Workshop 1

Get off the Bench, and Move: Dalcroze Eurhythmics for Piano Teachers, Parents, and Students

Dr. Onpavee Nitisingkarin
Piano Faculty, College of Music, Mahidol University (Thailand)

Dalcroze Eurhythmics, also known as the Dalcroze approach, is often associated with children’s classes or some movement activities for kids. This is, however, partially true. The Dalcroze Eurhythmics approach was initiated by Émile Jaques-Dalcroze (1865–1950) through his teaching experience with conservatory students in Switzerland. Dalcroze observed that students were able to walk evenly without limbs. However, the same students often struggled to keep their pulse evenly during aural classes with Dalcroze. 

"Do it, before teach it" is always true and important; this is the reason why piano teachers would need to experience the Dalcroze approach before applying it to the so-called "mini" version in piano lessons. The Dalcroze approach, applied to piano lessons of any level from beginner to advanced level, shares some common features such as association, dissociation, social integration, improvisation, movement, and quick reaction. Such common ground will develop and refine the "inner hearing" among the students, teachers, and parents. This, of course, will make the lessons fun, encouraging active participation and engagement among the students.

This workshop will provide a brief introduction to the application of the Dalcroze approach in piano lessons, particularly in the preschool age group, followed by hands-on activities that guide the participants on how to apply the Dalcroze approach  to piano lessons and supervised practice at home.

Onpavee Nitisingkarin, a native of Thailand, received her Doctorate in piano performance under Prof Dr Peter Amstutz from the WVU, School of Music. Her dissertation focuses on the topic of "Composers as Parents: Selected Twentieth-century Piano Works Written by Fathers for Their Children. Dr Nitisingkarin earned the Dalcroze Eurhythmics certificate from Carnegie Mellon University. She is also a certified Orff Schulwerk teacher from George Mason University as well as a Music Rhapsody Certified teacher.

Besides being an active learner and performer, Dr Nitisingkarin is also an experienced piano teacher. She started teaching piano since 2000 in Bangkok, Thailand. Before returning to Bangkok, she was a senior piano instructor in the WVU CMP programme and also a piano faculty at Washington and Jefferson College as well as Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center in Pennsylvania. She also served as a faculty in MusicFest Perugia 2018. She is often invited to conduct piano masterclasses and adjudicate several international piano competitions.  Recently, she presented her practice paper on the topic of ‘Provoking Musical Minds: Dalcroze Activities in Piano Lessons for All Ages at the 6th International Conference of Dalcroze Studies during August 2023 at Carnegie Mellon University, PA, USA.

Currently, Dr Nitisingkarin serves as a piano instructor at the College of Music, Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand. She is also an Artistic Director and a founder of Amstutz Music School in Bangkok, Thailand.


Workshop 2

Embrace the Freedom to Play: Transforming Tension into Ease with the Alexander Technique

Goh Shian Li
Founder, the Sage Chiropractic & Alexander Technique Centre (Penang)

Join us for an enlightening workshop on Alexander Technique for Pianists. Discover how posture and movement not only impact your musical performance but also influence your overall well-being. By cultivating body awareness and reducing tension, this technique empowers you to move naturally and efficiently, while safeguarding against injuries. Discover how to improve your posture, release tension, and optimise your body's coordination while playing the piano.

With a storied history of assisting musicians and vocalists, the Alexander Technique offers invaluable insights into optimising artistic expression while minimising stress and injury. At the core of this technique lies the recognition of the interconnectedness between the head, neck, and spine, emphasising the importance of conscious awareness in re-educating the body. By mastering the coordination and utilisation of your body, you can elevate your performance, prevent injuries, and move with grace.

In this workshop, delve into the rich history and fundamental principles of the Alexander Technique. Gain a deeper understanding of the significance of conscious and postural awareness during your piano performances. Learn to identify common postural habits of tension that may hinder your playing or cause discomfort. Acquire the knowledge to align your body in harmony with its inherent design and move with ease and fluidity.

Furthermore, uncovers invaluable techniques for centering and reorganising yourself before and after performances, providing support in managing performance anxiety.

