Ageing with classes

Ageing with classes
Former teacher David Ng skates at parks at least twice a week.

SINGAPORE - You can teach an old dog new tricks. And the silver brigade here is proving this as more of them pick up new skills right through their 70s.

Even disciplines such as piano and ballet, which are traditionally deemed to be beyond older learners as they demand mental and physical agility, are drawing more seniors.

Play By Ear Music School in Victoria Street, which was set up in 2003 and offers pop piano classes for adults, has seen a rise in the number of students aged 40 and above. They now make up about 25 per cent of the school's 400 students, up from 10 per cent in 2003.

Founder Andrew Yau, 34, says older people are more open to learning the piano these days due perhaps to the rise of social media.

"Some of them may have been exposed to the Internet and YouTube, where they read or watched videos about older people learning the piano and they decided to try it out too."

Adult ballet, too, has been attracting older students in community clubs.

Ballet teacher Yu Shu Huai, who started a class for about 10 adults at Kebun Baru Community Club more than 10 years ago, now teaches at five other CCs.

He has about 60 students in all, of whom more than 95 per cent are aged 50 and above.

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