Names of Recipients:
Ms. Tan Seok Ling
Ms. Hill Tan
Fisherman Music School was the creation of the founders Mr and Mrs Yong Chee Ong. Ever since she was young, Ms Tan had dreamt of having her own music school to spread her love for music to the newer generation. With the support of her good friend, she ventured into the music industry together with Ms Hill. “Give a man a fish; he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man how to fish; he’ll eat for a lifetime.” Both directors continue to share about the origins of the name for the music school.
Established in late 2004, the school provides 1 to 1 teaching, with some group teaching available for young children with a maximum of 3 students per class. The programme includes teaching basic music foundation in a fun and engaging manner so as to arouse the interest of the young. Interestingly, Ms Hill and Ms Tan bought over this school from her friend and till today, the initial founder renders his advice to them whenever they face any challenges. “It is our passion and enjoyment of music that brought us all together in this,” Ms Tan explained passionately.
However, it was not that smooth sailing when they started. “Parents’ expectations are so high and demanding that they present a constant challenge to us as educators.” Furthermore, with the change in teaching staffs and management turnovers, parents were apprehensive with the changes.
Nevertheless, with the help from their advisor, who shared the experiences learnt throughout the journey, Ms Hill and Ms Tan managed to overcome the initial struggles gradually. “It was always going to be a steep learning curve for us, who are first timers in business as we tend to neglect a lot of issues,” Ms Hill admitted.
To ensure parents feel at ease with the change in management, Ms Hill and Ms Tan decided to first engage the parents and “allow the parents to see us, let them know us, and in the process let us know their families, kids, maids and in the process, build up a positive relationship.”
With a close relationship with the parents, Ms Hill is able to constantly keep the parents updated about their child’s progress and better prepare the students and equip them with the relevant skills for the exam. “We have a stringent set of criteria in our selection of teachers,” Ms Tan divulged.
In the near future, the company aims to introduce contemporary music as its programme gradually. “One step at a time,” Ms Hill said, “but we are aiming towards that.” Also, another target group they wish to look at is the special needs group, but that requires a specific type of teacher which they hope to eventually recruit. Lastly, both directors hope to be able to “bring music to those who want to learn but are unable to” as they feel that “music is something that everyone should be able to enjoy.”
Hence, what do the directors feel entrepreneurship stands for? To Ms Tan, it is about “having control over what I want, doing something what you want to do in your own style, bringing ideas and thoughts into reality” To Ms Hill, entrepreneurship enables her to meet different people, reach out to people from all walks of life, build on her communication skills and it is a lifelong learning journey.
Lastly, the directors have some words of encouragement for people who want to be their own bosses as well. “Confidence is the key to show the passion you have to your clients. Have the passion in what you are going to do. Show and tell where your passion lies and you will be successful in your own field. Never give up. Have the perseverance to pursue what you want in life,” Ms Tan advocated. On the other hand, Ms Hill poses the following questions for potential entrepreneurs to assess their suitability for business. “What are you serving? Who is your target group? Where is your location of the business? What is your initial capital and what is the required amount? Have you analysed the possible downsides to your venture? Are you able to settle the manpower crunch? Do you have a sound business plan?”
With such meticulous and confident directors in charge, Fisherman Music School is definitely in good hands to face any problems that come its way.
6 Sin Ming Road #01-14, Tower 2 Sin Ming Plaza
T| 6456 6165