Ron Tan

Imagining life without music is boring. What about if you lose your sense of hearing? Music is a precious gift to the soul not only to our two boneless, attentive ears. It has the power to captivate us and has something peaceful or exhilarating to offer to suit our varied moods.

Whether you admit it or not, we are blessed when we hear music or see someone plays it using a guitar, a violin or a piano. But wait, what about those who can’t enjoy hearing his surrounding, how would they value music? Many a time we sympathize with people who cannot hear, as they are deprived of this joy.

It is hard to think of a person who loses his listening ability being passionate to music. Hence, it’s a breath of fresh air when persons with disabilities come out and open their lives to the world and share their full potentials. One of them is a guy with 80 percent hearing loss who broadly appreciates music and depends his life to it. Meet Ron Tan, a 21-year old pianist from Singapore.

If you find yourself visiting Singapore, try to catch him doing regular gigs at Changi Village Hotel. In the pursuit of finding something that gave meaning to his life, he taught himself playing piano at the age of 17. He got involved in a bunch of interesting hobbies, but the moment he sat and learned how to work the ivories, he knew music was going to be a big part of his life.

“It’s just about loving what you do. People say – ‘Ron you are deaf, you can’t do this. You can’t perform.’ But you still want to do it because you love to do it,” Tan shares via Social Story.

A student at Republic Polytechnic (RP), Tan also worked with a friend and partner named Danial bin Hamdan to set up a social enterprise that would help people develop their passions and match them with performing opportunities. They called it Inclusive Art Movement (I.AM) which aims to inspire and equip youths of different nationalities to present themselves on various social enterprises despite of their disabilities. I.AM also becomes one of the entries in the Singapore International Foundation’s Young Social Entrepreneurs.

Hamdan said in his interview with OurBetterWorld that he and Tan had the same purpose and motivation in life: to help their community.

“I’ve met many people at the Singapore Association for the Deaf – students who have a passion for the arts,” he added.

“Piano is my passion, and I want to help others find theirs,” according to Tan via Today. This amazing guy would just watch and observe videos on YouTube and try to mimic the songs or how others play.

While he wears a hearing aid, there are some keys he cannot hear or feel especially those with a higher pitch.

“When I attempt to play higher keys, I will seek other peoples’ feedback. In this way, I can know and control the loudness of the different sounds I play. A hearing aid can never be the same as an ordinary human ear. So I need to know the difference between what I hear and what other people hear,” explains Tan.

“I realized that what I really want is to produce music, and that has to come from my heart,” he added proudly.

The story of Ron Tan is one of a kind as it reminds us to pursue things in life. Despite of his incompleteness, he was able to share his talent and motivate others. Simply inspiring!

-JEFFREY D. CONSULTADO
LNU, ABCOM INTERN