Travel . Eat . Shop’s author Essa not only plays the piano but also the violin and is a certified classical vocalist as well.

Her Credentials

▪FTCL of Trinity College London in Piano Performance
▪LGSMD(Hons) of Guildhall School of Music & Drama in Piano Performance
▪LTCL of Trinity College London in Piano Performance
▪ATCL of Trinity College London in Piano Performance
▪A.DIP.A(Hons) of Australia & New Zealand Cultural Arts in Piano Performance
▪A.MUS.A(Hons) of Australia & New Zealand Cultural Arts in Diploma Theory
▪GCSE O Level (A) in subject-Music
▪ABRSM Grade 8 of Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music in Classical Vocal
▪ABRSM Grade 6 of Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music in Violin

Attended Masterclasses of

Pianist Joseph Banowetz from USA (piano)
▪Pianist Toh Chee Hung from Singapore (piano)
Professor Robert Chamberlain from Monash University (piano)
Professor Tao Chang from Azusa Pacific University (piano)
▪Violinist Ms Marietta Ku from Singapore Symphony Orchestra (violin)

Was Tutelaged Under
▪Mr Arkadiusz Bialak (Lasalle College of the Arts)
▪Mr Simon Soh (Sinfonia Music Studio)
▪Ms Veronica Ng (Yamaha Music School)
▪Ms Sally Chua (Yamaha Music School)
▪Mrs Claire Liaow
▪Mr Timothy Ku (Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts) – piano ensemble
Ms Lydia Wong from Re: Mix Ensemble
▪Mr Woon Fong Chin (Sinfonia Music Studio)
▪Ms Candice Lau
▪Mdm Sally Chan (Sinfonia Music Studio) – classical vocal
▪Mr Jay Lim (Lee Wei Song School of Music) – choir
[Music Theory]
▪Mrs Dawn Eng-Sim (Lasalle College of the Arts) – music history and composition
▪Mr Jonathan Cher (Chij St. Nicholas) – music harmony
▪Mrs Tham-Oh Chuan Chuan (Chij St. Nicholas) – western music history
▪Mr Wong (Chij St. Nicholas) – world music


Essa begin learning piano only at the age of 8. Despite the later age start compared to many children,  she managed to obtain her first diploma – ATCL in piano performance from Trinity College of London at the age of 17 and subsequently pocketed other diplomas with outstanding results. While Essa was preparing for her piano studies, she took up violin as a hobby during the age of 14 and have since been so in love with this amazing instrument. She also joined an inter-school pop singing competition and was awarded 2nd runner-up. Her passion for singing didn’t cease along the years as later on, she attempted her ABRSM grade 8 vocal examination with success in a short period of 2&1/2 years.
Being a regular performer for events and concerts since year 2003, she had the honour to perform for Datuk Mohd Khalil Yaakob, head of state of Malacca in Malaysia in year 2004. She was then appointed pianist for Kuo Chuan Presbyterian Secondary choir in the same year, and was invited to play for the School’s Church chapel service in the following year 2005. In the same year she performed for the Epson-Bus event with the presence of MP Mr Khaw Boon Wan.
Also in the period of 2005 to 2006, she was awarded a scholarship from Patron Mr Alex Teo Soo Pong.
During the ‘Music & Voices’ concert held by Sinfonia Music Studio in year 2006, she won the 1st price in its competition over many other great pianists, received over from MP Mr Baey Yam Keng.
Essa was featured in Issue 4 of Magazine ‘Dream’ – a Singapore Republic Polytechnic alumni newsletter, together with her trio ensemble, they performed for Singapore Republic Polytechnic’s official opening ceremony as the opening act in year 2007, graced by PM Mr Lee Hsien Loong, MP Mr Tharman Shanmugarathman and MP Mr Khaw Boon Wan.
With a passion in music, Essa started her teaching career with Award Music Studio in year 2007 and subsequently entered Sinfonia Music Studio. She later joined My Inspirations Music School in year 2009, ending her partnership with Award Music Studio of two and a half years to seek more experience in a different teaching system. Essa not only teaches in music studios that focus on ABRSM & TRINITY GUILDHALL exams but also give consultations to students under the ‘Music Elective Programme’ and ‘GCSE O Level’s’ on a frequent basis. Students who used to do poorly in these subjects have benefited from her lessons and achieved remarkable improvement and results. All the while she has been highly sought after as a piano accompanist and have worked with countless musicians like vocalists, violinist, violist, cellist, flutist, clarinetist, bassoonist, horn soloists and many more instrumentalists.
In year 2012, Essa teamed up with another pianist – Toh Xin Zhan and successfully entered the finals of the 1st Ars Nova International Competition – Open Duet Category for piano duet, in Singapore. In the same year, she was invited to her first wedding performance gig.
She later completed her FTCL in piano performance in year 2014 with a recital programme of Liszt Waltz from ‘Faust’, Beethoven Sonata in C major, Op. 53 Waldstein and Grainger In dahomey “Cakewalk Smasher”.
Due to her wide performing exposure, she has since played in various locations like the Esplanade Concert Hall, Japanese Association Concert Hall, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts – Lee Foundation Theatre and more locally in Singapore. Other than giving recital performances, she actively participates in charity events like ‘Music for Hope’ guested by officials like MP Mdm Lily Neo and PM Lee Hsien Loong.
In the year 2016 April, she was invited with the honour to perform live at Seoul Grand Park in Seoul, South Korea in conjunction of the Seoul Jazz Festival with a remixed medley of 이루마 River flows in you, Piazolla’s Libertango and several famous classical pieces with a twist of jazz elements.
Essa challenges to keep improving herself in the artistic field of music making. She is currently doing further ungrading for professional piano accompanist certificate.
An on going article – The Art of Pedaling

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