a strong conviction to positively impact the music teaching community, she has shared her experiences as a piano pedagogue at the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) Music Teacher Conferences, Australasian Piano Pedagogy Conference, and the Singapore International Piano Pedagogy Symposium. Most recently, she kickstarted and currently curates the pedagogy forum series The Learning Curve at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music.
A curious soul, Hui Ling has diverse artistic interests. The past year saw a collaboration with soprano Ng Jing Yun and contemporary dancer Goh Jia Yin in the project Walking in the Wild, which explores deeper connections between music and dance. Still a work in progress, excerpts were presented at the 2019 Performers' Presents International Artistic Research Symposium at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music. As part of her doctoral dissertation, she produced short documentaries featuring the confluence of Chinese traditional music and painting in Tan Dun’s 8 Memories in Watercolour, culminating in a multimedia performance of the work.
Her artistry at the piano has been heard in recitals in the United States, Europe and Singapore. Performance highlights include solo recitals at the Esplanade Recital Studio in Singapore and at the Alba Music Festival in Italy. Her performance of Gershwin’s Concerto in F with the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory Orchestra after winning the Conservatory Concerto Competition earned her rave reviews in the Singapore Straits Times.
In her free time, Hui Ling enjoys trekking mountains and taking photos of spectacular scenery. It is interesting that hiking has taught her valuable lessons that can be applied to music. She also fiddles around on the erhu, which she picked up upon joining the Chinese orchestra as a teenager. She often likens playing the erhu after a day of practicing the piano to drinking a cup of fragrant Chinese tea (yum cha) with an old friend. As a child, she used to write fantastical stories that may or may not have been the cause of some nightmares. Now that she is older, she still loves writing. A regular contributor to The Music Studios blog Music Matters, she has recently written a short essay Three Birthday Wishes for Children for The Birthday Book 2019 as a way to celebrate Singapore's national day. More than anything, Hui Ling is grateful for the people in her life - friends from all walks of life, family who have stuck through thick and thin, and not to mention an adorable 4-year old nephew who has blown her heart away from day one.
Hui Ling graduated with a Doctorate in Musical Arts from the University of Oregon in 2016. She previously studied at the Peabody and Yong Siew Toh conservatories of music. She is thankful to have been under the tutelage of Dean Kramer, Brian Ganz, Thomas Hecht, Julie Tan and Xu Wen Jing, all of whom exemplify that the musical journey of an artist is a lifelong one. Based in Singapore, she hopes to further develop her interests in performance, teaching, and in innovative collaborations with other artistic fields.