• Music teacher in the running to be awarded ‘Nobel Prize for teachers’



    Music teacher Philip Tan, 42, was shortlisted from more than 20,000 nominations and applications from around the world, and is among 50 finalists up for the US$1 million (S$1.4 million) Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize.

    It is presented to an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession, and who uses innovative and effective instructional practices to add to the quality of education.

    Mr Tan, the current Singapore finalist, was the creative director behind last year’s Asean Para Games’ opening and closing ceremonies, and started his career giving piano and music tuition at 15. He told TODAY that he received the news of the shortlisting on Wednesday (Dec 14), more than two months after he entered his bid with nominations from five of his former students in Singapore.

    For 12 years, Mr Tan used to be the division head of visual and performing arts at St Francis Methodist School in Upper Bukit Timah, where his students were former school dropouts, from halfway houses or from other countries who had difficulties integrating into mainstream schools.

    Right now, he is teaching at various institutions, including the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Republic Polytechnic, and Lasalle College of the Arts.

    Should he win the award, Mr Tan hopes to use the prize money to fulfil his dream: To kickstart a state-of-the-art music studio here with a music-composition curriculum that brings together elements of learning and teaching programmes that he has designed over the years, supported by facilities such as a surround-sound recording studio that also has concert space for students to jam and co-create.

    Read the full article at TODAY