Embrace a poised and balanced approach on your musical journey, empowering you to unleash your full potential as a pianist.

Goh Shian Li, the founder of Sage Chiropractic & Alexander Technique Centre, brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her hometown of Penang. Graduating with distinction from RMIT Australia with a Bachelor's and Master's Degree in Clinical Chiropractic, she also honed her skills as an Alexander Technique practitioner at the School of FM Alexander Studies in Melbourne. Committed to sharing her expertise, she has conducted engaging workshops and talks on the Alexander Technique for voice and performance, postural awareness, pain and stress management, collaborating with organisations like the Penang Philharmonic Orchestra, Rondofest, and Dell Penang, among others.

Goh Shian Li's fascination with the Alexander Technique began when her vocal teacher introduced her to its transformative benefits. After attending an intensive one-week training programme, she committed to a three-year training programme to become an Alexander Technique teacher. With a foundation in classical vocal training and a background in participating in various singing competitions, she has deepened her exploration of the voice throughout her training. She aspires to empower singers and musicians to unleash their full potential as performers, allowing them to move with grace and ease, and enjoy enduring careers.

Goh Shian Li explains her teaching philosophy: "My aim in teaching the Alexander Technique is to empower individuals to learn how to take care of themselves while performing daily activities and managing physical and emotional stresses in their lives. Prevention is key."

To connect with Goh Shian Li and learn more about her work, please visit


Workshop 3

Beyond Rhythm Names and Hand Signs: Application of Kodály Method in Piano Teaching

Josephine Ang
Faculty, Institute of Music, UCSI University

Developed by Hungarian composer and educator Zoltán Kodály (1882–1967), the Kodály Method has been widely adopted and adapted in music education systems globally. The method extends beyond traditional classroom settings as its adaptable nature allows implementation in both formal and informal learning.

This interactive workshop invites educators to explore the principles and practices of the Kodály Method, and its possible applications in piano teaching that is built on singing, internalisation, movement and ensemble playing. The Kodály method places great importance on music literacy. Through a series of engaging activities, participants will delve into the key elements of the Kodály Method, including musicianship development through singing, sequential learning in the development of aural training and improvisation in piano lessons.

Participants will leave the workshop with a variety of practical ideas and resources to enhance their piano teaching practises, encourage student involvement, and cultivate a lifelong love of music.

Josephine Ang received a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Production and Technology from the International College of Music (ICOM) with honours in 2007. Upon graduation, she was active in various audio post-production works including composition, arranging and sound engineering. In 2010, Josephine got acquainted with the Kodály Method and has since found her passion in music education. After completing the Australian Kodály Certificate in Early Childhood and Primary in 2012, she decided to pursue a Master’s Degree at Kodály Institute of the Liszt Ferenc Academy, Hungary.

Josephine currently holds a lecturer position at UCSI University where she teaches Aural Skills and Introduction to Kodály Method to degree students. Besides teaching at the university, Josephine has been invited to conduct professional development training in Musicianship Training and Music Education in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Australia. Some of the workshops include Teacher Training Workshop in Bandung (2018) and Musicianship Training at the Kodály National Conference in Perth (2018), the 24th International Kodály Symposium (2019) and Bandung Choral Camp (2020). As an educator who is open to innovation and growth, Josephine has presented workshops on "The Effective Use of Technology in Secondary and Tertiary Music Classroom" in Asia Kodály Symposium (2016) in Kaohsiung and Dalcroze International Conference (2017) in Kuala Lumpur, "Classroom Jamming" in International Dalcroze Festival (2018) in Kuala Lumpur, and "The Integration of Teaching Methods in Musicianship Training" in 24th International Kodály Symposium (2019) in Kuching.

Between the years 2020 to 2022, Josephine continued to conduct Musicianship Training workshops virtually for various events organised in different countries. These include Choir Lab 2 (Malaysia), Bandung Online Choral School (Indonesia), Virtual Summer Music Camp (Sri Lanka) and Early Childhood Kodaly Certificate (Vietnam). She was one of the instructors for the Online Training Programme for MICSS Music Teachers organised by the Teachers’ Education Department, Dong Zong (2021 & 2022). Josephine was also invited to present a five-day training on various topics according to the Chinese Elementary School textbooks in the online China Kodaly Symposium (2021 & 2022). 


