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Sasawat Limpanich – Bringing Music to the Island

Sasawat Limpanich – Bringing Music to the Island

In today’s Thai society, music is an industry growing steadily both in terms of the variety of music available and also the openness to the various genres of music, which with today’s technology are far greater than in the past.

Furthermore, promoting music is now far simpler than ever before, anyone can record themselves singer or playing an instrument then simply upload video clips to any one of many social media sites. Who knows who may see such a clip, if it’s the right person, the poster may well soon become an internet sensation, or has been the case before, a world famous recording artist.

These factors, along with others, have seen a large increase in the number of music schools opening around the world. Parents now realise how easy it is to get noticed, and now believe, should their child have an interest, that investing in a musical instrument, along with lessons, is much more worthwhile than ever before. This is especially the case with parents in Phuket, who in recent years have seen youngsters born and raised in Phuket win nationwide competitions. One such example being The Star, who, from a young age, was trained at Phuket’s Yamaha Music School.

Khun Sasawat Limpanich (Jorm) is the Assistant Managing Director of P.K. Inter Music Ltd., and also the man behind Phuket’s Yamaha Music School. Khun Jorm has performed professionally on the international circuit and he is responsible for helping raise the standards of Phuket’s music industry.

Find out more about Khun Jorm in the following interview.

Please tell us about your background

I was born in Phuket and studied at Phuket’s Thai Hua and Wittayalai Schools; I then took a bachelor’s degree at Sirindhorn International Institute of Technology within Thammasat University, and also received a scholarship for a master’s degree about Environment at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. Both my degrees were in Chemical Engineering, a course I decided to take because my family operates a swimming pool and water treatment businesses and I originally thought I would want to be involved in the family business.

With regards to music, I started playing the keyboard at 10 years old, I later moved on to playing a Yamaha Electone which I learnt to play at the Yamaha Music School in Bangkok and also at home. At the school I was taught by Khun Sittiporn Prasertpol, and I spent virtually all my school holidays there. It was at this time my father started to think about opening a music school in Phuket, not only for me to learn more but also so other youths in the area could learn to play an instrument closer to home. At the time the only option was to send kids to Bangkok to learn, there was no high standard music school here in Phuket. I would like to add that during my time learning the Yamaha Electone I tried for six consecutive years to join the Electone Solo competition, in the sixth year I actually made it and won second prize at the Yamaha Thailand Music Festival.

How did P.K. Inter Music Ltd come about?

It was, for a long time, the ‘Limpanich’s’ family’s dream to open a music school; both my father and I have been passionate about music for as long as we can both remember. It was in 2004 our family dream became reality as P.K. Inter Music Ltd. was born. However, over time we’ve always sought to improve and expand the business, and in the last couple of years we’ve started to see that expansion happen.

Today, along with having two branches of Yamaha Music School, we also have two branches of Phuket International Dance Academy (PIDA); the branches for each of these learning centres are located at the Big C Department Store on Bypass Road and on Yaowarat Road in Taladyai. In addition, we have more recently opened the Sound Gallery, a distribution centre for all Yamaha music products which follows Yamaha’s ‘Touch the Real Pro’ concept, where customers can touch, test and play an instrument until they find the right one for them, and the Yamaha Digital Audio Creative Center (YDACC), a facility which provides engineers, practitioners, sound operators and owners a place to test, evaluate and learn how to use Yamaha’s digital equipment.

Can you tell us more about these businesses?

Yamaha Music School

Yamaha Music School is world renown, with schools in 47 countries around the world. The school provides a unique method of teaching music that allows everyone, from small children to adults, to learn music in a consistent education system. The courses are designed for a broad range of students from beginners to those who wish to acquire a high-level of music ability, as well as pre-school children as the basis. In addition, we also hold concert every 6 months to serve as a space for students to show their skills. It’s also a chance for us to select students who we believe are likely to be successful and who can go on to compete at a national levels at the Yamaha Thailand Music Festival, the winner of which receives a trophy and represents Thailand in international competitions.

