Inspirational Malaysian: Joanne Yeoh

“At the age of 16, right after I received my Licentiate Diploma from Trinity College of Music, I wanted to be a music examiner. I wrote in to Trinity College London without any expectations that they would reply. Strangely enough, they did! Something along the lines of ‘Thank you for your interest. Could you write back to us when you turn 30?‘ Hahaa! They must have found it hilarious because I was so young back then. But after going through so many music exams in my lifetime, I really wanted to be the person behind the desk who seemingly had the power to decide whether a candidate passes or fails their exam.

I didn’t think much about it after that and went on to further my studies in music. When I graduated from college and started working, I revisited the idea and wrote in again. I was 28. This time they invited me to their Malaysian office and I was given lots of performance videos to review. My reports were then sent back to the UK and returned to me with many red-coloured comments. It was embarrassing! A few months later, the UK chief examiner was in town. We met up and I sat for another test. This time I passed with flying colours.

I went through several training sessions before being qualified to be a music examiner. Now that I am on the other side of the desk, I feel the responsibility of not simply failing candidates. I understand that they only have that limited time of 10 minutes or so to perform what they learnt in an entire year. As an examiner, I always try to find the positive in them to pass. As they say, ‘with power comes responsibility!‘” – Dr Joanne Yeoh, violinist & music examiner

#MySongsAndStories #LoveMalaysia 📷Photo by: YKTang Photography