See this? It’s a tiny yet mighty musical instrument called an ocarina, and Wan Lin wants you to know more about it.
Name: Tan Wan Lin
Job: Founder of Ocarina House
When did you first become interested in music?
My mum had always advocated that music is a cultivation of etiquette, determination and skills. While my friends were enjoying their weekends and school holidays, I was always practicing the erhu or performing with my ensemble.
[When I saw] how proud my parents felt each time they listened to me perform for our relatives and friends, I realised that this was, and still is, my biggest joy.
Why the ocarina?
I have been passionate about the ocarina because of its performance capabilities. It comes in many shapes and sizes, catering to many kinds music lovers.
Playing techniques are diverse – the basic 4-hole ocarina can be picked up easily by anyone of any age, and a beginner could be playing a song in just 10 minutes. Enthusiasts can even play Flight of The Bumblebee on a triple-chamber ocarina!
Any memorable experiences teaching the ocarina?
My most memorable experience was at the very beginning of my ocarina journey, in 2014. I used my own pocket money to buy 30 ocarinas for my extended family as a gift and got them to start learning it.
Within two weeks, we were on stage performing during a Mid-Autumn festival! It was exhilarating and inspiring. Sadly, that was the first and last time my mother performed with us as she passed away the same year. In her honour, we named our ocarina group after her.
Wan Lin’s life in lists
If you could only listen to three artistes or composers for the rest of your life, who would they be?
Name five things that make you happy.
My family, traveling, animals, reading a book by the beach, and balloon crafts.
Three things you can’t live without?
My family, my organiser and a heart of gratitude for everything I’m blessed with.