Dandelion symbolizes happiness and simple joy, much like the goals of Dandelion Music Academy (DMA), which is to bring joy and happiness to others through music. DMA was founded 4 years ago in 2013 by 4 music enthusiasts, two of which are also teachers at DMA. On one humid afternoon, Kiddy123 met with one of the founders, Mr. Yong Wai Kit to learn about DMA.
DMA is located in the quiet neighbourhood of SS19 Subang Jaya, housed in a shoplot on the 1st floor. The place has a homely atmosphere to it and for security reasons, we have to buzz the door before we could enter. As music lessons have not begun, it was rather quiet in the music centre, but it gave us more time to speak to Mr. Wai Kit.
DMA started operating since 2013, but previously it was operating under a different name before the current founders took over and renamed it Dandelion Music Academy. When asked why did he choose to teach music, Mr. Wai Kit explains that it’s because of the love for music and spreading joy through music. They wanted a place where students could enjoy and learn music without stress, learn music appreciation and then express themselves through music. After all, music is a universal language.
At DMA, Musikgarten courses are offered for young children from age between 2 until 7 years old. Musikgarten is conducted in small group lessons and it’s a good music foundation for children as it doesn’t emphasize so much on instrument playing or technical skills. Its objective is to cultivate musicianship skills and musical sense in young children. The program is designed in such a way to train children’s hearing, rhythm, singing, dancing and some basic exposure to keyboard playing. As young children’s fine motor skills are not fully developed, keyboard is easier to play on as the keys are light to touch. Musikgarten foundation paves the way for smooth advancement into formal music education for young children, since they have already received some basic training from a young age, they learn to appreciate music and are able to relate the Musikgarten training to the music they will be playing in future.
Depending on the intention and age of the students, they may also sign up for individual music lessons. Musical instrument lessons include piano, guitar, violin, cello, drums, and ukulele; even vocal classes are available. In addition to that, theory classes will be given as well, which may be conducted in a group class. As mentioned earlier, DMA aim to teach students to enjoy and appreciate music instead of focusing only on music examinations or gradings. However, students would still be encouraged to sit for music exams to gain some experience and also to assess their progress in their music pathway. The teachers at DMA would also encourage students to participate in competitions and public performances for a different kind of exposure and experience. This helps students in building their confidence to express themselves freely. On top of that, there are also monthly performances at DMA’s very own hall, which doubles as Musikgarten classroom. All these opportunities are good learning platforms for the students that they may not get elsewhere.
While sharing with us about the challenges he faced in his teaching career, Mr. Wai Kit told us that he believes it’s about communication and compatibility between the teacher and the students. We have to agree to that, as each child has different temperament and each teacher has a different teaching style, it is important that the teaching style would suit the child in order to retain the child’s interest in music. Therefore, they offer first trial class at DMA, to make sure that the students find it comfortable and enjoyable.
Our chat with Mr. Wai Kit ended when his student came for her piano lesson. A bright little girl who went straight to a play corner in the centre and played with building blocks while we wrapped up our talk. From the interaction between the little girl and Mr. Wai Kit, we could tell that he is a very patient teacher; and the little girl was having a good time in class. Mr. Wai Kit teaches the cello too. On a side note, besides being a music teacher at DMA, he is also actively involved in choir performances where his choir group frequently collaborate with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra. Interestingly the other founder teaches guitar at DMA and he does his own arrangements of pop songs or contemporary music and even published them into books.
Learning music goes a long way. The co-founders of DMA are very good examples. It is admirable that they have their own achievements outside of their teaching career (including running a music academy!) Learning music doesn’t stop after obtaining the certificate for a certain level, it’s a lifelong process, so why not learn it in a fun and enjoyable way, like the DMA way.
Find out more about Dandelion Music Academy, Subang Jaya.
No 167, 1st Floor, Jalan SS19/6
Subang Jaya, Selangor 47500