Mastering the horn
The Singapore National Youth Orchestra (SNYO) organises various masterclasses for youths to hone their musical skills.
In March 2018, the SNYO held Horn Day, an in-depth session dedicated to the playing of the French Horn. The youth orchestra made an open call to primary and secondary schools, as well as musical groups, through social media. The full-day event received an enthusiastic sign-up of over 30 young French horn players aged between 12 and 20.
James Ng, a participant from Unity Secondary School, said, “I have learnt new skills and methods through the Horn Day masterclass. It benefitted me greatly because I can improve in playing the French horn, and share my knowledge with my Horn section mates back in school.”
To lead the young musicians, the SNYO invited eight members of Singapore Horn Sounds ensemble to facilitate the day’s programme, which included workshops, masterclasses and performances. They provided coaching and mentorship to the participants, some of whom would be training their juniors back in school. The session helped French horn players gain more knowledge about techniques, as well as confidence in their playing.
“It was a wonderful experience to be able to share the love of horn playing with the next-generation players. I have gone through the same learning path – Due to my similar upbringing in school bands, I can understand the participants’ learning abilities and help them through their difficulties. The younger students felt more comfortable in knowing there are other students their age learning the instrument, and they created friendships pretty easily throughout the day,” said Kartik Alan Jairamin, a member of the Singapore Horn Sounds ensemble.