At a recent charity dinner to raise funds for the Charles K. Kao Foundation for Alzheimer’s disease, my son, Phoebus, and his wife, Danielle, performed an improvised version of the theme to the Japanese movie Departures on piano and flute. The music was synchronised to a video on Professor Kao’s achievements, and included a mention of his visit to my home to appraise the music that Phoebus composed for Nancy Koh’s Buddhist-themed verse musical, The First Leaf of Dream Song.
All that reminded me of the endeavours that my wife Helena and I went to as young parents two decades ago to initiate our children into the world of music.
Our daughter and son, Phoebe and Phoebus, were enrolled in music classes at the age of four, when their ears could develop best. They both eventually achieved perfect pitch. They learned to play the piano, as well as the rudiments of aural, theory, composition and improvisation.