Dream comes true

Oh Lee Shan Stories

When youths try to turn their dreams into reality, they create their future. For Tan Jun Ying, a lifelong dream was realised through the Youth Empowerment & Aspiration Programme.

When she was in Primary 3, Tan Jun Ying found herself entranced by a neighbour’s beautiful pianomelody, and started to yearn for music lessons. But her family simply had no means to afford a piano and music lessons. Her father passed away when she was three years old, and her mother’s meagre income as a TCM clinic assistant supported Jun Ying, her elder brother, and their maternal grandmother.

After more than a year of pleading, her mother finally spent over $50 on a toy keyboard for Jun Ying, when she was in Primary 5. She then taught herself how to play a few songs through free YouTube tutorials. Now in her second year at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, her passion for music has since grown even stronger, thanks to influences such as Korean pop culture.

While the dream of becoming a singer or musician may require a very big leap, Jun Ying was able to fulfill her dream of learning music. Besides attending CDAC tuition programmes when she was in primary and secondary school, she also received a $720 grant from the Youth Empowerment and Aspiration Programme (YEAP) in 2018, which helped to defray her educational expenses.

What got her most excited was musYEAP, a music initiative. Last year, from March to July, she attended musYEAP workshops every Sunday afternoon, learning basic music theory and song composition, and revelling in the creation of music with fellow enthusiasts.

The experience has deepened her passion for learning and the joy of chasing a dream. For the near future, Jun Ying has another more pragmatic goal – to enrol in the National Institute of Education and become a good teacher.