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Encountering Musical Cultures of Asia

SG $40.00SG $110.00

This is a course that introduces participants to selected musical cultures within the region of Asia. Participants will be taken on a journey to discover some of region’s most iconic music and instruments from India to Indonesia. This course also features a practical component, where participants will learn the foundations of Solkattu, a technique of speaking and clapping Indian rhythms, over the span of 3 weeks.

Christine May Yong is an ethnomusicologist and gamelan musician by training. She completed her Master of Arts (Performing Arts – Music) at the University of Malaya and was a recipient of the Fulbright Malaysian Graduate Study and Research Program in 2013. She is a current academic staff at Sunway University’s Department of Film and Performing Arts, where she teaches World Music and Malaysian Music to classical and contemporary musicians.

Week 1
– Situating Asia
– Movement and mobilities: Understanding the Silk Route
– Getting to know selected musical instruments of Asia
– Solkattu practical session 1

Week 2
– The music of Indonesia: Central Javanese gamelan/Balinese gamelan
– Solkattu practical session 2

Week 3
– The music of India: Canatic/Hindustani music
– Solkattu practical session 3

Students will be learning how to count, beat and speak Indian rhythms (Solkattu) throughout the 3 weeks of sessions. During the segment on the music of Indonesia, students will be encouraged to “play” a central Javanese gamelan piece using a simple electronic gamelan.


This course is supported under UTAP for 50% course fee support.

National Instructors and Coaches Association (NICA) was formed by the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) to be the collective voice to support freelance coaches and instructors from sports, outdoor learning and adventure, visual and performing arts, fitness, wellness, and enrichment, to strengthen skills, standards and opportunities.

In supporting NICA members with skills deepening programmes at the Academy, NICA members enjoy lower course and conference fees through the Union Training Assistance Programme (UTAP) which provides 50% subsidy of the balance unfunded course/conference fee, up to $250 or $500 (for NTUC union members aged 40 and above).*

If you wish to be part of a bigger voice for coaches and instructors, please sign up to be a NICA member at: (Note: to indicate ‘NICA’ under the field for Company Name). Find out more about NICA at: or

*This excludes miscellaneous fees such as GST and registration fee etc.

Here are some additional info regarding UTAP eligibility:

Please note that members are required to fulfil the following conditions to be eligible for UTAP reimbursement:

  1. Paid-up union membership before course commencement, throughout whole course duration and at the point of claim
  2. Course by training provider must be supported under UTAP, and training must commence within the supported period
  3. Course must not be funded through company sponsorship or other types of funding
  4. Unfunded course fee must be S$20.00 and above
  5. Member must achieve a minimum of 75% attendance for each application and sat for all prescribed examination(s), if any
  6. UTAP application must be submitted within 6 months after course completion

Please refer to the UTAP Application Guide for members to apply UTAP via the U-Portal. Should trainees have queries on the funding scheme, they can email to or call NTUC Membership Hotline at 6213-8008.