Academy Of Rock Pte Ltd
Address: 707 East Coast Road, Singapore 459063
Contact: +65 6243 6012/ 6445 3412
Address: 24C Lorong Mambong, Holland Village, Singapore 277683
Contact: +65 6468 6896/ 6762 1386
Address: 187 Thomson Rd, Goldhill Centre, Singapore 307630
Contact: +65 6250 8987/ 6356 8987
Passion For Contemporary Music That Never Dies
A family that works together stays together. For Academy of Rock Pte Ltd, this family-run music school is the perfect model of work-life integration. Celebrating their 10-year anniversary this year, Academy of Rock is no stranger in Singapore’s music industry. Ever since its humble beginnings at Goldhill Centre with a small number of 8 teachers, they now have more than 40 teachers, across 3 different centres – Goldhill, Siglap and Holland Village.
There is no secret to their longstanding success – just pure passion within the family. At the mere age of 21, Ms Lim is currently the managing director of Academy of Rock. She reveals that Academy of Rock “started out as a small idea, just a passion project that (her) mother had because she realised that no one had a proper curriculum for contemporary music.” Her father, who is the present Chief Executive Officer (CEO) joined in to build the idea as well. Both Ms Lim’s parents believed that contemporary music should have equal standing with classical music, in terms of the way people teach and learn from it. They desired to see contemporary music be treated with as high regard as classical music.
Simultaneously, Ms Lim and her parents recognise that “although music has such an important part of our lives, no one regards music as something that can give you a stable income.” This unsettling reality spurred them to build a stable platform for music lovers to have a career in music. Hence, it is with such passions, desires, and social responsibility that Academy of Rock has journeyed till today.
Nevertheless, every business has its own challenges. For Academy of Rock, Ms Lim shares that “the way society sees our niche industry can be a struggle,” in that the progress towards understanding and accepting the fact that contemporary music can have a proper curriculum structure and academic vocational qualification, is relatively slow. This has resulted in difficulty getting not only customers, but government support and well-trained music teachers as well.
Yet, these struggles only made them stronger. Academy of Rock began training their teachers on how to pass their knowledge on to others effectively and student management. Such skills proved to be valuable for many musicians who were already excellent performers. Today, Ms Lim is proud to declare that they have 90% full-time teachers, with some of their students helping out as part-time teachers. Their teachers all receive CPF, whether full-time or part-time.
Furthermore, Academy of Rock is able to set themselves apart from their competitors by “developing a suitable curriculum for their students, while taking note of their interests in modern music,” explains Ms Lim. Recognising that theoretical skills have to be complemented with practical performances, Academy of Rock also holds regular recitals and biennial concerts to provide every student with the opportunity to perform. In fact, their concerts have been held at famous places such as the Rock Auditorium, the STAR Theatre, and the Esplanade Waterfront, and are always for charity.
More recently, Ms Lim divulges that Academy of Rock has a new studio facility, where students are able to record their own extended plays (EPs), and music albums. This enhances their students’ chances of being groomed as potential artistes, in which they help out with the process of signing their students to music companies.
Moving forward, Academy of Rock intends to go into adult music learning and training. Leveraging on their Workforce Development Agency (WDA) certification, they hope to grow into a music training centre, offering diplomas, degrees, and master’s degrees. Alongside that, they would like to further develop their Special Educational Needs (SEN) programs, and continue to be the leading school for contemporary music training in Singapore.
As Academy of Rock continues to expand, Ms Lim claims that their biggest sacrifices thus far have been time and money. Due to the lack of government financial support, most of the funding are from their own pockets. Also, a lack of an example in such a niche industry means that a great deal of time has to be put into research so as to constantly improve their curriculum.
Despite all these, “we feel that the sacrifice is worth it…it is a very passionate business,” says Ms Lim. To the Lims, their greatest success is simply to be able to witness a growth – be it from not being able to play an instrument to being proficient in it, or being afraid to go on stage to having their own performance. Ms Lim puts it perfectly: “to see a person grow into a better person, is success for our business.”
As a young director herself, Ms Lim advises young entrepreneurs to always do their research before starting out, then take hold of the opportunity and grow from there. Following Academy of Rocks’ key principle, she encourages young people to “never stop learning, always aim higher and push yourselves.”