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Musical vision for talented kids

A NEW private music school opened by So Sronos, who gained a master’s degree in music in Japan, aims to help gifted young Cambodian musicians flourish.

He explained that the Sronos Music School hoped to set up scholarships to help poorer musicians to learn a Western-style repertoire, and planned a charity concert to help orphans in the near future.

So Sronos, 28, aims to work with non-governmental organisations to help Cambodians appreciate classical Western music, which he said could boost mood and intelligence.

He said he had noticed that the number of students studying music at the Royal University of Arts dramatically decreased since he studied there, leading him to believe this was the right time to open up a private music school in Phnom Penh.

“We plan to set up 50 percent scholarships for those who have genius and love music in the near future,” he said.

He started learning music at about 12 years old while he was studying in grade five. He devoted himself to studying the piano for 11 years and won a scholarship to pursue a master’s degree in music in Japan.

“Since I did not try hard to study when I was young, my father was angry because he wanted me to choose one among the many skills to find a bright future in life,” he said.

“First, I found the piano hard to learn since I did not like it, but when I was strongly criticised by friends in year two, I determined to study hard to be the best in class,” said So Sronos.

“In Cambodia today, Cambodian people who are patricians are interested in sending their children to learn music or serious music such as piano, violin or clarinet. They believe that children who learn or play these musical instruments are smart, although they are also learning other subjects and more patient than those who don’t, according to science,” he added.

As well as the music school, So Sronos indicated that he was interested in helping budding composers pursue their work to help develop Khmer culture.

He said he would try to find the best Khmer musicians to work with Western musical instruments to create a universal sound that could be accepted by any audience.

According to So Sronos, who won the first piano prize at the ASEAN Musical Competition in Thailand, his school will create a study programme based on the English university curriculum.

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