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Singapore conservatory Dean encourages students to push musical boundaries

Norwegian composer Dr Peter Tornquist took over as Dean of Yong Siew Toh Conservatory (YST) in Singapore in February 2022.

Interviewed for the YST website, he outlines his plans for developing a modern music education within Singapore’s leading music institution.

In the past, teaching music used to be straightforward: ‘Learning took place through having a very good teacher, a very strict curriculum and making students copy as much of what the masters had done before’, Tornquist says.

But with creative talents now unleashing endless streams of original music on digital platforms like Spotify and YouTube, and the pace at which digitalisation has changed the world, that is no longer enough.

‘They (students) simply cannot copy the masters. They have to think independently. We have to train students to teach themselves, and to reinvent themselves every time something changes.’

Tornquist aims to help YST students push their musical boundaries, by providing them with ample space to explore collaborations and ideas – similar to being in a start-up.

Read the full interview here.