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Who is Cellobear?

Cellobear - Hendry Goh

Name: Chin Hong
Nickname: Cellobear

ABOUT MYSELF IN ONE LINE:
Musically Inspired Cellist - Authentic Digital Marketer - Futurist Oriented Educator

ABOUT MYSELF IN A FEW LINES:

If there is ONE thing that has stayed constant in my life, regardless of the different things which I have done so far, it is simply this... that I have never stopped teaching or playing the cello. But what I strive to do is to be more than just sharing stuff on how to play the cello. Over my varied and storied stints as a educator, technologist, marketer, I have always used cello teaching or education as a means to integrate all of my life experiences into a unique take on the learning of the cello.

Therefore, it is my sincere wish that whoever has connected with me as a student past, present and future, will be able to gain from what I know to be not just a better cellist, but a better person who understands themselves and the world around them. This is the unique gift which I know I can share with my students.

If I have to choose one profession in which you give the most for the least it is probably teaching – if you take it seriously. You have to have the temperament for it to coax, to stimulate, to cajole, to discipline a young mind into good habits. You must have an aptitude.

- Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore Founding Father

A BRIEF HISTORY OF MYSELF (not TIME sorry!)

It feels strange to have to introduce or 'talk about' myself online because I am by nature and nurture relatively private. If you want to box me in a time-period, let's just say my values are aligned to what many called a Generation-X. But there is a caveat - because I spent many years interacting with those who are younger than me, I cross generation-gaps relatively easily.

But because I believe it will help you connect with what I share in the articles, I am happy to indulge in some self-serving introduction of myself.

  • Started learning the piano (yes not the cello) when I was 8 years old. By local standards in the 1970s, its still considered relatively young.
  • Started on the cello when I was 13 - by a strange twist of fate.
  • Started playing with a chinese orchestra at 14.
  • Started playing for commercial events and gigs at 17.
  • Started teaching cello at 18

Along the way, I had the blessings of:

  • Participating at performance tours with orchestras to China, Malaysia etc
  • Playing with a Cantonese Opera Troupe at Germany
  • Participating in a few masterclasses - one of which is conducted by Yo-Yo Ma
  • Serving in 2 churches within the worship ministry - leading one for about 10 years
  • Auditioned and taken part in Asean Music Workshop (Thailand)
  • Setting up a string ensemble (and serving as cello coach) for Republic Polytechnic
  • Serving as the cello sectional coach at NTU String Orchestra and still going on.
  • Started one of the earliest string quartet groups in Singapore - performed in countless profit and non-profit events (www.gracenotes.sg)
  • Taken part in a few opera and musical performances such as Chang & Eng, West Side Story etc
  • Usually served as principal cellist at a few orchestras and string ensembles.

There are probably a few things that I may have missed out but this would probably for all intents and purposes, give you a good idea of my extensive musical backgrounds. I am not a prodigy of the cello and I am HAPPY to be so because of one simple reason, it allows me to draw a deep empathy to the struggles of anyone who wants to make really good sound out of the cello. I am confident to say that I thrive in solving the varied difficulties that my students face - some of which are not just technical in nature.

At this stage of my life (with family commitments and all), I am content to take a step back and just focus on more selective engagements and keeping a manageable teaching studio.

But in case you are wondering, I am much more than just a cellist and have a rich and varied professional life in other capacities - in education and technology. It is BECAUSE of the sum of all parts of MYSELF... that I am able to offer something beyond the conventional music education or teaching.

I believe that educating and training the musician of tomorrow is no longer just about spending 8 hours a days on solitary practice. The modern musician has to embrace the deep awareness of sound, mind and body in life, coupled with with multiple interest and passions that serve as a feedback loop into their music making expression.

That is how one can really play better with age, just like a fine string instrument or fine wine which has aged well.