A pair of 7-year-old from Puchong have been inducted into the Malaysia Book of Records (MBR) for being the youngest twins to complete their piano Grade 8 examination with merit from Trinity London College.
The girls, Ulrika Lee Yuen Thong and Felice Lee Ying Theng, received their certificates on Sept 23.
The Star reported that the twins began their first lesson in December 2020 and took less than two years to pass the grade 8 examination despite only attending 12 months of physical lessons due to the pandemic.
Loved music since young
Speaking to the English daily, the twins’ mother Zoei Khoo Siew Hoong, said that her daughters showed deep interest in dancing, singing, and performing on stage.
Being a piano player herself, Zoei added this may have further cemented the twins’ love for piano and music.
They showed great interest in music and would try to replay songs they heard on the piano. Then, when they were four, I noticed my girls would spend countless hours playing simple melodies on their mini keyboards.
“While both twins had a strong interest in music, Felice, the younger twin, showed great talent. When she was five, she could play Bing Crosby’s White Christmas and Frank Sinatra’s Fly Me To The Moon on her own just by exploring the piano keys,” she said.
Along with constant encouragement from their piano teacher, the twins saw vast improvements in their piano skills.
Spent 8 hours practising daily
As the twins prepared to complete the grade 8 exam within two years, they were met with the obstacle of attending lessons online throughout the lockdown period.
However, Zoei said it had failed to dampen the twins’ determination to achieve their goals.
“Despite the pandemic, which has curtailed most of their physical lessons, the twins continued to practise diligently at home for up to eight hours daily.”
She also said she was surprised to see her daughters’ insistence on taking the exam at such a young age.
“I was surprised when my daughters wanted to take the Grade 8 exam during the pandemic since I was worried they might be frustrated by the lack of physical guidance and the challenging online lessons.
“Despite being so young, both girls achieved outstanding achievements through their love of music, determination, and hard work. I am proud of their grit and determination.”
Aside from being inducted into the MBR, the twins recently won the gold and silver medal at the 2022 Malaysian Piano Competition, a joint event between the Euroasia Association of Performing Arts (Euroasia) and the Malaysian Youth Orchestra Foundation (MYOF).
Violin next on the list
When asked what was were her and her sister’s music plans, Felice said that they were both working to finish their Diploma in Piano Performance.
“We are also planning to learn the violin soon,” said the Year Two student who attends an international school in Subang Jaya.
Congratulations to the twins and we hope to see them shine at more events in the future!