Student Feature • Vocal • Voice

December 2021

Asher Khoo: From Piano to Musical Theatre

Many students at Aureus Academy have started their musical journey with us from a very young age, and it is always a pleasure to watch our students grow into confident musicians dedicated to their craft. One such student is Asher Khoo, who started taking piano lessons at Aureus Academy from a young age and was later accepted into our Gifted Young Artist Programme due to his talent. He is now pursuing his passion for singing and taking up vocal lessons with Teacher Paul Galvez at Forum.

Asher is definitely on track to becoming the next Elton John! Only 11 this year, he recently acquired his Grade 8 in Piano, and is already on the way to becoming an incredible singer!

He recently delivered a lively performance of You’re Welcome, sung by the character Maui in the hit Disney film Moana! We also caught up with him to hear more about how he developed his love for music and his future goals as a musician.

When did you start taking an interest in music?
According to my parents, I have been very responsive to music since I was a baby. I started my formal music training when I was 5 years old and my interest began since then.

What is your favourite genre of music?
Musical theatre. I like it because it is exciting and comes with a plot where I can take on the role of a character. It is action-packed and fun for me as it combines songs, dialogues, acting and dance all in one.

Do you have a favourite composer or artist? Why do you look up to them or enjoy their songs?
My favourite composer is Alan Menken who composed some of the most beloved Disney musicals. I look up to him because he is a very versatile composer who can write fast and upbeat music such as ‘Friend like Me’ from Aladdin to romantic love songs like ‘I See the Light’ from Tangled. I aspire to be like him one day.

Congratulations on completing your Grade 8 piano exam! Now that you have decided to take up vocal lessons, would you say that you like playing the piano or singing more?
I prefer singing because it is more challenging for me to control my vocal cords than the piano keys.

Are you still practising on the piano frequently?
Yes, but I am not practising on the piano as rigorously as before. However, I have composed several soundtracks on the keyboard for my computer gaming project in school.

How do you allocate practice time for singing / piano with all your school work and activities?
As an Upper Primary school student, my enriched school curriculum keeps me rather busy with projects and competitions. I usually dedicate 3 hours on Sunday mornings to practise before my vocal lessons.

Does practising ever become a chore and how do you overcome that?
I enjoy music, so for me it is a leisure rather than a chore.

What songs would you like to perform next?
I would like to sing ‘The Mad Hatter’ from the Wonderland Broadway musical. I find that this song is very catchy and the role that I can play as the character will be a new experience for me.

What is the next goal you would like to achieve in your musical journey?
I am currently preparing for my ABRSM Grade 8 Singing for Musical Theatre repertoire with Teacher Paul at Forum. I hope to achieve my second ABRSM Grade 8 certificate by the end of the year or early next year.

Will you be interested in picking up another instrument some day?
Definitely yes. I am considering picking up the guitar as my next instrument. Guitar is portable and I can bring it around and sing anywhere.

Besides music, do you have other hobbies?

I enjoy reading, coding and swimming.

You can watch Asher’s full performance of You’re Welcome from the Disney film Moana, along with many other performances put up by our talented teachers and students on Aureus Academy’s Youtube channel!

Want to be a star like Asher? At Aureus Academy, Singapore’s leading music school, all of our students are guaranteed opportunities to perform! Find out more about what our music lessons have to offer by reaching out to our programme specialists at 3158 5811 or Book a Free Trial Lesson with us now!

Alex Sarabi