*All testimonials are published with the kind permissions of their authors without editing.
If you were someone like me without any music training background yet fascinated with the unique beauty of cello music and wish to pick up the instrument, Chin Hong is a good teacher to start with your cello journey. He is very patient and encouraging. He always shows confidence in me to sort things out and make small progress in playing cello. He shows passion in cello education and genuine interest in knowing and understanding each student well in order to help them learn better in playing the cello. During his lessons, I'm not just learning the techniques of cello playing, I'm learning myself as well. Its really a pleasant learning journey for me. Thanks for revealing the beauty of cello to me and help me know better about myself through this journey.
I simply love the way how Chin Hong explains the physics of cello playing. Music playing is about expressing emotion. But in order to achieve the skills to express the sound accurately, one has to understand how the instrument work and master the craft of music playing.What is the best siting posture when playing a cello? Imagine the cello as an extension of your body and let it rest comfortably on your chest area, find the CG and feel the balance. How do we master vibrato? Feel the natural weight from gravity and weigh down your fingers onto the finger board. The rotation motion will come from your shoulder and arm, not the wrist. Why can't I get this bar sound good? Practice smartly. Repeat that few notes and get your body and mind familiar with it. It is always about building the muscle memory.I started having private lessons with Chin Hong in year 2010 and I finished ABRSM cello Grade 5 practical exams in 2013. Due to work commitments, I had to pause my cello learning. But I bring with me the art of learning. I will recommend anyone who truly want to understand cello and what is the thought process behind cello playing to start their learning journey with Chin Hong.
The first time I met Chin Hong, he came a across as a no-nonsense person. I was right. When I eventually took lessons under him, he was really serious about teaching Cello and doing a good job at it. Yet I was wrong, he is a warm and passionate about his work, and that made Cello lessons fruitful and enjoyable.Chin Hong’s expertise on the Cello is undisputed. He is not only skilled at the instrument, but able to conceptualise the art of playing. During his lessons, do not be surprised if you hear about bowing like ‘big strokes of a paint brush’, sliding the left-hand finger with ‘a leap and soft landing’ etc. Furthermore, Chin Hong is able to answer whatever questions I have very satisfactorily. All these analogies and guidance really helped in my understanding of the instrument and the way to execute the bowing and fingering well.Under his instruction, I have learnt not only so much about the Cello, but about music and life. (Well, music is life actually.) It was from him that I learnt how a musical tone is different from noise, and that to grasp an instrument well, one has to a) be guided by a good teacher, b) practise individually and c) play as a group. Listening to the latter advice has facilitated my well-rounded learning.It is evident that Chin Hong is an extraordinary Cello instructor. Having benefitted from his encouragement and ability to inspire confidence with the instrument, I have performed for several public events – weddings and an award ceremony, and attained distinctions for ABRSM Cello Grades 3 and 5 examinations. I am extremely grateful for his instruction.
Chin Hong has not only taught me the cello but help me see myself more clearly through my playing. He has been encouraging and helps me try to break out of my comfort zone to be more expressive in playing. His teaching style and approach is tailored for each unique individual and personality, to help us learn more effectively.He does not focus solely on grades and exams but more on techniques and foundations which I believe allows one to excel faster in the long run. Within two years I have obtained an ABRSM Grade 5 in cello, gained confidence to play in the NTU Training Orchestra and also had the opportunity to perform at a recital organised by Chin Hong and his Wife.