By Andrea Loh
Higher Executive, Communications & External Relations
LKCMedicine Band including Leon on the piano and Weishan on vocals performing "The Medicine Song" , which was written by Leon and fellow Class of 2018 student Hong Wan, at last year's NHG Teacher's Day Ceremony held at Tan Tock Seng Hospital
Class of 2018
The electropop beats of Psy's Gangnam Style are instantly recognisable. Composing the next super hit is the dream of Year 2 student Leon Tan.
Leon's passion for composing music started in primary 1 when he wrote his first piece on the piano about his academic results. Though he composed it for fun, complete with silly lyrics, his parents saw talent and encouraged him to keep it up.
Since then, musical composition has been a means through which he expresses and processes his emotions.
"When I'm sad, I tend to write out how I feel through music, and I feel better after that," Leon said.
To date, Leon has written three complete albums of 12 songs each and is currently working on his fourth. All of them tell stories from different phases of his life, including the loss of someone close to him and the tough journey to get into medical school.
However, the most memorable composition for Leon is still the first piece he wrote, which he later reworked.
"My dad was posted to Hanoi to work. I was too young to understand then, but I could tell that my mother was very upset because we didn't know when he'll be back. So, I changed that silly piece about my results into something emotional and retitled it Shattered," he said.
While Leon is a classically-trained pianist, his musical influences are more contemporary, and include Taiwanese Mandopop singer-songwriter Jay Chou.
"I've been a fan for a very long time. He's an extremely talented and versatile composer and singer, and I've always aspired to be like him. He's also one of the reasons I became more interested in song writing," he said.
Though Leon's compositions are now mostly stored only on his mobile phone, the music enthusiast has big plans: to compose the song that resonates with people.
Besides performing his original compositions at school and external events, he also intends to put out selected compositions of his onto various public platforms.
"When I've finally completed my fourth album, I intend to pick 12 tracks from the four albums which I feel would have a chance to be bought by some artist, and approach them to ask if they would like to listen to my music," Leon said cheekily.
Class of 2018
Lights, music, microphone and audience – these are the things that give Year 2 student Lim Weishan an adrenaline rush each time she stands on stage to perform.
For the LKCMedicine songstress, singing has always been a part of her life. However, it was only in secondary two, when Weishan joined a school interest group which focused on singing and performing mandopop songs, that she started actively pursuing her interest.
She later became one of the few students in the interest group who was handpicked to join a music school co-founded by Huang Zhi Yang, the first champion of Singaporean reality television singing competition Campus SuperStar.
"After joining the music school, I was lucky to be able to perform at many public events including showcases at shopping malls and community centres. I also had the chance to be part of the organising team that planned our own events," said Weishan.
Among the countless performances she put on with her friends from the music school, the one Weishan holds closest to her heart is the final performance in 2011– a musical that offered a different experience from the usual open mic performances.
"At that time, my parents disapproved of me singing because they felt it wasn't very proper and I was spending a lot of time travelling to other parts of Singapore for practice and usually at odd times," she said.
"But it was our very last performance as a music school, so I wanted to give it my all and make sure everything went well. It was a bittersweet experience because I knew that being in a production like that was going to be something that I will miss a lot," she added.
Though medical school has kept the fan of English musician Ed Sheeran busy in recent years, Weishan still tries to find time to perform. Besides performing with her classmates at events including last year's LKCMedicine Peanut Butter & Jam and the National Healthcare Group Teachers' Day Ceremony, she is considering setting up a YouTube channel to upload cover songs and sing at volunteering events in the future.
If singing has taught Weishan one thing, that would be empathy – an important skill for healthcare workers.
"When I sing, I think about the emotions that go into the song and try to express them. This is somewhat similar to thinking from a patient's perspective. I always find it useful to put myself in their shoes to understand what makes them do certain things or feel a certain way," she said.