Samuel Phua: Ensuring physically sustainable musicianship
A recipient of the National Arts Council Singapore Arts Scholarship, classical saxophone student Samuel Phua is currently studying at the Sibelius Academy. He is especially grateful for courses that help him to play his instrument in an ergonomic and healthy way.
“The curriculum is 100% based on what you want to do. I’m very interested in how the body works because I used to over-practise, and even injured myself a little bit in the process. Here you can take body mapping, Feldenkreis or Pilates classes to help you take care of your physical health as a musician.
My teacher is very professional and patient, and really takes the time to get to know who you are as a person. There are many renowned teachers of various instruments throughout the academy, and I strongly recommend meeting them at master classes, festivals, concerts and courses around the world if you are planning to apply.
Almost every rehearsal room has a piano in it, and we have plenty of rooms available. I’m currently living in a dormitory especially for music students, so if the campus is fully booked I can also go home and practise there without disturbing the neighbours.
Student life varies according to the time of year. In the winter I recommend trying avanto – swimming in an ice hole in a lake or the sea. The nature here is beautiful, so in the summer just take your friends and go hiking!”