We also use the Yamaha Grade Examinations System, one of the few examinations that evaluate students’ improvisational skills in addition to the standard repertoire performance, sight reading and aural tests. The tests begin with the student’s Grade 10 to 6 and continue with the teacher’s diplomas Grade 5 to 3. Adapted by more than 30 countries, this test is recognized by many academic institutes around the world. All Yamaha teachers must pass this test to qualify as certified instructors to teach Yamaha Music Education System courses.

Phuket International Academy (PIDA)

Phuket International Academy (PIDA) provides experience and education through the performing arts. Through well-taught, structured classes, injected with fun and enthusiasm, students develop strength, agility, coordination, secure posture, rhythm, flexibility and musicality. Most importantly, self-confidence and self-esteem emerge naturally from expert dance instruction. We use the same syllabus as the ATOD from Australia which the dancers from the Hollywood movie Step Up 2 were also taught, and our students also partake in dance performances such as the American animated musical Mulan and lastest Disney animation Frozen. Some of the children chosen to perform at our shows have gone on to perform at Phuket’s Simon Star Theatre.

 Sound Gallery

Finally, we have the Sound Gallery, known in the Yamaha world as BeatSpot, a one-stop musical instrument shop with emphasis on high quality Yamaha equipment suitable for the needs of local aspiring music enthusiasts. Sound Gallery is the best place to see, try, and buy Yamaha musical instruments and it provides a convenient way for customers to shop for musical instruments with affordable prices and many options. The shop allows musicians to select instruments by testing and getting experience with the products before they buy. If a student wants to take their learning seriously, by purchasing their instrument of choice they will also have the opportunity to learn to play at home. In the future we want to bring in popular artist to put on workshops to show just what the instruments can really do.

Yamaha Music Thailand Festival

Have you come across any Phuket youths who have a real musical talent?

Since we’ve opened I have noticed a considerable improvement in the level of talent we have here in Phuket. I’m extremely grateful that some students from our school have competed on a national level and been successful, most notably the singer – Gam Wichayanee who was winner of the nationwide TV The Star, and also Hitoshi Miyashita a classical guitarist who has gone on to win awards at the International Classic Guitar Championship. We’ve also had a number of students compete in the Yamaha Thailand Music Festival, and over the years we’ve had a student win in almost category. However, it isn’t just us that should take praise from this, it’s also the parents, they’re a huge part in supporting and helping their children.

What would you say to anyone considering studying at Yamaha Music School or PIDA?

First, I would like to thank the parents from Phuket who have supported their children and have had the confidence in our schools. Children should be allowed to practice sport or music to help develop their capacity as an individual, and a lot of what they learn here will be carried through to their adult and working lives. My advice for anyone interested or who has a child interested in learning what we teach is to get them here early, from 3-4 years old for a Junior Music Course, at this age they listen and if exposed to learning at this age they will learn easily and thoroughly. If they can distinguish music at this age and start to play an instrument they will have a very high potential to play at a high level. However, our school is open to any ages who are interested, and I invite them to come and see what we offer, we welcome everybody.

Yamaha Music School (Phuket)
Big C Branch: 2nd floor, Big C Department Store, 72  Moo 5 Chalermprakeat Road,Tambon Taladnua, Amphur Muang, Phuket 83000 Tel. 076 249 409 Fax. 076 249 409
Nakorn Phuket Branch: 158 Yaowarat Road (Thungkha), Tambon Taladyai, Amphur Muang, Phuket 83000 Tel. 076 213 655 Fax. 076 213 644

Phuket International Dance Academy (PIDA)
Big C Branch : 2nd floor, Big C Department Store, 72  Moo 5 Chalermprakeat Road,Tambon Taladnua, Amphur Muang, Phuket 83000 Tel. 076 209 151 Fax. 076 209 152
Nakorn Phuket Branch: 158 Yaowarat Road (Thungkha), Tambon Taladyai, Amphur Muang, Phuket 83000 Tel. 076 213 655 Fax. 076 213 644

Sound Gallery
158 Yaowarat Road (Thungkha), Tambon Taladyai, Amphur Muang, Phuket 83000 Tel. 076 218 884 Fax. 076 218 885

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