This week, we met up with Shuang Shuang L. (’21), an irreplaceable member of our High School strings department!
Having attended ISKL for the last 12 years, Shuang Shuang started playing the viola in her first year of Middle School and has been playing ever since!
Apart from being an exceptional viola player Shuang Shuang is also a 4-Year IASAS delegate, having captained the IASAS Strings team tremendously well for the IASAS Cultural Convention for 2021 despite the challenge of COVID-19 restrictions.
This is her story.
“Being captain of IASAS strings this year was more complicated than I thought it would be! Our captain last year made it look so effortless, yet stepping up and completing all of the responsibilities myself was challenging. I always thought of myself as the bridge that connects our coach, Mr. Vincent Cee, with the delegates; therefore, I needed to make sure that the team met his expectations and ensure the delegates were not stressed or frustrated.
‘The most important thing to remember is always to be humble. Being an IASAS delegate doesn’t mean you are the best; it means that you have the potential in technical skill, but you also possess a good attitude and take things with stride. One may have the best talent in a particular area but not necessarily interact well with others, for example.
‘Getting accepted into IASAS strings is not just about how good the sound you produce is; it’s also about the mindset you have. A strong mentality and an open mind will be the driving force of opening up opportunities for yourself.
‘IASAS Strings push you to be the best that you can be – the increased hours of rehearsal allows one to better know themselves and their instruments. And no matter how prepared you are, the anxiety of stepping into the spotlight in front of a big audience, and having the ‘shaky bows’ will always be present!
‘The most challenging part is having to balance between the solo, octet, and group piece as it is impossible to give 120% of your efforts to all three tasks. During the busy period of IASAS, it is also essential to keep up with one’s coursework and grades – having to devote hours to one’s instrument and completing school work can be tricky sometimes.
“I chose the viola and not the violin because I wanted to be different. The violin is famous for its elegant high-pitched sound, but once I heard the viola, I fell in love with its deep and rich sound!”
‘My highlight from the four years as an IASAS delegate was the trip to Taipei. It was my first IASAS trip, and I was with a fantastic team. I remember how the 4-hour rehearsal sessions for three days straight made my shoulders sore – I had never worked that hard to get every note on point, but it all paid off. Every year after IASAS, I would become a much better player from the year before, and felt that I was ready to tackle more challenging pieces once it was over!”‘I would describe my entire IASAS experience as a booster. It makes you stronger, and it gives you the confidence to take on more challenges, unlocking more classical pieces and exploring different composer styles whilst also having fun!
“I remember it as if it was yesterday – coming in first grade not knowing a single word of English, stuttering through my limited vocabulary, and using hand gestures to communicate my thoughts. But as time went on, I made countless friends from different cultures and backgrounds, which enabled me to adapt and grow in passion for activities such as playing badminton and the viola!”
What does ‘Be All You Are’ mean to you?
“To me, this means to accept both your successes and flaws, knowing that these bits and pieces of experiences will shape who you are in the future. Success propels and motivates us, but setbacks help us go further. The more you pull a slingshot back, the further it will go.”
Do you know a student, faculty, staff, or alumni with a story to tell? Nominate them to be featured in our Panthers of ISKL stories by sending in your submissions to panthersofISKL.
To find out more inspiring stories of our students, read about our young Prowlathon champions Julius, Lachlan and Nur Hidayah or batik painter Jia Jia Elizabeth P.!