Name of Recipient:
Ms. Joy Khau
Music Solutions is a music & dance education company who believes in nurturing the young, to help them maximise their potential in the area of music and the arts. The woman behind the success of this company is Ms Joy Khau, who has been teaching as a private piano teacher prior to starting this business. “I wanted to share the love of music to everyone, not just to those who can afford, but for everyone who wishes to learn.” Ms Khau shared. With great passion, she pioneered her very first project with a charity music camp for the less privileged pupils from Care Community Services Society (CCSS) in 2000. This charity camp gave her further inspiration to come up with what you can see now – an array of interesting and inspiring music and dance programmes suitable for primary, secondary and tertiary institutions.
Music Solutions works in partnership with both local public schools as well as international schools, crafting programmes that cater to diversed needs of the pupils as well as the schools. These programmes include music and movement, percussion, guitar, ukulele, keyboard, digital music, song composition, vocal and dance. They have been very active partnering with the schools and delivering these programmes that have been endorsed by National Arts Council (NAC) under the Arts Education Programme (AEP) scheme since 2005. Music Solutions is also one of the pioneers who partnered with MOE in their new initiative towards holistic education – Programme for Active Learning (PAL). The PAL Programme was piloted in 12 Primary Schools in 2010 to provide pupils a chance to discover new interests, learn new skills and build their character and values. Speaking with excitement, Ms Khau added, “I am very happy and excited when MOE launches this new programme because this is exactly what we in Music Solutions believe in! We want to make a difference in the lives of our pupils. It is truly rewarding to see someone’s attitude change in the course of your teaching!”
It was not all smooth sailing in Ms Khau’s entrepreneur journey. Initially, she and her partners then had to approach potential clients by knocking from doors to doors. Everything was done with limited manpower. Besides, they had to find suitable candidates to assist them and it was no mean feat at all. “To bring in our first sale, we had to embark on road shows and had to dress up as characters of our programmes to convince people about our programmes and remember us.” Ms Khau recalled poignantly.
However, the tough patches did not stop Ms Khau from pursuing her dreams. The vision of seeing Music Solutions fulfilling her call “Gifted to Give, Blessed to be a Blessing” were the words that continued to keep her going in difficult times. Ms Khau added, “We are gifted with many talents, these talents are not for us to keep, but to share, and when we do that, not only will we be a blessing to others, we ourselves will be blessed too!” With that thrust in mind, Music Solutions have since then collaborated with social organizations such as Society for Physically Disabled, CCSS’s CareHut in Primary Schools and CARElderly to provide their clients with enriching music and dance activities on a voluntary basis. Through word of mouth, the business prospered and eventually expanded. By the year 2005, her programmes were recognized and the subscription of the various programmes in the schools began to pick up exponentially.
To differentiate themselves, Music Solutions is one of a handful of companies that offers a wide range of arts services to schools. “We provide a personal touch in our services to schools and the delivery of the lessons. Having partnered with more than 80 schools and with 95% of our clientele being primary schools, we have been actively reaching out to schools to enhance their development in the arts. We strive to deliver quality arts education which will not only equip students with the skills, but also ignite their passion for learning.” Ms Khau elucidated.
The breakthrough in Ms Khau’s entrepreneurship arrived in year 2007 when the Government turned their attention towards arts education in Singapore. The Company is now riding the wave and reaping the harvest from the seeds that they have sowed through the years. Ms Khau ranks the Company’s partnership with MOE in the PAL program with three out of the twelve piloting schools as one of her biggest achievements to date. “It is our hope that every child that we come in contact with, will develop an interest in the arts, adopt a better perspective on life and learn skills which will allow them to maintain a higher awareness of both themselves and the world around them.” she further advocated. “What is most rewarding to me is that MOE has commended us and given us many positive feedback. Not only that, they have also used us as a positive example to the schools who have their PAL programme rolled out in subsequent phases.” Ms Khau mentioned with pride.
Nevertheless, Ms Khau revealed that she picked up many lessons learnt, skills and values along the way as she grew her business. Firstly, she understood that being a nice boss was not equivalent to being a good boss. Being someone who used to follow rules rigidly, Ms Khau had to learn that there were a myriad of ways to manage people and going down hard might not be the best solution most of the time. “We need to value our people, recognizing them not only for their good performance but also their faithfulness. Do not just look at the end results. We need to look beyond that. Everyone has a talent, it is up to me (the Employer) to unravel and allow these talents in the Company to grow,” Ms Khau advocated. “I am proud to have a dedicated and united team with me, both full timers as well as freelancers. Today’s success would not have been possible without their contributions.”
More often than not, being an entrepreneur requires sacrifice. Ms Khau added that her husband and family have been very supportive of her, especially during the period of time when her business expanded. Ms Khau emphasized, “There needs to be strong communication and mutual understanding with your loved ones, otherwise you may find yourself gaining a business but losing all other things in your life which may be more valuable. All of us need to learn to manage different aspects of our lives well.”
Finally, Ms Khau has some words of wisdom to share with budding entrepreneurs about her secrets to success. She espoused that to be a successful entrepreneur, one needs to have the patience, determination and passion to keep one’s dream alive through thick and thin. “Do not give up easily. Look beyond what you can see with your physical eyes. It is the journey, not the destination that makes being an entrepreneur enriching. Uphold integrity in whatever you do. That is the only way to gain trust with clients and partners. Without integrity, you can never go far in whatever you do.” Ms Khau explicated.
24 Sin Ming Lane #04-106
T| 6659 8723