Yamaha Electone Festival 2023 - Interview with Chong Zi Yang and Mr. Tan Hong Kwang

Yamaha Electone Festival 2023 - Interview with Chong Zi Yang and Mr. Tan Hong Kwang

In the third segment of our four-part interview series, we showcase the triumph of another young musical talent as we delve into the journey of Chong Zi Yang, winner of the Junior Age Group 3 at this year's Yamaha Electone Festival (YEF). Joining him is his esteemed mentor, Mr. Tan Hong Kwang, a guiding light in Zi Yang's musical expedition. This chapter provides an in-depth exploration of their shared passion for the Electone and the significant role it plays in shaping their musical odyssey.


A Conversation with Chong Zi Yang: Nurturing the Flames of Passion

Amidst the resounding applause and adulation for his victory in the Junior Age Group 3 at the Yamaha Electone Festival, Chong Zi Yang emerges as a true musical prodigy. We extend our heartfelt congratulations and seize the opportunity to gain insights into his Electone journey.

Zi Yang's Electone odyssey spans an impressive eight years, a testament to his dedication and passion for the instrument. When asked about the origins of his fascination, Zi Yang reveals that the Electone's uniqueness lies at the heart of his devotion. For Zi Yang, the distinctive feature that sets the Electone apart from other instruments, is the pedal keyboard. This captured his curiosity and set the stage for his musical exploration.

Zi Yang elaborates further, explaining how the Electone's multifaceted nature, demanding the coordination of both hands and feet, serves as a challenge. He likens the skilled performance of an Electone player to that of an entire orchestra, an analogy that underscores the instrument's profound depth. As he reflects on his journey, Zi Yang expresses his aspirations to become a maestro of the Electone, embracing its complexity and uniqueness.

Beyond its challenges, Zi Yang acknowledges the Electone's unparalleled versatility as a defining factor in his dedication. The instrument's diverse range of sounds and the intricate coordination required to harmonize them have kept him continually engaged and motivated.

Zi Yang's chosen model, the Yamaha ELS-02C, is a testament to his commitment to excellence. He explains that daily practice, facilitated by the right instrument, played a pivotal role in his journey to YEF 2023 victory. Months of diligent practice culminated in mastery of his selected piece, serving as a testament to the instrumental role daily practice plays in refining skills.

In the closing moments of our conversation, Zi Yang expresses gratitude for the opportunity to share his journey and aspirations. With a heart full of determination, he sets his sights on a future as a distinguished Electone performer, promising a musical journey that is nothing short of extraordinary.


In Dialogue with Mentor Tan Hong Kwang: Nurturing Musical Brilliance

Mentorship, an integral part of any musical journey, takes center stage as we engage in a conversation with Mr. Tan Hong Kwang, the guiding force behind Zi Yang's achievement. Mr. Tan's insights offer a unique perspective into the mentoring process and its profound impact.

Mr. Tan's mentoring relationship with Zi Yang has flourished over a span of four years, showcasing the transformative power of a dedicated mentor. Mr. Tan emphasizes Zi Yang's dedication and his relentless pursuit of excellence. Zi Yang's commitment to surpassing benchmarks and meeting set goals serves as a source of inspiration to both mentor and mentee.

Reflecting on Zi Yang's victory, Mr. Tan acknowledges the significance of the YEF platform in imparting stage performance expertise and valuable experiences. He believes that Zi Yang's achievement will bolster his self-confidence and further fuel his determination to excel in the world of Electone.

The importance of the right instrument is a topic Mr. Tan approaches with conviction. He emphasizes that the authentic conveyance of musicality on the Electone hinges on utilizing the appropriate instrument. Techniques such as initial touch, after touch, and keyboard release timing are pivotal in creating a genuine musical experience, and the right instrument enhances their impact manifold.

Mr. Tan's preferred teaching instrument, the Yamaha ELS-02C, aligns seamlessly with his instructional goals, allowing him to impart nuanced musical expressions with precision. In parting, Mr. Tan offers aspiring Electone enthusiasts a valuable piece of advice – immersing themselves in diverse musical genres played on authentic instruments and attuning themselves to the rhythm of various compositions. This approach, he believes, is instrumental in enhancing Electone performances and nurturing a well-rounded musical sensibility.

As this insightful chapter draws to a close, we eagerly anticipate the final instalment of our four-part interview series. The spotlight will soon shine on Mathew Siew Zeng Wai, the champion of the Senior Section, and his esteemed mentor, Ms. Yeo Hong Lian. The inspiring journey through the world of Yamaha Electone continues. Stay tuned for the culminating chapter of this captivating odyssey.