Workshop 4

Let’s Kickstart Your Creative Musical Journey: Empowering Piano Students through Bandlab

Lim Hoong Bee and Josephine Ang
Faculty, Institute of Music, UCSI University

Creativity is essential for a child’s personal and intellectual growth. It is important to nurture a child’s interest in the hope to spark creativity and elevate their imagination. These activities could be anything from picking up the colour pencils to colour on a piece of paper to trying out technology to create new musical ideas on the computer. 

Music lessons in the 21st century could be conducted in a more interesting way with the help of technology. Bandlab, a DAW and social media music platform allows users to collaborate and create music online. It provides tools for recording, editing, mixing and sharing of music tracks, which is accessible through web browsers or mobile apps. Users may access their ongoing masterpieces with different devices and locations as Bandlab works on a cloud-based nature.

This workshop aims to share ways and techniques in applying the theory knowledge the child learned into the fundamentals of music production, through the use of Bandlab software, creating simple arrangements as well as exploring simple improvisation. This approach is designed to elevate the interest in children's learning experience with the use of technology. It could benefit a child’s learning experience by cultivating discipline and fostering a sense of accomplishment at the completion of tasks.

Participants are encouraged to bring along their laptops and earphones/headphones to try out the activities. 

Lim Hoong Bee obtained a Film Scoring degree from Berklee College of Music. Upon the completion of her studies, she moved to Los Angeles, California and worked as an assistant to Mr Lawrence Shragge. She has since composed several award-winning independent feature films and shorts for film festivals held in California. She began her teaching career at the Institute of Music, UCSI in 2009 and continued her education pathway with a Master of Music Technology from the University of Newcastle, Australia in 2016.  

As an educator, Hoong Bee often conducts masterclasses and workshops for music teachers on topics related to theory and composition. She has also been invited to conduct workshops related to songwriting and music production. Her composition ‘Make A Wish’ was adopted by the Make-A-Wish Malaysia as the official corporate song in 2017.  


Workshop 5

Harmonic Ideas in Pop and Jazz Piano Playing

Ch’ng Wee Lern
Adjunct Lecturer, Institute of Music, UCSI University

When it comes to playing piano in modern music styles, every pianist would inevitably need to deal with harmony and chord playing. With a plethora of information and examples available on the internet today, students learning to approach modern harmony may find it difficult to know how to begin. The ability to play chords fluently in various music genres is an important requirement for any professional pianist in the industry.

This workshop aims to break down the process of learning to play chords on the piano in two common styles (Pop and Jazz) into clear and approachable steps and to provide ideas on how to develop a good sense of harmony on the instrument. There are three parts of this workshop:

  1. An overview of Harmony and Chords
  2. Constructing various piano chord voicings
  3. Demonstration and examples of application in Pop and Jazz styles

The goal is to provide each participant with musical ideas and practicable exercises to develop and enhance their knowledge in piano chord playing, and to be able to know the differences between Pop and Jazz harmony.

Ch'ng Wee Lern was classically trained in piano at a young age before deciding to pursue a music career in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He studied contemporary music at the International College of Music (ICOM) KL and graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor's Degree in Music Arranging. He is now a prolific piano player specialising in contemporary styles such as Jazz, Pop, R&B, and Funk. He has performed extensively in various venues in Kuala Lumpur for the past 18 years, including various music festivals, concerts and local jazz clubs such as No Black Tie, Alexis, Bobo's, Jao Tim and Simply Jazz.

Wee Lern is also an experienced music educator. He returned to ICOM to work as a lecturer from 2006 until 2022. He is currently a lecturer at UCSI, teaching contemporary piano and contemporary music theory classes. He was a member of the organising committee of the annual Malaysian Jazz Piano Festival from 2015 to 2020 and is also heavily involved in the production of The Malaysian Real Book (a compilation of songs from Malaysia's rich music heritage) that was published in early 2022, serving in the editorial team as a transcription proof-reader.