In this candid interview, we sit down with Gerald, a talented cellist, to delve into his personal journey and experiences as a musician. From pivotal moments that ignited his love for music to the challenges and aspirations he faces, Gerald shares his insights on the transformative power of music and the fulfilling aspects of being a cello teacher. Join us as we uncover the melodies that shape his life and his dedication to inspiring others through his craft.
A Serendipitous Encounter with Music:
For Gerald, it was music that found its way into his life. Joining the Chinese Orchestra CCA in secondary school, he was allocated the cello section, building upon his background in piano and violin. This musical journey continued as he and his friends joined the People's Association Youth Chinese Orchestra, where they deepened their musical interests and formed lasting bonds. Together, they performed overseas and won national accolades. Gerald's time in the Army's Music & Drama Company further solidified his path as a musician. The camaraderie and shared experiences with close friends paved the way for his fulfilling musical career.
The Captivating Call of the Cello:
Gerald's choice of the cello was not by chance but by the allocation in his secondary school CCA. From that point on, the enchanting melodies produced by the cello captured his heart and became his instrument of choice.
Collaboration Without Prejudice:
When it comes to collaborations, Gerald holds the belief that music transcends preferences and prejudices. He embraces the idea that everyone, regardless of their background, can come together to create beautiful harmonies, fostering a sense of unity and inclusivity.
The Guiding Force:
In Gerald's life, his cello teacher has been the most influential person, guiding him along his musical journey. Through their support and mentorship, his teacher has played an instrumental role in shaping his career.
Nurturing Musical Talents:
As a cello teacher, Gerald finds great fulfilment in witnessing the growth of his students. Watching them embark on their own musical journeys, start families, and still remember him with fondness during chance encounters fills him with immense pride.
Challenges Faced by Musicians:
In the modern music landscape, Gerald acknowledges that musicians rely heavily on passion and commitment to sustain their careers. It is essential to stay true to one's core values and lead a fulfilling journey, continuing to create inspiring projects and uplift those around them.
A Role Model in the Industry:
Gerald's role model in the industry remains his cello teacher. The guidance and inspiration received have made an indelible impact on his musical growth.
Proud Moments and Continuous Learning:
Pinpointing a single proudest moment in his musical career proves difficult for Gerald. He cherishes both positive and negative experiences, from receiving standing ovations at concerts to witnessing his students' success. Embracing the positives and learning from the negatives, Gerald's musical journey is a continuous process of growth and reflection.
Nurturing Young Talents in Singapore's Music Scene:
Reflecting on the music scene and community in Singapore, Gerald believes there is always room for improvement. Vibrant arts groups and community orchestras exist, but many struggle with funding and attracting new audiences. Additionally, the high rental costs of rehearsal spaces and venues pose additional challenges. The academic pressures faced by students limit their time to participate in community orchestras, hindering the growth of young talents.
Finding Inspiration Beyond Music:
Outside of his musical pursuits, Gerald finds solace and inspiration in the vast open sea. Fishing trips with friends provide tranquil moments that allow him to clear his mind and return with a renewed sense of creativity and inspiration.
Embracing Performance Anxiety:
Rather than attempting to eliminate performance anxiety, Gerald believes in embracing it as a sign of readiness and excitement. The surge of adrenaline associated with performance anxiety keeps him alert, on his toes, and fully prepared to deliver his best on stage.
Aspirations for the Future:
Looking ahead, Gerald sees himself continuing to excel in his roles as a coach, inspiring others, and performing with the TENG Ensemble. These aspirations reflect his unwavering dedication to his craft and the desire to leave a lasting impact on the world of music. Gerald Teo's journey as a cellist exemplifies the transformative power of music. From the fortuitous moments that ignited his passion to the challenges he faces as a full-time musician, Gerald's dedication and commitment shine through. As he continues to inspire through teaching, collaborations, and captivating performances, his influence on the music scene in Singapore and beyond is bound to leave an indelible mark on both aspiring musicians and music enthusiasts alike.