Sunday, January 25, 2015


Suddenly had the revelation of the reason for the existence of melodic and harmonic minors.

That moment of bling! The light bulb lighted up!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Isn't cultural musicology a more apt term than ethnomusicology?

Or maybe anthropo-musicology, music-anthropology, music-sociology, social-musicology?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


When it seems too much to bear,
when I seem to be all alone,
with no end in sight,
or perhaps with the end seemingly looming in front of me,
die you die, there's nothing but the end of hope, the end of light for you.

Thank you for that one kind word,
the little kind thoughts,
the motivations without even knowing, you placed in me.
Thank you all of you, knowingly or not,
for lifting me up and pushing me on.

I do not know if I will last to the end, triumphant,
or fall down mid way, defeated.
But thank you for pushing me just a little bit further on.

Saturday, October 18, 2014


Maybe a person's life is simply made up of endless pointless strive, right to the moment of death. What am I living for? That I have absolutely no idea. The dreams, the passions, the idealism of youth, they burst together with the bubbles.

I'm tired, but no one will allow me rest.
I don't want to try anymore, but yet, caught up in the never-ending wheel, I churn on and on and on and on....

Perhaps at the end, there is only darkness.

Friday, September 19, 2014

simple pleasures

Sometimes, all I need is the comfort of my blankie, a cup of hot chocolate, and my little boys snuggling by my side.

Sometimes, all I need is that.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

the society is sick

Having just put down my phone after a long conversation with the parent of a student, that indescribable feeling of everything being just not right just hits me deep down in my middle.

Let me explain.

This is one of the young students in one of the schools yours truly serves as a guide to the immense and deep art form that yours truly is merely a being who has touched just the surface of, but who believes that at least one could do a job of guiding and igniting some interest and passion to the youth of this world even if it is impossible for one to be guruified in this field.

So this particular student, not being the best, but yet is always polite and willing to learn and hardworking, has some dealings with this particular agency we shall call agency A. Yours truly serves as the person linking up father of particular student to agency A and nothing more.

So father has a certain request to make of agency A and yours truly, being really not involved anymore after the link up, simply told student, you can ask your father to call this number and make the request.

End of story, right?
Except that, father decided to call out of office hours. And yes, the contact number that was given is the personal mobile number of agent of agency A.

It's natural that agent of agency A would feel annoyed.
I have no idea what actually goes on in the conversation between agent and father, but to cut a long story short, father gave yours truly a call right after, in a state of fuming madness.

Normally, yours truly, being really not a very people-oriented person, nor a very patient person, would simply ignore such a call, or maybe say some nasty words back.
But, yours truly just finished a nice dinner, and was in quite a good mood, together with the fact that particular student, even though not being a star student, is one who is willing to work hard and shows interest and determination, something yours truly values much more than talent or genius or a high IQ.
So for this once, yours truly entertained the father's call and attempted to make sense of what he was trying to say behind the flames of fuming madness.

It was not a very difficult thing to help set right, but at the end of it, it was not that particular event that pained me, but what the father shared after that.

That particular student was the only child in the family, and both the parents were not very highly educated. The mother could not get any full-time work as she had to take care of her son, since sending him to after-school care also cost money and not being highly educated, the money she could make even in a full-time job would not be worth the while sending her son to any after-school care. Furthermore, in this way, she could get to spend time with her son, rather than just see him at the end of the day when everyone is all tired out. So all the mother could do was some part-time jobs which of course paid peanuts.

The father, being sort of the sole breadwinner, used to be a taxi-driver, but times being bad and taxi rentals being on the increase, decided to switch jobs. However, facing the same problem of not being very highly educated, his selection of jobs were also limited, and right now, he had to work several shifts just so he could make enough to support his family.

They never have anything much, and he could not give his son many of the things his classmates could have, and all he can do is to encourage his son to work hard. Not knowing the family that well, I cannot tell for sure how their spending habits are, but from my student's (aka his son) behaviours, I could see that he indeed is a hardworking and quiet boy, and always not having as much possessions as his friends. However, his father has never ever scrimped on things required for his son's music. A great contrast to some well-to-do parents who can complain about having to fork out even the tiniest bit of money for their children's musical education, this father was the first to ask if he had to buy scores for his son and so on, he would pay for it all if it was necessary.

Further sharing let the father open up to me about his worry for his son's future - he was not doing great in school and the father is very very afraid that the son (my student) would end up in a dead end like the father in the future. As quoted from the father, "Like me, my son is not stupid. It's just that we are not that clever either and we cannot do well in school or end up doing the jobs that pay very well. But we are not lazy, and I'm willing to learn new skills and do whatever work that I can, but the kind of work we do, even if we slave until we die, pays us so little. I always tell my son, it is ok if you cannot score well in school, as long as you try your best. But I'm really very afraid that he will end up like me."

It really made my insides cry tears of pain when I hear this heartfelt sharing from the father.

What with all these stress that can never really go away (which I think looking at the state of things now, can never go away even after he retires), it is no wonder he worked himself up into such a state of fury over a small matter. He was not right to demand the agent of agency A to settle his problem after her working hours, I fully understand that. But I fully empathise with his stress and the pent-frustrations.

I was glad, really extremely glad that for this once, I did not hang the phone up the way I usually would have done. I was very glad that the father shared his frustrations with me. I cannot change anything for him except that small matter with agency A, but I do hope that at least this little conversation made him feel like at least there was someone who heard him a little.

Teaching at the school CCA (instead of being the private music teacher of the student) meant that I probably would not have much chances of interacting any further with the student's parents and they would not have a chance to get to know me better. So this probably will be just the once of letting-go-of steam from this student's father, but once again, I'm really very glad he could at least get a chance of sharing.

I am not a sociologist nor someone well-versed at the nation's policy-making. I cannot articulate exactly what can be done, but all I know is, it just does not feel right.

It is not right when the rich are getting even richer, at the expense of poor working-class people. It is not right that, certain jobs which are absolutely necessary to the society, gets such peanut pay that those who are in this profession, struggle daily for survival. It is just not right.