The music department at City Campus welcomes Ms Yeji Yoon.
Shrewsbury Riverside graduate, Ms Yeji Yoon, keeps her talents within the Shrewsbury family as she embarks on her music residency at City Campus. After achieving her Bachelor of Music Honours degree at the Royal College of Music, we are delighted to have Yeji back to teach and inspire our young musicians. Yeji tells us more about her experience and her passion for music:
What is your nationality and background?
I am from Korea, a people defined largely by song and music – think K-pop for example! I grew up in Seoul and then moved to Thailand with my family in 2006 , after my father joined Chulalongkorn University as an Economics professor. I enrolled at Shrewsbury International School Bangkok Riverside in Year 9 as a Music Scholar.
After completing my A Levels, I attended the Royal College of Music (RCM) in London where I earned a Bachelor of Music Honors Degree in Piano Performance,studying under Professor Nigel Clayton. I am now excited to be back in Bangkok at City Campus as the school’s Musician in Residence.
What inspired you to teach music? What do love about teaching?
Of course, my main inspiration is that I love music...who doesn’t?! But I also love working with young children. Put the two together and I think there is no better way to engage with the youth than through music. Guiding students along their musical journey is the most fulfilling experience. I love watching how children learn and grow into music.
What has been your proudest moment in music so far? What challenges have you overcome?
Getting into the Royal College of Music in London - my dream university - was just amazing. I started the piano relatively late. Most of my friends started at the age of 5 or 6, but I began taking lessons seriously well into my teens. It was a steep climb for me! I had to practise for hours and hours, often staying at school late into the night to play on the grand piano. You can imagine what a joy it was to me and my family, and all those who supported me, when I got my acceptance letter to study music at RCM.
Studying at RCM was wonderful. I had the chance to see many performances by great pianists like Ashkenazy, Lugansky, Kissin, Cho Seong jin, Trifonov, and many others. I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to enjoy the playing of such great artists.
In terms of my own goals in music, live performances have never been easy for me, but I continue to perform as often as I can. Working consistently and facing an audience will always be challenging for any musician. There are different types of performers - some are relaxed on stage, while others, like myself, are always very nervous. I’ve always had to overcome my anxiety and nervousness on stage. I think I am getting better all the time.
What excites you most about your residency at City Campus?
Working with experienced teachers, especially, Ms Bull and Ms KIein in the music department at the City Campus, is a great honour. We all share the same ambition to guide and inspire the students’ imagination and creativity in music. It’s incredibly heartwarming to see young students enjoying their music lessons, singing and playing together every day. I have been at City Campus for just one month, and there is even more ahead for me to look forward to.
What role does music play in a child’s life? How have you seen City Campus students respond to musical opportunities at the school?
Music brings joy and life to everyone it touches. I can’t imagine a child growing up without music in their lives. Music gives children a creative outlet to express themselves. It helps develop a child’s cognitive and emotional capacity, as well as help them understand themselves better and improve their social skills. Playing an instrument even helps develop memory and motor skills. Music plays a crucial role in a child’s development. Here at the City Campus, there is already a huge interest to learn the piano and other instruments. In the near future, I am hoping also to introduce the harp, which was my second instruments at RCM.
And finally, what do you like to do in Bangkok when you’re not working?
I always try to find time outside of my piano and harp practice to meet my friends. I like going to the local markets, travelling and cooking, and of course, watching Korean dramas on Netflix…!
Ms Yeji is teaching 1-1 piano tuition as part of City Campus's ever-growing range of musical opportunities. Another recent addition to the school's music programme is brass lessons. Students are learning the trumpet, the french horn or the trombone. To find out more about musical opportunities at City Campus, please contact email@example.com.