PERMATA Seni Muzik, established under the purview of Istana Budaya on 11 January 2010, is a special programme to provide exposure to national level performance and high level music to participants. Participants will also be exposed to orchestra music. Designed for children aged 8 to 14 years old who excel in playing musical instruments, this programme gives priority to those who play stringed instruments such as violin, viola, cello and piano as well as woodwind instruments such as flute, piccolo and clarinet.
Selection Process and Training
Candidates must pass a minimum of Grade 5 ABRSM or its equivalent or higher for the musical instrument they are skilled in. Apart from auditions, those selected must also go through training programmes throughout the year and attend the PERMATA Seni Muzik Camp held during mid and year end school holidays. This Camp is conducted by qualified trainers from overseas while weekly training is conducted by local experts. Thirty-two children from the auditions held in September and October 2009 formed the first group selected to undergo the PERMATA Seni Muzik training.
To ensure that the objective of strengthening the participants’ basic technique in music is achieved, trainers will monitor and guide them in small groups based on their respective roles in an orchestra performance such as Violin 1, Violin 2/3, Viola, Cello, Piano and Percussion.
Participants’ achievement will be evaluated every quarterly in terms of competency and discipline by the trainers comprising the Music Director/ Conductor, Tutor and Music Coordinator. At year-end, the trainers will hold a discussion on the achievements of all participants in an effort to establish a new PERMATA Seni Muzik group. Participants who demonstrate excellent performance and fulfill the predetermined criteria will be retained in the group. Those who do not achieve the standards must attend special classes and go through the audition again before being assimilated into the group.
Future Plans of PERMATA Seni Muzik
PERMATA Seni Muzik will widen participation by opening up greater opportunities for students with excellent talents in music to enhance their skills. The search for new talents will continue and selected participants will be provided with guidance, training and supervision on techniques and skills right until they can perform as soloists, chamber and orchestra at the national and international levels.
In addition, PERMATA Seni Muzik also plans to establish a world-class children’s orchestra comprising a larger number of excellent young musicians. PERMATA Seni Muzik is also working towards educating the public on the fact that music lessons from an early age is the best way to increase intelligence and creativity in children as well as their ability to focus. This will give them the advantage as they will be more receptive in school and will excel academically.
Meanwhile, participants above 15 years old will leave PERMATA Seni Muzik and be offered to join the PERMATA Seni Remaja Muzik or Orkestra Simfoni Remaja (OSR) – the Youth Symphony Orchestra - under the management of Istana Budaya.